Summer is a great opportunity for your little one to engage in some learning fun. We've compiled a list of 10 things you can do with your little one that promote exploration, critical thinking and fun.
These are not revolutionary ideas. In fact, you probably have many of these activities built into your summer already. Think of this as a "Summer to-do list", see if you can complete all 10 items. You can do each of these activities alone or incorporate our learning extensions. Remember, during each of these, the most important thing is that you communicate with your child, ask questions and have fun.
SUMMER LEARNING ACTIVITY CHECKLIST:
1. Visit a local zoo or aquarium
Learning Extension: After your visit, have your little one draw a picture of their favorite animal or sea creature. This is a great way to practice recall and get them talking about their experience.
2. Take a neighborhood walk
Learning Extension: Point and ask your little one things like: "Which way should we go left or right?" This will help them develop an understanding of direction.
3. Play hopscotch
Learning Extension: Try playing backwards. Kids get to practice counting from 10 to 1. Counting and jumping is always fun!
4. Bird watch at a local park
Learning Extension: Have your little one use a disposable camera to take pictures of the birds. Develop the photos and create a DIY scrapbook. Discuss the similarities and differences of the birds. (This is also a great activity to do at a local garden with flowers.)
5. Make a sundae or banana split
Learning Extension: This is a great opportunity to practice order (first, then, next, and last). Draw a quick diagram or print out a photo of a banana split or sundae. Have your little one use the diagram/photo to make the sundae or banana split themselves. (Yes, they will make a mess, but that's half the fun!)
6. Visit a local children's museum
Learning Extension: Preview the museum website with your little one. If they have an online map, have them identify the exhibits and attractions they want to visit. Once you arrive at the museum, have your little one use the map to navigate the plan you created at home. This is a great way to help your child begin to develop a sense of independence.
7. Read outdoors
Learning Extension: Make this a big deal! Most kids only read at school or at home. Reading outdoors will teach your little one that reading can happen anywhere. Bring snacks, music, kick off your shoes and even make a reading tent!
8. Draw pictures with sidewalk chalk
Learning Extension: This is one of my favorite activities because the possibilities are endless. Try writing the letters of the alphabet randomly on the ground. Then call out letters and have your little one jump to the letters you call out.
9. Play "I Spy" during a car ride
Learning Extension: Play "I Spy: Colors, numbers or shapes." This can help with the recognition skills you want your tiny one to develop. Say things like: "I spy something yellow" or "I spy a circle."
10. Collect seashells at the beach
Learning Extension: Have your little one sort the shells based on size, color or shape.
Let us know if you try any of these this summer! Have fun learning!