Our partners at KinderCare think the care-free, sun-filled days of summer are a great time for everyone in your family to relax. But just because children aren’t in a classroom all day, doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to learn. In fact, building learning into your family’s everyday summer fun can help you make sure your child starts the new school year ready to learn. Read on for tips on how you can turn every day activities into learning moments this summer!
Here are some tips from KinderCare experts that will help parents combine learning and fun, no matter where your family’s summer adventures take you:
Heading to the beach or river? Read the tide chart together.
- Reading the tide chart gives your child a chance to practice recognizing numbers, time, and opposites, like morning and night, high and low, in and out.
- It’s ok if your child is too young to read – help them pick out different numbers!
- Mark your guesses for the high tide waterline in the sand.
Flying somewhere? Look for things that move while at the airport.
- More than just planes; look for people movers, baggage carousels, escalators, rolling suitcases – anything with wheels.
- Read the departures and arrivals board together to practice letter and number recognition.
- Find a screen with a map and talk about where that plane and its passengers are headed. What do you think the weather will be like? What do you think people will eat/see/do while they’re there?
Head to the library for new books.
- The Collaborative Summer Library Program found that children who visited the library were less likely to suffer summer learning loss.
- Your local library may have a summer reading program that can help provide ideas or motivation, or simply let kids loose in the stacks to find books that interest them.
- Take turns reading a chapter book with an older child or start a new series to read together.
Practice numbers at the ballpark.
- Over the summer, math skills often fall by the wayside, according to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
- Experts recommend getting creative to prevent math learning loss.
- Have your child count change for popcorn or the number of players on the field. Work on number recognition by asking your child to read the numbers on the back of the players’ uniforms.
Encourage scientific observation at the amusement park.
- Ask “how” and “what” questions to prompt your child to think, reason, and observe.
- What will the roller coaster do? How does the Ferris wheel move? These questions help children learn the same scientific thought process researchers use, plus they encourage children’s natural sense of curiosity!
- You can also sharpen your child’s scientific thoughts by inviting them to test their ideas (safely): Will the bumper car stop if we run into your brother’s car? Let’s try it!
Learn about states of matter while in the garden.
- Liquid, solid, gas: Water has so many properties and summer is a great time to talk about it, from an ice-filled glass of lemonade, to a run through the sprinkler, to the cumulous clouds in the sky.
- Invite your child to discover how liquid collects in puddles, falls in drops, runs in streams, and why wet bodies and towels dry in the sun.
Explore shapes at the park.
- Turn your regular trip to the park into a scavenger hunt for shapes.
- Look for trees shaped like triangles, find the circle in the tire swing, or trace the rectangle shape of a gate. Encourage your child to name the shapes as they see them.
Practice numbers, colors and letters while on a road trip.
- While you watch the scenery go by, look for numbers, colors, and letters.
- You could even make a few Bingo cards before hitting the road: Look for a specific colored object, or find specific letters or numbers on license plates, signs, and billboards.
For 50 years, KinderCare teachers have been creating safe, encouraging environments where kids can learn, grow and build confidence for life. At KinderCare, hardworking families are family—regardless of needs, backgrounds, and experiences.
Learn more about how you can prevent summer slide through fun, educational summer activities and programs in your area at KinderCare.com. KinderCare Learning Centers has a brand new center in Southaven! Visit the Southaven KinderCare on 4900 Getwell Rd., Southaven, MS or contact 833-90-LEARN to schedule a tour and meet the Center Director.