Summer is almost here… and your kids are probably excited to go out and enjoy the warm weather. Want to make sure they keep learning while they play? Here are a few smart, but simple, ideas that can help you add a little bit of teaching to a whole lot of summer fun!
Keep kids active
Encourage the kids to put down the electronic gadgets and get outside. Active play can help them energize their bodies and minds. Let them have relay races with their friends, run through the sprinklers, or fill up and tie water balloons. All these activities prompt kids to socialize with others, and can help develop both big and small muscles. Best of all, research shows that active play has a positive impact on memory, recall, and focus.
Stimulate their senses
Summer can be a chance for kids to explore their senses as they explore the great outdoors. They can touch the blades of grass and the bark of a tree. Smell flowers or fresh, ripe peaches. Taste watermelon (and feel the juice dripping down your cheeks) and sun-steeped tea. Listen to common summer sounds, like a bird’s song or a neighbor mowing the lawn. Certainly, summer has the most amazing things to look at! Watch for rabbits and squirrels in the yard or park, and take note of all the new summer flowers. Use products like these vented Sensory Tubes to secure and observe small creatures, like ladybugs or fireflies, or aromatic flower buds and grass clippings.
Encourage hands-on learning
Gardening is a great way for kids to engage in hands-on learning. For example, ask them to help plant flowers. As they dig in the dirt, they might find worms. Use this as a chance to teach about nature. Worms are a sign of good soil. They add nutrients to the soil and create channels through which air and water feed the roots of plants. Even when the gardening is done, you can keep the fun (and learning) going with toys like Let’s Tackle Math, with tons of bugs, worms, and frogs!
Write stories together
If you go to the zoo or park, ask kids to write about it when they come home. This provides a keepsake of summer activities and helps with memory and recall — not to mention organizing thoughts in sequential order. Products like the Make a Story Writing Journals are perfect because they include idea starters and space for kids to draw pictures.
Play matching games
Every trip outside can be a chance to learn about the world. Shapes, for instance, are everywhere. Your birdhouse might be a hexagon. The shape of a sunflower is a circle. Challenge your kids to seek out and find other shapes… or draw a shape and see if they can find something outside that matches it.
Try matching other things too. Here’s an idea—pair the Big View Bug Jar with Jumbo Insects. Gather friends or siblings to play with the Jumbo Insects and identify what each bug looks like. Now, using the Bug Jars, try to catch and match a real bug. Study the bug. What Jumbo Insect does it resemble? Is it the same type of insect? Ask kids to describe the similarities and differences.
Don’t forget, just because kids are on summer break doesn’t mean that their mental and physical development has to take a vacation. By making learning part of their play, you can give them an early start developing the skills and knowledge that will help them succeed next school year… and for years to come!
About Learning Resources
By unleashing their imaginations, children learn problem solving and practice real–life skills, helping them grow up to be creative thinkers. At Learning Resources® our mission is to provide high-quality and innovative products that provide fun and engaging learning opportunities for children as they explore, discover their world and develop their creative side. Our award–winning educational toys, learning toys, discovery toys, and teaching tools are designed by educators and have been beloved by teachers, parents and children for over 30 years.
Give the little learners in your life more than a toy. Learning Resources toys are designed to foster the development of key skills for children of all ages. Our extensive selection of learning toys & games is perfect for promoting hand–eye coordination, early numeracy skills, letter recognition, critical thinking and imaginative play.
Learning Resources is an international company headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL.
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