Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Open Discussion

4 ways to keep your child learning over summer vacation

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Long summer days are perfect for ice cream, long naps, and poolside fun, but that doesn’t mean your children have to stop learning. Summer vacation is always a challenge for parents to want to continue learning beyond the classroom. Here are some tips to help engage your child’s brain this summer vacation so they return to school prepared.

Vacation Fun:

Everyone, child, and parent alike, dreams of summer vacation and adventuring with their family. But besides catching some sun, you can also turn your family vacation into a learning experience. Planning your trip around educational and historical monuments is an excellent way to help expose your child to history and culture. Another fun way to sneak learning in is to visit filming locations of your kid’s favorite movies. Your kids will love visiting Ralphie’s house from A Christmas Story, or THE sandlot from the childhood classic Sandlot.

Designing Dinner:

What you feed your family creates the foundation for a healthy lifestyle, but mealtime can move beyond nutrition and feed your child’s brain as well. Cooking together as a family creates an incredible opportunity for younger children to experiment with different smells, textures, and tastes. Older children can benefit from the surprising amount of math and reading that comes from different recipes. Teaching fractions is much easier in the kitchen than on paper.

TV With Value:

Children are drawn to screens of all sizes. If you are within the vicinity of a screen, chances are your child is reaching for it or already staring at it. While it’s no secret that experts recommend limited screen-time, it’s unrealistic to avoid it all together. That means it is important to make sure the time they do spend watching is actually worth while and educational. Common Sense Media has compiled a list of the most educational programs for all ages, that way your family can continue learning even while watching TV.

Bringing in Books:

Many kids aren’t too happy about reading over summer break. While forcing them to sit down with a book may seem like an extension of homework, it doesn’t have to. The best way to promote reading is by finding out what your child is interested in and finding reading material that involves that subject. Don’t be afraid to look beyond traditional books for reading material. Don’t look over magazines, graphic novels, comic books, or even something fun and light like a joke book. Reading can be found everywhere! Audiobooks are also another great way to engage your children’s brain by increasing comprehension and exposing them to material above their reading level.

Being both a parent and teacher over summer break can be a daunting task, but these easy tips make it easier to keep your children engaged all season long. These activities will not only help your kids learn but also bring the family closer together along the way.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.