WEYBURN - Summer vacation is just around the corner, and it can be a time of building memories with your family. There are also opportunities for summer camps, sports and art programs, and learning activities for young children who won’t have their normal school-time education. It is important that our youth are kept engaged in some type of learning over the summer, while also finding time for fun and games.
There are many studies that state the importance of preventing summer learning loss for young children. Our community has many expanded learning opportunities that will keep our youth learning. The key focus to help our youth engage in learning through discovery, creative expression, and group work.
However, the chance to unwind and have fun during summer vacation should not be totally avoided. There are many straightforward tactics to keep our youth learning, while letting them make precious memories of having fun with their friends and families.
One of the best ways to keep a child’s mind active during the summer is to encourage reading. Many libraries will offer a summer reading program, and even include contests, or fun ways to keep the child engaged with the reading material. It is important to try to encourage your child to read at least 30 minutes daily. The best way to do this is by modeling, and making reading time part of family time.
Reading can be an enjoyable method to spend time on a lazy summer afternoon, and the nice thing about most books is that they are very portable.
Another way to keep young minds active and engaged is to play puzzles, card games and board games. I will always remember the fun multi-generation card game tournaments we played at our cabin. The nice thing is that it is a fun way to keep critical reasoning abilities sharp. Also, playing these puzzles and games can promote communication skills and build teamwork.
A really fun way to sneak in some learning is to create a scavenger search. This fun activity can be an entertaining and engaging way to get your child moving, while also keeping them mentally occupied. If you include locations in their neighbourhood, it might also help them learn about their own community.
The best part of summer time is that the weather is nice enough to explore the great outdoors. It is also important to remember sunscreen and mosquito spay, and if you are planning a long hike, include water bottles and energizing snacks. Outdoor recreation fosters your child’s curiosity and creativity by encouraging them to notice and engage with their surroundings. They might even spot some wildlife.
Summer time might also be a time to introduce your child to volunteer opportunities that fit their hobbies, and where they can meet new people and widen their social network.
There are lots of ways to introduce building blocks that create a strong foundation for your child during the summer, and many community programs that promote summer learning.