Summer months are long and hot, and with less structure, it can be hard to know what to do with your children all day
23 July 2018| Last updated on 24 July 2018
At Clarion School, we suggest parents keep three main goals in mind – to stay active, engaged, and creative. These goals can help you make the most of this unstructured time with your children.
Here are some ideas to help.
When children have a chance to expend energy through physical activity each day, they feel better and develop better sleeping and eating habits. They are also more able to focus and learn. With hot summer temperatures, being outdoors can be hard, but there are some easy things you can do to help.
- 1. Get out for a walk, run, bike ride or swim early in the morning, before the heat becomes unbearable.
- 2. Find indoor equipment to allow for physical activity. A gym mat, knee hockey set, chin up bar or door frame basketball hoop can bring hours of exercise indoors.
- 3. Use online tools or other resources, such as children’s exercise and yoga programs, to make exercise an interactive learning experience.
- 4. While we suggest keeping video games to a minimum, programs such as GoNoodle or Wii sports can increase activity and become fun for the whole family.
To prevent the summer slide that can happen when children are not in school, it is important to for them to stay engaged in learning.
- 5. Create a daily reading routine. This prevents children from falling back in their literacy growth.
- 6. Keep a summer journal. Writing a few sentences every day is a great way to capture the fun of summer and practice skills. Parents can write for very young children.
- 7. Plan field trips to kid-friendly places, including parks, museums, and even restaurants and stores that may present an opportunity to learn about a different culture.
Summer is a perfect time to explore some of your child’s creative interests. While camps often present opportunities for children to grow creatively, a creative home environment can make for a productive summer.
- 8. Update your art corner. Clear out old art supplies and replenish with some new ones, making sure that you have plenty of open-ended opportunities with water colors, crayons and blank paper.
- 9. Talk to your child about the creative things they like to do at school and find ways to incorporate them into your home, such as a building area or a dramatic play corner.
- 10. Look for ways that you and your child can be creative together. Many children’s books inspire creative projects. Visit our list of summer reading suggestions.
Do your best to avoid lengthy screen time or any screen time if possible. Hopefully getting active, engaged and creative will help you avoid turning to screen time for entertainment over the summer.
“Screen time...it is great and it is wonderful. The possibilities for learning are limitless. But, the possibilities for inflicting harm are also limitless. Schools worldwide are dealing with an epidemic of online bullying and people taking advantage of innocent and unknowing children. The online world is intruding itself into the daily life of schools and homes in ways never imagined. Screen-time is provides students the opportunities to engage in stimulating, imaginative and illuminating information, but it is also providing opportunities for students to engage in damaging social behavior. This technology is disruptive in many ways and parents need to help students navigate this virtual world so the result is more constructive than destructive in the real world.”
Authored by Dr. Paul Lieblich, Clarion Head of School