If you think about it, when children take their three-month break from school, they’re also taking a temporary break from their education. As mentioned on Summerlearning.org,
“Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.”
Over the course of the summer, kids tend to revert back to the same activity. As they engage in the same activity over and over again, they start to limit their world around them. School gives kids an opportunity to be introduced to new ideas and thoughts they may not otherwise have during the summer.
Besides sitting in class and having the chance to constantly learn something new, kids are also encouraged to engage in an entertaining source of physical activity, or as kids like to call it, “recess”. You’d think kids would be more physically active in during the summer; however, video games, television and other indoor activities often become a frequent distraction. To help your kids stay physically active and teach them new things, here’s a list of some fun, summertime activities:
· Going Green and Giving Back- Teach your kids a lesson in environmental-friendliness, while enjoying the great outdoors by planting a tree. Pick from pine, maple, birch, or even an apple tree. The possibilities are endless! Go online when buying trees to make the process even easier (but don’t forget to include the kids in the selection process).
· Backyard Waterpark– What better way to keep your kids physically active than by taking a dip in the pool? Instead of dropping a pretty penny for a summer vacation at an expensive waterpark, you and your kids can create an inexpensive one in your backyard! What you’ll need; an inflatable pool, a sprinkler, and a ‘Slip N’ Slide’. To maximize the fun, first set up the sprinkler, then the ‘Slip N’ Slide’, and finally the inflatable pool. Watch your kids jump through the sprinkler and slide to escape the heat, all while getting the exercise kids need.
· Plant a Picnic– Getting an early start and planting an edible garden will eventually produce a plentiful harvest for a picnic. Have your kids start planting the week they get out for summer vacation. As the summer comes to a close, you and your kids can spend the last few weeks of their summer vacation enjoying their hard work. As your picking and enjoying your “garden goodies”, teach them about gardening, eating healthy, and how the two complement each other.
· Camping Trip– Grab some tents, sleeping bags, and lounge chairs and set up your own camping grounds! Many fun, family camping activities are educationally-enriching and provide physical activity so entertaining your kids won’t even know it’s exercise! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
o Build a campfire to teaching your kids the importance of fire safety, while teaching them how to cook.
o Stargaze for a lesson in astronomy
o Take a hike to learn about different names of plants, animals, trees, and other interesting finds in the forest.
o Unleash your kid’s inner artist by creating art out of things they find from nature. A creative idea for ‘nature arts and crafts’ is to have your kids create their own “pinecone person”. For this project, you’ll need super glue, pinecones (for the body), twigs (for the arms and legs), and other treasures in nature to make the face.