Summer can be exhilarating and exhausting and entertaining and boring and short and long all at once. It is a roller coaster for kids and parents alike, and then all of sudden, it’s time to go back to school! Check out these 7 ways to keep your kids active and prepared for when the school year comes back around.
7. Read to Your Kids
Study after study reveals the huge benefits that accompany reading to your children… even before they are one year old! So pick up a book and hunker down for some good, old fashioned reading. The summer is a great time to do so because everyone has more time, and it won’t feel like extra homework. Use your own creativity to play around with voices and really inspire their imaginations! Build their literacy, logical thinking and success in the academic world and beyond!
6. Get Outside
According to a Harvard study, regular exercise actually improves memory, thinking skills and the brain’s ability to create new cells. So make sure to get your kids up and moving! Throw a ball around, play tag, capture the flag, go fly a kite, build a sand castle at the beach, swim in the pool… Really anything you can do to get children moving is a good thing. Not to mention, it burns off some of that boundless energy!
5. Go to a Museum
Museums are fantastic learning centers for children and adults, and they almost always have programs directed towards children specifically. Check out your local museums for current exhibitions and programs that would be fun for you and your kids! They may even have camps to check out… And make sure to discuss these experiences with your children afterwards. Remind them of what they learned and ask their opinions on it. It is really helpful to reinforce information, expand on what they already know, and to keep those memories alive!
4. Enroll in a Summer Program
There are plenty of summer programs out there, so make sure to do your research when looking for the right one for your child. We often think of summer as a time to help children in areas where they are struggling, which is always important, but also try to look for something that engages their interest! Supporting their strengths is just as important.
3. Make Some Noise!
According to the NAEYC, infancy and early childhood are prime times for introducing and building natural musical ability. Music is a wonderful way to teach children the science of sound and allow them to express their creativity. If you have real instruments, that’s fantastic, but you can also use household items like upside down bucket drums, jars filled with nuts and bolts (and shut tightly) as maracas, bottles they can blow on, clapping, snapping, singing, and more!
2. See a Performance
Support the arts and give your child an experience they won’t soon forget! Children under four years old should not be expected to sit still for more than a thirty minute time period, so performances should be kept below that. Children’s theaters usually have recommended ages listed. Also keep in mind, the best kind of performances for very young children usually involve an element of music. Puppet shows are also a great option!
1. Plan a Play Date
Socializing children at an early age sets the stage for all relationships in their future. It is imperative for building communication skills including cooperation, behavior management, conflict resolution and so much more. So definitely find time to schedule those play dates! Social-emotional education is just as important as academic education, if not more so!
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