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Keep Learning Alive!

Jul 21, 2011 | By
Two months off for summer vacations sounds like a great idea to kids everywhere, but to teachers and most parents, two months off of school can mean lots of catchup come September.

To keep your kids brains active and engaged during the lazy summer months, it's important to keep learning fun and dare we say, sneaky. If they know they're participating in a learning activity, their interest in the activity will instantly dwindle!

For some tips and ideas all summer long, here's what we love:

Out and About

Nature Trail
(Image courtesy of I Love Memphis)

For the older kids, take them on a nature walk or hike with "learning games" built in along the trail. Write clues that require the kids to find different items along the trail (pine cones, trash to collect, rocks, bugs etc.) Have older children read them to younger children (or vice versa if young ones can read). Pack a blindfold and have one child find items for the blindfolded child to guess at just by touching/smelling.

To fit learning into everyday, already scheduled activities take the kids shopping with you. Let them practice reading and writing by making the grocery list and scanning the shelves for items. Have them hone in on their math skills by adding up the subtotal and figuring out how much change you will get.

Tennessee Aquarium
(Image courtesy of Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce)

Take at trip to a local zoo, aquarium, museum or historical site. Take time to participate in the scheduled events put on at each location. They are always filled with exciting trivia and games for your kids to participate in.

Around the House

Family Gardening
(Image courtesy of SheKnows)

Get outside and get physical in the yard. Have races and relays to get their heart rate up and pull out the gardening supplies to have them weed, plant and maintain a garden.

On a rainy day collect Popsicle sticks, toothpicks and marshmallows and challenge each child to build a building or bridge. Have a reward at the end for the child whose structure can hold the most weight.

Herd the family into the kitchen and get cooking. Teach fractions by baking cookies (using measuring cups and spoons) and sequence/memory retention by reciting and following a recipe step-by-step.

Board Games at Itty Bitty Bella
For the younger kids, get them laughing and learning while playing a game of dominoes or memory. Bright, colorful pictures and out-of-the-box designs will keep them engaged without ending up a bore. Think bugs, animals, cars, princess accessories etc.

What are your favorite summer activities to do with your kids?

- The Girls at Itty Bitty Bella