Summer is coming and for many families, the months of July and August represent the relaxation of the school routine and a little more time to have fun. Although the summer season is a holiday, as parents, we love that our minis continue to learn, develop and flourish throughout the year. Before going on, let us bear in mind that a child is naturally curious and enjoys learning. Generally, during the school year, learning do more formally at school. Summer is the time to explore, discover and learn while having fun! In this article, I propose you some small ideas that you could easily set up this summer to fuel the curiosity of your minis and cultivate their desire to learn. Beware! We're feeding the general culture!
It was a video posted by my accomplice Dominique on the Facebook page of Les Belles Combines that inspired me. Reading, writing and numeracy are very important skills that are worked at school and used by the child on a daily basis. However, general knowledge encompasses basic knowledge on a wide range of topics and allows for a broad understanding of the world. To help you, consider your child's interests as a starting point. For example, at home, I have great lovers of all that falls under the category "Nature and open air". Summer is the perfect time to explore! We can study the trees in our neighborhood by looking at their leaves. You can also set up a bird feeder and observe those who come to enjoy it. You can take a walk outside and pick up a few plants and then identify them (or make a DIY about nature). The herbarium is still very popular, it will never be outdated! Insects and butterflies can also be observed and identified. Children are often fond of small animals that swarm! For the older ones (if your children are interested in astronomy), stars and constellations are beautiful subjects to explore during the summer season. There are several books on the subject, otherwise the internet is a wonderful resource! The child can draw the constellations and find them in the sky. There is also the whole story behind each star or constellation that can be read before the dodo. The different phases of the Moon can also be very interesting. If you and your child are motivated and interested in DIY, the idea of building a solar system can also be very exciting. To go further on the cultural level, theatre is, in my opinion, a very interesting cultural tool. It makes a change to what children used to. It is an outing that takes them out of the routine and can arouse great interest. The same goes for the museum. This is a place where you don't think you can go straight with your minis and yet! Any resource at the level of culture and information! Recently, the website of LaClef.Tv published a list of museums that offer free exhibitions in Quebec. Here is the link : https://laclef.tv/musees-gratuits-quebec/
. If you don't know this platform, it's a great resource to discover! Finally, it is also interesting to have at home a map of the world or, even better, a terrestrial globe within reach of children. The globe is a more interesting option, in my opinion, from the point of view of the accuracy of the proportions, but also from the point of view of manipulation. My children are fascinated by this object. It allows the child to sit in space, but also to have visual support for several things from a geographical point of view. For example :
- During the organization of a trip, it can be interesting to show the destination on the map;
- During a story or film, you can find the place where the plot takes place;
- In the kitchen, although we like to eat local products, we also like to try new foods (especially fruits and vegetables). Occasionally, you could try a new food (from another country) and show your child where it comes from.
This object, although it may seem insignificant, allows a beautiful opening on the world. It is a wonderful learning tool! Awaken the pupsartists in them!
If your mini has an overflowing creativity, it's time to feed his curiosity and make him discover new mediums or techniques that he had not yet touched! It can be with watercolour, stamping or origami, but also knitting or weaving. These are methods that can take time to master, but we've got the whole summer ahead of us! What is pleasant about the summer period is that we have time and that we can work on something, leave and come back the next day. This way, the child does not get bored and can see a progression in his creations! Rainy days or mild mornings can be very productive and creative! Your child is manual, but he's not artistic? Don't worry! It can be put to work and presented with activities that will suit its interests. We discovered the book "sticks and pieces of string" by Benoit de Lalandre (Éditions Milan). In this book, the child learns to fly a kite, knots, a sundial, a mobile, etc.full of small lessons that our children can explore according to their rhythm and interests. Besides, it makes them play outside and tame nature! It's approved by my minis! Everybody to the garden!
Gardening is an activity where learning is always present! You could ask your mini to make up a logbook. Or a little notebook where he could write :
- number of seedlings planted;
- plant height throughout the season;
There could also be a section with drawings of the plant, the part that is harvested (leaf, root, fruit), ideas of recipes to try with the plants. Only in the garden one can work on mathematics (measuring, counting, counting, etc.) and writing very easily. If you ask your child to read the little seedling envelopes or search the internet for recipes, reading is added to the list of skills worked! Prepare for the school year!
I'm getting excited, I know! Summer has just begun and I am already talking about the beginning of the new school year! However, this is not how you imagine it! The return to class rhymes with the return of the lunches and the preparation of these. At home, we like to have homemade snacks and I like to put my children to work. It gives them responsibilities and I want to develop their autonomy and their curiosity at the level of the kitchen. There are probably recipes for cookies, energy balls, muffins, compotes that you want to try and that you could slip into the lunch box on the return of September. Well, it's time to experiment and taste tests with your children! Also, if you want to involve your children in the preparation of lunches and they are effective, it takes practice. You can't ask a child to learn how to cut vegetables, to do an efficient, fast, and good job. done...the first time he tries. It's the same for following a recipe. It takes practice. Summer can be a good time for the child to develop his culinary skills because he is in less of a hurry in time. We can also afford to make a recipe with only one of our children while the others are busy. We then enjoy a quality moment with him and make sure he understands how to do it. When the first day comes, it will be a real champion! Tracks more classics!
There are also classics that don't go out of fashion. We don't always realize, but our child is in constant learning. The hour of history is a time when we develop several spheres in our mini. First of all there is the language and vocabulary; the cognitive aspect, but also the emotional connection related to this quality moment with you. Feel free to ask your child about what's going on in the story. Ask him about emotions or feelings. reactions of a character. Ask him to anticipate the next step or summarize the story. Talk to him and ask him what he thought. This moment will bring your mini to question and reflect. This will develop his reading comprehension skills. Many everyday tasks can be related to writing. On a daily basis, we can ask our child to help us make the grocery list; to write a note for the other parent; to note the meals of the week on the planner, etc. to make the writing activity even more meaningful, your child could correspond with a member of his or her entourage (friend, cousin, grandparents). He then has to choose who he wants to write to. There is a beautiful work to be done in terms of writing intent. You can see with him the parts of a letter (date, greetings, text, signature). The children are so proud to receive mail. If he is not interested in handwritten letters, but he has an interest in the computer, he can also write an email to a loved one. This will allow him to develop his touch on the keyboard. Puzzles, games of logic, games of society are great classics that one gains to bring out in the summer.
- The puzzles work, among other things, on the sense of observation and eye-hand coordination.
- As far as logic games are concerned, they allow the child to work out his logic, of course, but also his autonomy. There are several fun games that are simple enough for the child to look for the solution and then be able to correct himself. It also works on his concentration and his sense of observation.
- For board games, it is often forgotten, but they teach the children several things. First of all, if there is a die or money (ex: Monopoly), the child must count. For the Uno or the Skip Bo, there is the recognition of the numbers and colors that come into play. In the case of the battle game (card game), the child must compare the cards in order to determine which one is larger. The child then uses his or her mathematical skills and knowledge. For most games, he has to wait his turn and control his impulsivity. Emotional management and control are also worked on when the child loses a part. These are small activities that everyone can do at home and which enable the child to learn without really realizing it.
I hope you appreciate my suggestions. Summer is a time when we can witness our child's learning and guide him in his development. There are still many ways to learn, but different! What are yours?