The six week holiday is a welcome break for children and a great opportunity to inspire rich learning experiences! Learning doesn’t have to be done sitting at a desk and it can take many surprising forms, from visiting museums and reading books to exploring nature and baking cakes! Parents play a vital role in incorporating learning over the summer holidays and building on existing skills ready for the new term in September.
Here are 10 easy ways to inspire learning and keep childrens' brains engaged this summer:
- Bring reading to life
Set aside time each day to sit together with your children in a quiet place to read. Bring the stories to life by asking open-ended questions about the characters at the end of each page or chapter. Extend the learning with other activities such as drawing or writing about their favourite stories! At the end of term ask your child’s teacher for a recommended reading list so that you can make sure they are reading at the right level.
- Curiosity Journal
Children are naturally inquisitive about the world around them so create a curiosity journal for them to write down all of their questions! From the translation of foreign words to the reason why Zebras have stripes, set time aside at the end of each day to find answers to each question at Edugasm.
- Maths is everywhere!
Maths is all around us, from buying sweets in a shop to baking cakes. Create links between maths and the real world by emphasising mathematical concepts in everyday activities.
- Keep them writing
Writing is an essential skill to keep practising over the summer holidays. Just holding a pen or pencil helps to keep hand muscles strong. If your child is an avid writer, search for summer writing competitions to give them a goal to strive towards. Writing letters or postcards to a pen-pal or friend is a good way to practise writing and reflect upon the activities you have been doing. Extend creative story writing by introducing craft activities to make the characters or setting.
- Game-like structure
Help to retain some structure over the holidays by creating a learning schedule. This can take the form of a game with different levels so that when your child moves up a level they will achieve a sense of accomplishment and pride. Stickers and reward charts are a great incentive to keep them engaged and focused.
- Explore nature
The natural world inspires creativity and provides endless opportunities for active play. Transform a walk into a nature trail by magnifying specimens and identifying plants and trees. Collect flowers and press them at home to explore the finer details. Explore the night sky with a telescope and search for stars and galaxies! During and after experiences like these, encourage discussion and use of descriptive language to help build on your child’s speech and language skills.
- Try new things
Ask your child if they would like to start a new hobby or visit somewhere new. Exploring new places and meeting new people is a great way to build confidence and practise importance social skills. Look out for summer clubs in your area and keep in mind that bloggers can be a great source of information for easy activities to try at home.
- Get active
Exercise and sport has immediate benefits for children including a healthy lifestyle, improved social skills, muscle control and coordination. Encouraging active play throughout the day will help to boost their concentration and attention on other activities such as reading and writing.
- Find free resources
There are lots of free resources out there if you know where to look! Ask your child’s teacher if they have any activity sheets you could take to work on over the summer. Blogs and Pinterest are a great source of free information and activities. Take a trip to your local library to borrow books and printed materials, they may even be running a summer reading competition!
- Get a head start
Speak with your child’s teacher to find out what they will be learning in the next school year. This will give you the opportunity to work on those areas at home or plan trips that are linked to them. If they will be doing a topic on dinosaurs, you could plan a trip to the Natural History Museum or if they will be learning about animals you could plan a trip to a local farm park. This will give your child a head start and familiarise them with new topics!