Keep your child's brain engaged this summer!
Let's Keep Learning...
School is out for summer, but that doesn't mean we want learning stop for the summer. This flyer is a place to find ideas of ways you can keep your child curious, engaged, and learning throughout the summer. One of the best ways to keep your child challenged and busy over the summer is to encourage their natural curiosity. Pay attention to the questions they ask and the topics that seem to interest them and use those natural passions to get them reading, problem solving, and exploring.
Summer Learning Fun
- Read, Read, Read! Celebrate your child when they sit down and read. Make it a fun thing to do. You could stamp a chart every time you catch your child reading without being told to. Maybe they can earn a special treat for every 10 stamps they earn. Use this Bingo Board to get your child excited about reading. Have them keep a journal listing all of the books they read over the summer. Have them use one of the iPads apps listed below to create a book report, a summary, or an advertisement for a book that they have read. Choose a book that is above your child's reading level, and you read it to them. This gives you a chance to discuss some of the rich vocabulary authors use.
- Research! What is your child interested in? What gets them excited? What do they wonder about? Take time to help your child research the questions they have about the world. If they are into World War II, help them find books and websites to learn about the key people involved, why the war was being fought, perhaps the different perspectives of each leader. If they see a spider or bug outside take time to use the internet to find out about the unique characteristics of the insect/spider, where it lives, who its predators are, etc. If your child wonders how a car runs, you could help them investigate engines and the role gas plays in helping a car run. Perhaps have them look into new ways people are finding to run engines. Really encourage their WHY? and HOW? and WHAT? questions. Help them develop that curiosity. Again, have your child use one of the iPad apps to share their new knowledge.
- VOCABULARY! Another great way to keep your child learning is to help them pay attention to new and unknown words that they see and hear. You could have a Word Journal and your child. It could hold all of the new and interesting words they encounter over the summer. They could add the definition of the word, antonyms and synonyms, or even a cartoon showing the meaning of the word. You could also have a Word of the Day as a family. The zanier the word, the better. You could have a family challenge to see who used the word the most throughout the day. You just want to develop a love of words in your child.
- S.C.A.M.P.E.R! This acronym stands for SUBSTITUTE, COMBINE, ADAPT, MODIFY, PUT TO ANOTHER USE, ELIMINATE, REARRANGE. Have your child choose their favorite game and think about how they could change it using this technique. Perhaps they love Hopscotch. They could substitute letters for numbers, or maybe shapes. They could combine the rules from traditional hopscotch with some rules from UNO. You get the idea. They could do the same thing with a current invention like the telephone, the radio, or even a plain old chair. Click here for more information on SCAMPER.
- Engage Their Minds! This is a site created by a fellow Gifted and Talented teacher in our school district. It is full of websites, articles, games, etc to help teachers and parents keep students learning. She is good about updating it daily. Click here to go to the site.
- Problem Solving! Get your child involved in organic problem solving experiences. Cooking with mom or dad is a great way to get them measuring and dealing with fractions. If you need to double a recipe, all the better. Party Planning is another way to get your child problem solving. Tell your child that you are expecting 38 people for the party and are serving hamburgers. They sell the buns in packs of 8. Have him or her figure out how many packages of buns you need. If you are making quarter pound burgers, how many pounds of ground beef do you need. You can use this same concept for plates, cups, napkins, etc. This way you are making your child your helper (which they love) and are also sneaking in some authentic real-world problem solving skills.
- Game Night! I don't know about your kids, but mine love Family Game Night. This is a great way to connect as a family and to learn at the same time. There are some great games out there. Here are just a few suggestions: Uno, Blokus, Qwirkle, Mancala, Dizios, Square Up, etc. There are really great games being created. Mindware is a great site for other ideas.
- Museums and other Field Trips! Take your child to visit the awesome museums in San Antonio. Let them see what our great city has to offer. The Witte, The McNay, The San Antonio Musuem of Art are places that can really inspire kids to ask questions. Take them on a visit to the Toyota Plant to learn how their cars are built. Visit the zoo, but with a different mindset. Have them think about a question they have about each animal they see or have them compare two animals.
- Science Fun! Kids love science experiments and they naturally lead to some deep questions about the world and how it works. Click here to find some fun experiments to do with your kids. You might have your child start by making a hypothesis that they can test out. Have them compare their prediction to the results. Have your child take pictures throughout the experiment. They can use an app like Educreations or Piccollage to showcase the steps and results of their experiment.
Fun, Challenging Websites
iPad Apps for Creating and Playing
There are an abundance of great apps available. It is hard to choose which are worth downloading. Below are just a few of the apps that I have used with my students this year. I tend to focus on apps that encourage the kids to CREATE. While games are fun, my goal is to have my kids act as creators rather than just playing what someone else has created. Click here for a site with more comprehensive lists of great apps. I also suggest downloading Apps Gone Free. Each day they have a list of apps that are discounted. I have found some great buys by checking there each day.
I am a Gifted and Talented teacher of kindergarten-fifth grade students in San Antonio, Texas. This flyer was created for parents looking for ways to keep their children curious and engaged throughout the summer months.