Summer break can be a fun diversion for your children. But if you’re not careful, they run the risk of “summer slide” — the learning loss that occurs when kids do not engage in educational activities for long periods. To keep kids mentally active, parents and caregivers must find ways to combat this phenomenon when school is not in session.
When you choose summer activities for your elementary-aged children, you’ll want to ensure that you engage the whole child, similar to the Montessori elementary school model. Read on to discover a few exciting ideas to keep children learning and experiencing all that life has to offer.
Volunteering helps children build citizenship skills as they learn the value of helping those in need. For example, young children might enjoy visiting older people to provide companionship.
Another idea might be beautifying an area of town by planting a garden — with permission, of course. Not only will this be pleasing to others, but it will also give children a sense of pride, ownership, and practical experience.
Be a Tourist in Your Own City
Whether you know your town like the back of your hand or you’re new to the area, your child likely doesn’t know their city’s cultural and historical implications. So spend time researching the most popular or famous parts of your town with your child. Then, visit those places and discuss how they fit into the rich history of the place you call home.
Start a Business
Helping your child start a small business for the summer can help them learn independence and leadership skills, as well as how to anticipate and serve the needs of others. Given their age, it shouldn’t be an overly complicated business model — the “business” could be something as simple as cleaning your house and holding a garage sale for items you no longer need.
If your child expresses interest in a certain craft, you could encourage them to create and sell that item. You could even be their first customer! Other children might be interested in learning a skill they can use to provide a service, such as pet sitting, car washing, or even tutoring younger students.
Learn a New Language
Learning a new language is easiest when you’re younger, and elementary school is a great time to start. You can start by asking your child about a place they are interested in traveling to, and then make it a point to learn all about that place — including the native language.
If there are restaurants in your town that serve the cuisine of that country, visit them. Then, learn native words and phrases to describe the meals you’ve shared, which will help them find meaning in the new language they’re learning.
Read a Book Series Together
Consider reading a book series with your child during the summer. You can head to the library, pick out a book series for the whole family, and make it a family event. Ask each other open-ended questions about the book at family meals, choosing one person to lead the discussion each evening.
Keeping Kids Busy Helps Them Continue Learning New Things
Avoiding the notorious “summer slide” doesn’t just help kids retain what they’ve learned — it also helps them build new skills by creating opportunities for inquiry, independence, citizenship, and multi-sensory learning.
To help your child build upon those skills during the school year, consider enrollment in The Montessori School of Flagstaff. We provide a rich curriculum, multi-age groupings, and a philosophy built on showing students how to connect their interests to the resources in the greater community. This way, our Montessori elementary school helps children grow, thrive, and discover the wonder of independent thinking and learning.