Build a City
For the little engineer in your life, use duct tape or painters tape to create a grid of roads on the floor somewhere in your house. Then give your child boxes, milk cartons, empty paper towel rolls, toy blocks, and whatever else you can find to let them build a city of their very own. Spark further imagination by asking them to come up with a name for their city and laws or fun events that they townspeople can attend.
Pictures and Stories
You should definitely take advantage of free admission to zoos and museums for military families this summer (check local Facebook pages to find out when to go). When you get home or in the days that follow, let your kids relive the fun by giving them the supplies to write a story about an animal or activity they saw or to draw a new animal or invention of their own!
Give Your Kids an Object and Tell Them to Invent a Game
Who has played a game where their sole goal was to keep a balloon from falling on the ground? If they don’t have a choice, kids will always find a creative way to have fun. They may ask for help in the beginning, but if you give as little guidance as possible, they will come up with something they find fun in their own unique ways. That means, they’ll be invested in playing it for a little while!
Kids can actually lose a good chunk of the learning they did during the school year if they don’t use their skills all summer long. Have a time set aside each day where your child works on worksheets from several subjects. He or she may not be thrilled at first, but rewarding with stickers and making it a part of the routine will bring your child onboard in no time. (Psst! Here’s a good place to find some workbooks!) You can also inspire them to work hard by taking field trips related to their studies after certain intervals of time.
Let your kids pick out special journals at the beginning of the summer. After each excursion you take, have your kids journal in words or pictures about what they saw, learned, and experienced. Journaling will not only engage their scholastic skills, it also has psychological benefits like improved overall happiness. On days when there hasn’t been an excursion, you can give the kids prompts such as “10 things you’re grateful for.”