Keeping Your Little Ones Engaged and Learning Throughout the Summer
July 5, 2022
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and Snow-Redfern Board Member, Jenny Lanik, is not only an early childhood Special Education Teacher, she is a busy mom with lots of love and experience. Jenny shares her early childhood expertise with parents on how to keep little ones engaged this summer!
Keep Your Litte Ones Engaged
Learning doesn’t stop when the final bell rings signaling it’s summertime. Summer can actually be an enriching time to build background knowledge through experiences and refresh skills that were acquired during the school year. Parents can use everyday experiences to continue learning.
Visit the Grocery Store
Going to the grocery store has so many possibilities for learning. When walking down the produce aisle, you can categorize fruits and vegetables. Play “I Spy” with the store items which will promote the use of descriptive language. See if your child can recognize any letters on the cereal boxes or words using environmental print. These activities can also be a distraction when it comes to your child “needing” many unwanted items at the store.
Blowing bubbles is a fun summer sensory activity. Parents can help children make their own bubble solution allowing for some science discovery within the process. Once the bubbles are ready to be blown, have your child count how many bubbles they can pop. Parents can turn the activity into a language/math experience by encouraging them to pop all the big bubbles first, medium ones next, and small ones last.
Catch a Sunset
Catch a sunset while on a bike ride or walk by engaging your child’s gross motor skills and mind. Look at the colors in the sunset and see if they can identify them. This would also be a good opportunity to invoke some higher level thinking by asking, “Why do you think the sunset is that color?” or “Do you think the sun sets in the same place each night?”
Opportunities to Think Critically
As a parent you aren’t necessarily looking for a perfectly correct answer, but you are giving them the opportunity to think critically. Read, read, read, and read some more! Local libraries usually have a summer reading program, so join one. Children who are read to have a better vocabulary, easier time learning to read, and develop a greater love of reading compared to those who aren’t read to.
Finally, summertime is supposed to be FUN. Don’t forget to enjoy and have fun with your child. Children are only in your home for eighteen summers and they sure go fast so make the most of them.