Say No to the Summertime Slump!
By mid-June, most kids are out of school and ready to spend the next few months enjoying carefree fun away from desks, homework, tests, and assignments. The summer is a welcomed respite from the confines of the classroom, but also requires dedication and creativity to keep children engaged and stimulated. The childcare providers at Seaside Staffing Company are selected in part for showing initiative and dedication to planning consistent, exciting programming. This is crucial for keeping kids cognitively stimulated and prepared for the upcoming academic year, all through fun summertime activities. Here is a list of active learning activities banish the summertime slump through factual knowledge base enhancement and cognitive skill-building.
This is one of my all time favorite projects, as it is just as much fun for nannies as it is for kids. Start by first picking out a place anywhere in the world. Use a map or a globe and work together with your kids to find somewhere you all want to “travel to” for a week. Once you have found your country, city, state, continent, whatever—it is now time to do some investigating! Depending on the age of your kids, create somewhat of a lesson plan/itinerary combo that will guide you through a week in your chosen destination.
Start the week by setting up some chairs in the play room just like an airplane. Give your kiddos personalized plane tickets and pretend to accept them as they take their seat on the flight. Have fun with the plane ride! Pretend to be a pilot, hand out snacks like a flight attendant, and keep the kiddos up to date on elevation, weather, and time.
When you land, it is time to start your trip! Say, for example, you and your kids chose Greece as your destination, you will orchestrate a week’s worth of crafts, activities, games, and meals that teach your kids all about the Greece’s culture, history, and geography. You can even time travel! Use sheets and construction paper to make togas and laurel leaves. Serve pita bread and hummus, host an action figure or doll Olympics, and learn the Greek alphabet. Be creative—this is an awesome opportunity to teach, learn, and have fun.
- Museum Scavenger Hunts
On your day off, head over to a museum you know your kids will enjoy. Peek around the exhibits and take notes on the features, fixtures, infographics, and details you find interesting. Take notes, write ideas down, and consider items you feel would spark your children’s interest.
When you get home, create a list of items that your children will search for when you all head to the museum. The level of detail and challenge should fit the age range of your kids. You may have to make different scavenger hunts for children of different ages. Also consider the location and visibility of your kids. Depending on the supervision requirements of your kids, make sure that your hunt allows for appropriate child monitoring.
Suggestions for hunt items include: answers to questions that can only be found by reading the signs below different features, signatures from museum staff, fun facts about certain features, etc.
- Investigative Nature Walks
Pick a trail near you. Do some research about the ecology of the geographic region. Find a book detailing the locale’s flora and fauna. Learn about the local animal species, food chains, and ecosystems. Bring a notebook for each of you to sketch, jot down notes, and trace different items you find along your walk.
- Long-Term Craft Projects
Consider an age-appropriate but somewhat daunting and relatively time-consuming project that your child would feel very proud of completing. Does your kid need to work on his fine motor skills? Try a stitching project or lanyards. Knitting and crocheting are awesome too! What about the child who is always building pillow forts? Build and paint a bookshelf! What about your ultra-competitive, gamer child? Work on developing and hand-making her very own board game out of a pizza box.