Summer is a time for children to relax and have lots of fun, but six weeks is a long time to be away from the classroom and studies have shown they can take a bit of a step back during the holidays if they’re not putting skills they’ve learnt at school into practise. However, there are plenty of ways you can assist your child in strengthening their skills without it feeling like too much hard work.
Strengthening academic skills
The last thing children will want to do during the holidays is sit at a desk, reading and writing for the best part of six weeks. But they could really benefit from going over what they’ve learnt at school by investing in a couple of fun and educational activity books such as the Letts Wild About Maths and English range, or for younger children, the Collins Easy Learning workbooks. Just a page a day is enough to keep their minds active while still having plenty of time for other fun summer activities. Team this with sharing a bedtime story each day (or for older children, half an hour’s independent reading) to ensure basic skills are kept up.
Learning new skills
Holiday clubs and summer workshops at schools and leisure centres can be a fun way for children to spend some time with friends, in an informal setting, having fun but also learning new skills. Rather than booking the first one with an available space, have a good look around for something your child will really enjoy and benefit from, whether it’s sport, arts and crafts or technology.
Encouraging creative thinking
You can provide opportunities for young children to keep their minds active through informal invitations to play. Set a fun modelling challenge by piling up some old boxes, tin foil and other ‘junk’ materials, along with a note for your child to find one morning. The note could be from a robot that has fallen to pieces and needs your child’s help to put him back together again.
Another way to encourage creativity is to keep a summer holiday diary with a twist. Instead of writing a real life journal of what your child has done each day, they could keep an imaginative diary. Maybe they visited the moon on Monday, had tea with a tiger on Tuesday, and so on. This is a great way of keeping their creativity and writing skills progressing over the summer.
Getting out and about
A holiday, or even a weekend away will be a learning experience in itself. Visiting new places and learning about the history of the area or a different culture will expand your child’s knowledge of the world around them. Writing a holiday diary or even sending a couple of postcards can echo what they have learnt. If you’re not planning to go away, there are plenty of things you could do in your local area. Even simple things like a trip to the park or woods can make for a great adventure, discovering mini beasts while reaping the benefits of being outdoors in the fresh air! This Summer Collins have relaunched the fantastic i-SPY series, with twenty new titles including i-SPY At the seaside, i-SPY On a car journey and i-SPY in the Garden, all at just £2.99 each – a great moneysaving idea for hours of fun!