Written by Paige DeLozier
Little brains never stop wanting to explore and grow, and summertime is a wonderful time to nurture that curiosity, but how do we do that? TalkingPoints is here to share some ideas to foster summer learning that kids will enjoy using easy-to-find items!
TP Tip for Teachers: Send this post to your families for engaging learning ideas they can do while they’re on summer vacation.
What would summertime be without some long walks outside? Whether a child lives in a suburban neighborhood or an apartment complex with little grassy space, a nature walk is still a possibility and it’s totally free. With permission from their grown-up, and proper supervision, a walk outside can spark any child’s imagination and curiosity.
These mini-activities can make any outside time a little more interactive and engaging:
- Challenge your child to find as many different shapes and colors they can within walking distance. Can they draw them or write them down? Who can find the most?
- What are all the types of animals? Birds, fish, amphibians, mammals, insects, and reptiles. Do you see any of these nearby? What are they? Can you draw them?
- Let your child choose a peaceful spot outside. Sit or stand and take deep breaths of fresh air and do some simple stretches, enjoying the simplicity of being outside in the open. Discuss the healing quality of nature.
TP Tip for Families: Allow your child to draft a message in TalkingPoints to their teacher to share what they discovered on their nature walk. They’ll enjoy making this connection between home and school!
Chalk it Up
Children are incredibly tactile and creative beings and a great activity that nourishes both of those needs is chalk art! Chalk is a very affordable art supply that can be bought at any store and will supply hours of fun for the kids.
Unstructured drawing and play time can be just as important to a child’s development as planned learning, so feel free to let your child go wild with the colors!
When you want to add some educational elements to the chalk play, though, here are some fun ideas to try:
- What’s the longest word you can write in chalk? Can you write it in each color of the rainbow?
- Draw a new animal made of only circles, triangles, and squares. Give it a name and decide where it lives, what it eats, and what it can do.
- Trace each other’s bodies in chalk and then write adjectives to describe each other inside the bodies. Make each other feel good with the words you write. For example, you could write beautiful, friendly, forgiving, grateful, awesome, strong, or talented. Get creative with your words!
TP Tip for Families: Send a photo of your chalk activity to your child’s teacher in TalkingPoints to show them what you’ve been up to this summer!
Pen Pal Periodical
Writing a little bit every day is a great way to keep a child’s mind active over a break from school. To make writing a fun activity, find someone they would be interested in writing letters to and have them become pen pals.
There are a couple of ways to make this work depending on your specific situation.
- If you’re able to send letters in the mail, you can choose the old school method of taking pencil to paper and mailing it off.
- If you’re unable to get to the post office or stamps aren’t readily available, try finding a pen pal who would be checking their email regularly to write back and forth with your young one. This is a great way to freely practice the 21st century skill of typing.
- If neither mailing nor regular access to reliable internet are options, you can have your child write their letters in a journal—a sort of “Pen Pal Periodical”—so that when they see their pen pal, they can share their collection of letters with them personally.
TP Tip for Families: Ask your child’s teacher in TalkingPoints if they have other suggestions for summer writing prompts. They likely have a stash of great ideas hidden away!
Sun & Water Murals
Playing in the sun and splashing in the water are summertime staples so these next activities are fun in the sun essentials!
- Find objects in and outside of your home that have interesting shapes (leaves, fruits, small toys) and place them on construction paper out in the sun. Leave them there for at least six hours. After the sun goes down, the light from the sun should have lightened the paper that was exposed to the sunlight, keeping the paper under the items darker. You’ll have shadow images on your paper!
- Have your child lay in still poses of their choosing on dry pavement (driveway or sidewalk) and spray on and around them with the water hose. They can add props and costumes if they want to get fancy with it. When they stand up, there will be a dry spot in the shape of their pose (and they’ll be nice and cool)!
TP Tip for Families: Have your child come up with a story about the poses they’ve created, or the shapes they’ve uncovered, and take a video of them telling their story. You can send this video in a TalkingPoints message to their teacher.
Kids can have fun and learn all summer long with whatever they have at their disposal. What activities do you enjoy doing with your children over the break? Let us know on Twitter by tagging us @TalkingPointsEd.
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