As the school year winds down many families are preparing for summer vacation. A question teachers often hear during this time is ‘What can I do over the summer break to help my child continue to grow and learn?’ One of the most important things parents can do with their children during the summer is have fun! I know this sounds like a given but children need down time during the summer to recharge their batteries for the coming year.
However, there are many activities you can do with your children that are fun, while at the same time great for strengthening fine and gross motor skills. Working on these skills during the summer appears to your children like fun-filled time with mom and dad, but will prove tremendously helpful during the coming school year. Helping your children refine their fine and gross motor skills during the summer will strengthen their ability to properly hold a pencil, write for extended periods of time, build core strength, improve self-care skills, and attend to a single task for an extended period of time.
Here is a small sample of activities that are appropriate for children ages 3–6. Many of these could be adapted for younger or older children.
Make playdough - Have your child help with stirring and kneading of the dough
Bake - Again, have your child help stir/mix and knead. This can also be a great math activity with measuring.
Sidewalk chalk painting - Here is link to a great recipe to make your own!
Water Relay - This is a great game to play with friends on a hot day! Two teams, two sponges, and four buckets of water are all that is needed!
Painting with Q-tips - Great for a rainy day.
Shadow Drawings - This project ties Science into a fun outdoor activity.
Stringing or lacing - Here is the link to make a beautiful Ray Catcher Mobile.
Super bubble station - Use a kiddie pool and hula hoop to create gigantic bubbles! Even better, make your own bubbles!
Build an outdoor obstacle course - What a great way to encourage teamwork and problem solving!
I hope you find these activities a great addition to your summertime plans and look forward to hearing all about it in the fall!