Worried about what your child will do every day this summer? Having your kid on school break doesn’t mean his learning experiences have to be on hold, too. If he is not enrolled in a summer program, there are many other ways to make sure your child is still learning while enjoying his break. Create a great summer routine with these suggestions for every day of the week.
Math Magic Monday
Depending on your child’s age, arrange activities such as shape sorting, a puzzle scavenger hunt, and worksheets with connect-the-dots or for writing numbers and letters. For younger kids, have them collect and group together a number of shapes hidden all around the house. Give them clues as to where they can find items such as a circular alarm clock, a rectangular placemat, or a triangular hanger. Older kids can go on a scavenger hunt for the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Give them hints to help them develop their problem-solving skills. End a fun afternoon by completing the puzzle together.
Develop your kids’ motor skills through fun music and movement activities. You can post pictures of different exercise poses for your kids to copy. Younger kids will also love following the moves in Elmo’s Exercise or Hi-5, while older kids will enjoy dancing to the Just Dance video game on the Wii. There are also loads of exercise and dance videos for kids available online.
We Love Wednesday
Learning is not just limited to academics. Studies show that well-rounded, capable, and happy children are those who are in touch with their emotions and know how to handle their frustrations. Stories that focus on emotions, such as local Hiyas children’s books like Arthur’s Angry! and Gaya’s Gift are good conversation starters for how your kids can process different feelings. As a follow-up activity, older kids can also draw “emoticons” next to the storybook pictures, like a trash-polluted river or a puppy playing with a child, to express how they feel.
Feed your child’s imagination by setting aside a day for imagination and art. Tinkering with different materials such as paint, beads, sequins, colored paper or cloth, and glue is a great way to ignite his creativity. He can make puppets, decorate cardboard masks, paint wings made from old boxes, make a fort out of pillows and blankets, or turn common household items into costumes of his favorite mystical characters such as princesses, superheroes, dragons, and wizards. Ask him also to come up with his own unique creatures and stories!
Photo from Pixabay
One way to boost your child’s confidence is to let him do simple tasks at home. Having the ability to do something independently and successfully is a surefire way to get your child to trust and believe in himself. Let him set up the dining table on his own or help prepare his own snacks. For younger kids, allow them to whip up their favorite drink such as fresh orange juice or chocolate milk. This involves skills for measuring, counting scoops, pouring, and stirring. Older kids can help prep meals by following simple recipes such as PB&J sandwiches or pancakes. Other practical tasks, such as sorting or folding the laundry, watering the plants, and grooming your pet, also encourage responsibility while enhancing self-help skills and self-confidence.
The weekend is a great time to enrich your child’s outdoor exposure while bonding with the whole family. For pocket-friendly trips, take your child to common places around the neighborhood such as the supermarket, a dentist‘s clinic, or a salon to discuss the different kinds of community helpers and to add more words to his growing vocabulary. For a more special experience, bring the whole family out for an adventure in educational yet fun places such as the Sta. Elena Fun Farm in Laguna, the Art in Island in Cubao, Quezon City, and Kidzania at Bonifacio Global City.
Spend Sundays focusing on values education. Let the kids participate in your place of worship and explain the importance of attending service. At home, read a children’s book that talks about kindness. Then, discuss the story and ask them how they can act out the particular virtue in their own lives (e.g., by sharing their favorite toy, giving handmade cards to relatives, or donating to the less fortunate). You can also tackle cultural awareness by teaching Filipino values such as saying “po” and “opo” or practicing pagmamano during Sunday reunions with the grandparents.
This article originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Smart Parenting magazine. *Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors.