The summer holidays are almost here, meaning for six weeks there’s going to be a lot of of spare time to fill. Often kids spend their break bored and use free time to watch TV and play video games, rather than exploring new hobbies and learning new skills. It’s important that learning continues throughout the summer break to ensure they progress academically rather than be affected by summer learning loss. Here’s some fun and easy ways to incorporate learning into your summer holidays.
Why is Learning Over Summer So Important?
If children don’t keep up with their learning throughout the summer holidays it’s easy for them to fall behind. In fact, during the school holidays your child could lose several months of development. According to the Institute for Public Policy and Research, ‘a long summer break is an impediment to children's learning. Studies carried out in the US and the UK show what should be intuitively obvious: with a long break from studying maths and English, children's abilities take a dive over the summer in both areas.’
Activities at Home
Reading is one of the most beneficial and enjoyable activities for kids to do over the summer holidays - even better it can be done in the comfort of your own home. Not only is it a fantastic activity to engross your child’s attention but combats summer learning loss and engages their imagination. The key is to get your kids excited about it. Encourage them to choose books they want to read - perhaps visit your local library or bookshop to get inspired. It’s also a great idea to take part in the Tutor Doctor Summer Reading Challenge as this can entice kids to read as much as possible. Find out more here.
Play Board Games
Playing board games as a family is a great way to help maintain your child’s learning and have fun at the same time. All you need is a deck of cards or some traditional board games such as Monopoly or Yahtzee for kids to practice counting skills, whereas Scrabble and Hangman are a fun way for them to work on their spelling. It’s also a wonderful way to spend time together as a family!
If your kids enjoy being creative, spend a rainy afternoon during the holidays painting, drawing, inventing or building something. Creative art has been found to assist in children’s learning as well as benefit their health and well-being.
Spend Time in the Kitchen
Encourage your kids to spend time with you in the kitchen this summer, as it’s the perfect opportunity for them to learn a whole host of different skills. Following and reading recipes, measuring out ingredients and understanding ‘how’ to cook, uses maths and science skills, whereas practicing kitchen safety, such as holding knives and operating the oven safely builds up invaluable life-skills.
Take Education Trips
It’s a great idea to plan an educational family day-trip during the summer holidays. Visiting a museum, zoo, or aquarium means your kids are having fun and actively learning all at the same time. You could even set them tasks to do while you’re there to make the experience even more beneficial.
Simply taking a walk with your kids gives you plenty of opportunities to make it educational. Take the time to teach your child about nature as well as play games together that involve keeping scores or counting. This could be ‘count how many animals you spot’ or for younger kids ‘find the shape.’ Even a game of ‘I Spy’ engages the brain. Most importantly, a walk will keep your kids’ minds and bodies active and stop them from saying “I’m bored.”
Start a Garden
Growing a vegetable garden from scratch will be sure to keep kids busy throughout the holidays. It’s also a great way to incorporate learning, as they’ll need to understand nature and the science behind growing plants. Give them the responsibility to water them regularly and encourage them to take photos of their progress so they can look back at the end of the summer to see how far it’s grown.