With summer right around the corner, now is a great time to start thinking about and maybe even preparing some activities to help your children practice and enhance their academic skills this summer.
It does not take much effort, but the benefits are great in preventing a slip in abilities over the long summer break. Last week, we looked at how to incorporate social studies enrichment into your summer travel plans or from home. This week, we are offering some tips for making writing an integral yet exciting part of the season for kids of all ages.
Making Writing Fun for Young Kids
-Writing alphabet letters using shaving cream: Using a gallon size bag that closes completely, fill it with shaving cream while leaving some room for it to move around. Seal it tightly after letting out extra air. Kids can push the cream with their finger to create letters. The same idea can be achieved using hair gel, food coloring, and glitter that are mixed together. The whole idea is making letter practice fun and unconventional.
-Writing words in a mini sand box: Partially fill an old baking pan with plain sand, colored sand, or flour. Let your child use their finger to write words. Simply rub a hand over the content to create new words. To create rhyming words, simply brush over the first letter and change it to a new letter. It’s as simple as making a mini “indoor sand box” and is perfect for kinesthetic learners.
-Practicing sentences using unconventional writing tools: Motivate kids to write by letting the method with which they create sentences be unconventional. Think outside the box, and let kids use rubber stamps, stencils, or other items to create sentences. Without realizing it, kids are still practicing the same skills but in more entertaining ways.
Making Writing Personal and Pleasurable for Older Kids
Let’s face it, most kids don’t like to write because they only see their writing being used for assignments instead of in real life. Summer can be a great opportunity to let kids simply write without confines… no pre-determined context, no pre-created questions, no length requirements, etc. It is all about allowing them to choose what to write and how based on what personally interests them.
-Journaling: Allow your child to choose a journal that they love and writing utensils they enjoy using most. Their journal could be as simple as a spiral notebook or as elaborate as a locking diary with their favorite characters on it. They could even create their own by cutting out pictures from magazines and placing them on a composition book by brushing diluted glue over them. Once the journal has been chosen, simply let kids write. If they need guidance, encourage them to write about their daily activities, to record family vacation memories, write letters to their future self or someone else, or create creative stories.
-Progressive Stories: Instead of leaving all of the writing up to the child(ren), get involved yourself or have the whole family participate. Have everyone who will participate write an introduction to a story. After a pre-determined length of time (every day or every week), have everyone switch stories and add on based on what was written before. Continue writing and swapping throughout the summer. Celebrate at the end of the summer with a story sharing night. It’s sure to be a source of laughter and family fun!
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to also check out these which are part of our Children’s Summer Learning series:
Interactive Children’s Science Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Math Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Writing Activities for Summertime
Interactive Children’s Social Studies Activities for Summertime