Summer is Here: How to Help Kids Develop More

By Catsup and Mustard
child playing with a kite

Parents can rely on teachers to ensure that their children receive formal learning and development progress during academic school days. Studies show that students with access to year-round learning opportunities make incredible academic strides. However, when summer break comes around, parents are often left wondering how they can help their children retain what they learned and maybe even improve upon it.

Children should always keep developing, and the responsibilities fall into the hands of parents during summer. Preparing yourself for the duty for the multiple months when school is not in session will be necessary. There are many ways to ensure your children continue learning while having the time of their lives during summertime. Here are a few to pursue.

Installing Outdoor Amenities

The school playground can be an excellent place for students to explore and play during the summer. However, sometimes it can be too hot or crowded for comfort. If you have the means, consider installing some outdoor amenities in your backyard that will encourage your kids to spend time outside while also providing opportunities for learning and development.

A trampoline can get kids exercising while also teaching them about physics. A sandbox can promote creativity, social skills, and gross motor skills development. And a simple sprinkler can turn water play into a science lesson by exploring how water pressure works.

Outdoor amenities can be flexible, catering to both adults and children. The swimming pool can become a great place to spend family time while also getting some exercise. An outdoor kitchen can help the entire family eat healthier while spending more time together.

Limit Screen Time

It’s no secret that too much screen time can be detrimental to children’s health, both physically and mentally. In addition to the physical effects of sitting in front of a screen for extended periods, such as poor posture and eye strain, kids can also suffer from anxiety, depression, and poor sleep habits when they spend too much time on their devices.

Please make a point to limit your child’s screen time this summer, and encourage them to find other ways to occupy their time. There are plenty of screen-free activities that kids can do to stay active and engaged, such as reading, playing outside, crafting, and more.

You can also use screen time as an opportunity to bond with your child and model healthy habits. Instead of plopping them in front of the TV, sit with them and watch a movie together. Or play a video game together and discuss how to handle competition healthily.

Enroll Kids in Summer Programs

Summer programs are a great way to keep kids engaged and to learn while school is out of session. All Kids’ summer programs are available, from sports camps to academic enrichment courses.

Kids during a swimming camp

Sports camps can help kids stay active while teaching essential life lessons like teamwork and perseverance. Academic enrichment courses can help prevent the “summer slide” by keeping kids’ minds sharp and helping them retain what they learned during the school year.

There are also plenty of arts and crafts-based summer programs available that can help kids tap into their creativity. These programs can also promote social skills development, as kids will work together on projects and collaborate.

Plan Family Vacations With Learning in Mind

Family vacations are a great way to bond with your kids and create lasting memories. But they can also be a learning opportunity.

When planning your next family vacation, look for destinations offering kids educational opportunities. Many museums and historical sites provide programs specifically designed for kids, making the experience more enjoyable and meaningful for everyone involved.

You can also incorporate learning into more traditional vacation activities, such as sightseeing. Ask your kids to help you research the places you’ll be visiting, so they can learn more about them ahead of time. And while you’re on vacation, take the opportunity to point out interesting landmarks and teach your kids a little about their history.

Start a Summer Reading Challenge

One of the best ways to prevent the summer slide is to encourage kids to read throughout the summer. But getting kids to pick up a book can be a challenge, mainly when so many other activities compete for their attention.

One way to make reading more appealing is to start a summer reading challenge. Set a goal for how many books everyone in the family will read over the summer, and keep track of everyone’s progress on a chart or bulletin board. Make it fun by offering prizes for reaching certain milestones, such as an ice cream party for finishing ten books.

You can also make reading more interactive by starting a book club with your kids and their friends. Once a week, get together to discuss the book everyone’s been reading and do related activities, such as acting out scenes or creating art projects inspired by the story.

Final Thoughts

Summer is a great time for kids to relax and have fun, but it’s also an opportunity to grow and learn. By incorporating some of these tips into your summer plans, you can help your kids make the most of their time off from school.

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