Summer Learning and Fun: How to Keep Your Kids Engaged All Season Long - Blog - PLASP
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Summer Learning and Fun: How to Keep Your Kids Engaged All Season Long

Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but it's also a time to keep nourishing the learning momentum they've built up during the school year! Fortunately, the possibilities are endless, from outdoor activities to educational games, to keep your children engaged with learning while having fun at the same time.

Tips for Parents to Keep Kids Engaged

  • Set goals: Encourage your child to set goals for the summer. This can be anything from learning a new skill to reading a certain number of books. Once your child has met their goal, or if they did not meet their goal, take time to reflect on the process they went through and what they learned from it.
  • Create a routine: Establish a daily routine that includes time for learning, outdoor activities, and relaxation. A consistent, yet flexible, routine supports children’s sense of well-being.
  • Involve the whole family: Make learning a family affair by involving everyone in activities and challenges.
  • Encourage curiosity: Encourage your child to ask questions and explore their interests.
  • Keep it fun: Remember that summer learning should be fun and engaging. Incorporate games, crafts, and other activities to keep it interesting.

Here are a few ways to keep your kids engaged this summer:

Three rows of hula hoops with X's and O's in the middle of some of them
Flying Tic Tac Toe

Materials:

  • 9 Hula Hoops
  • 10 Paper Plates
  • Tape
  • Markers/Paint.

Directions:

  1. Paint or colour your paper plates, half X’s and half O’s.
  2. Set up your landing pad with 9 hula hoops, 3 in a row and tape the hula hoops together where they touch (as seen in the picture).
  3. Players will stand at a distance, taking turns throwing their paper plates toward the landing pad. The first player to land 3 plates in a row will take the first turn in the next round.
  4. Tip: You may use a soft ball or heavy ball to use as your throwing item. You may also make this more challenging by asking children to stand further away from the board.

Two boys sit at a table and roll objects into plastic cups taped to the end of the table
Aim and Roll
Materials:

  • A Tabletop
  • Plastic Drinking Cups (4 - 6 cups),
  • Tape
  • Balls in a variety of sizes

Directions:

  1. Tape cups to the side of a table.
  2. Have children roll balls (or other items) into the cups.
  3. Engage with them in experimentation and strategies in how they can get their materials into the cup!
  4. Tip: Use balls and cups in a variety of shapes and sizes if possible. You can extend this activity by adding obstacles, slides and different materials to roll, such as toy cars. This is a great activity to implement indoors on days you have inclement weather.

A picture of two bracelets - one wrapped in pink material and one wrapped in black material - both have a sparkly decoration on the top
Water Bottle Bracelets
Materials:

  • Water Bottles
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun and Glue or Needles and Thread
  • Old T-shirts
  • Craft supplies: Felt, Fabric, Ribbon, Tape
  • Loose Parts such as Glitter, Glitter Glue, Gems, Sequins, Wooden Beads, Feathers, Tissue Paper, etc.

Directions:

  1. Cut your water bottle into sections of circles. This will be the base of your bracelet.
  2. Cut a T-shirt into strips, glue or sew one fabric strip to one water bottle strip and wrap until the strip is fully covered.
  3. Adult only: Glue the fabric ends with a glue gun.
  4. Now children can begin to decorate their bracelet.

A picture of one owl origami bookmark and one rabbit origami bookmark side by side
Origami Bookmarks
Materials:

  • Square Paper
  • Glitter, Stickers, or Gems
  • Markers
  • Googly Eyes

Directions:

  1. Place a square piece of paper in front of you so it looks like a diamond.
  2. Bring the bottom corner that’s closest to you up onto the top corner, folding the paper in half. Crease the fold firmly.
  3. Fold the sides up to the top to make a small diamond, then unfold them.
  4. Fold the top layer of the top corner down to meet the bottom edge. Crease the fold firmly.
  5. Tuck the left and right corners under the folded-down flap.
  6. Now children can begin decorating their bookmark however they like. Encourage children to be creative by offering them choices of loose parts.
  7. Tip: Once the bookmark is complete, cover it with clear tape to make it sturdy.

A young boy stands on his driveway in front of his brightly coloured mosaic art
Outdoor Mosaic

Materials:

  • Masking Tape/Painter’s Tape
  • Sidewalk Chalk

Directions:

  1. Start off by creating a border using tape. Ask children to help secure the tape to the asphalt by pressing it down.
  2. Then with more tape, tape off sections within the border until you have the desired number of segments for your mosaic.
  3. Next, encourage children to colour the exposed segments using sidewalk chalk.
  4. Children can peel the tape off when they are ready to view their artwork.
  5. Tip: You may extend this creative mosaic activity to the indoors by using paper, tape and pain

Additional ideas and resources you may find helpful:

  • Take Your Child on a Nature walk. One of the simplest things you can do is take your child on a nature walk. This can be done in your own backyard, a local park, or a nature reserve. Encourage your child to observe their surroundings and ask questions. You can also bring along a field guide to help identify plants, animals, and insects. Here are some resources to support your outdoor explorations.
  • Get Gardening. Planting a vegetable garden or flower bed can teach children about the lifecycle of plants and the importance of taking care of the environment. It's also a great opportunity for them to get their hands dirty and learn about healthy eating habits.
  • Build a Birdhouse. This can teach children about woodworking, measurement, and the importance of providing shelter for wildlife. Another fun project is creating a solar-powered oven. This can teach children about renewable energy and the science behind how heat is generated.
  • Traveling and Learning Opportunities. Summer is a great time to travel and explore new places. Whether it's a road trip or a plane ride, traveling can provide children with new experiences and opportunities to learn. For example, visiting a national park can teach children about geography, geology, and environmental conservation. Visiting a museum can expose children to art, history, and science. Even a simple trip to a different city can teach children about different cultures and ways of life.
  • Summer Reading Programs. Many libraries and bookstores offer summer reading programs that encourage children to read during the summer months. These programs often come with incentives, such as prizes or free books. They can also provide a sense of community by allowing children to discuss the books they've read with peers. You’re invited! Get whisked away to the magical world of storytelling each Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. for Open Air Storytime, hosted by the Mississauga Library, at Celebration Square in Mississauga.
  • Check out this PLASP EarlyON Summer Fun List chocked full of family friendly spots that will ensure you have an active and fun summer.

What’s your go-to summer activity? Share in the comment section below!

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