Hello summer, hello beach time, and hello holidays! Also hello children, and hello countless hours spent playing video games and watching TV – everyone’s favourite summer activities.
As a parent, you get a little bit relieved because they’re at least calm, but you cannot help feeling a bit nervous and wondering shouldn’t there be an activity to keep their minds occupied as well, not just their eyes glued to the screens.
Luckily, there are many things you can do to activate their little gray cells and have fun along the way. Below I include four activities that will sure keep them learning, while they have fun during the summer months.
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Activity #1: Cook with them
While you may hesitate to let your noisy children in the kitchen, both you and they will benefit from this little experiment.
Following a recipe means they have to measure the ingredients carefully, thus using basic math, and it also makes them stay focused, because using too much or not enough flour, salt, and sugar will result in catastrophe.
Also, they will be able to practice good timing and build self confidence after you praise them and tell them how helpful they’ve been.
Besides, letting them mix ingredients and play with dough will further develop their motor skills.
Actitivity #2: Learn practical life skills
Praised Montessori method encourages learning about the world through games and learning valuable life lessons and skills through song and role-play. Allow your children to become someone else through games and little plays you can direct, have them ‘go to the supermarket’ or pretend they are in school. You can also give them a chance to play with real items: hammering a nail may seem like a dangerous activity, but six and seven year old children will be perfectly capable to hammer a nail without hurting themselves, just make sure they wear a proper eye protection all the time.
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Activity #3: Organize a scavenger hunt
Children love exploring, and they have already explored your home, and a good portion of your backyard too. But what if you offer them a chance to become pirates or detectives? Organize a scavenger hunt outside and, if you wish, you can turn it into a friendly competition between siblings. You can draw or write what they should find: a round pebble, an oak leaf, a red berry, two yellow flowers, seven pine cones, a Y shaped twig… The list can go on and on, and in the evening they can tell you all about their adventure or even write a story and read it to you.
Activity #4: Save the egg
The problem with this activity is that it can get messy, but that is exactly what your kids will love: a chance to get messy with permission. The children pair up (or even better – team up, if they have friends over) and they must find the best way to “save” the egg which will be dropped from a certain height. They should build a nest, a parachute, or a capsule which will protect the egg from the fall or soften the landing. Allow them to get creative and build something on their own. This way, they will develop their problem-solving skills and learn to work with each other.
Getting your children to put down their tablets and step away from the TV can be challenging, since they have been looking forward to free time. Nevertheless, if you offer them something fun and a bit strange instead, they will not hesitate to leave home and engage in educational activities with their siblings, friends, and you.
As a mother of twin tweens in 2011 and an active Girl Scout Troop leader, Cristy realized there was a need to develop bilingual digital content and foster a community facing the challenges of raising kids after first grade. That year she founded and remains co-Publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, to support multicultural parents and mentors with content related to raising Gen Z- tweens & teens ages 7-18. Through the Los Tweens & Teens LIVE events such as Teens & Me – the growing team aims to provide our community with essential resources from chats with therapists to battle anxiety and bullying, to understanding social media and technology.