Chances are the kids in your life are feeling excited about summer. It should be a time to relax and play after another school year. That said, learning isn’t confined to school and summer doesn’t need to be constant down time. So, how do you help kids of all ages keep up momentum in learning over the summer break? Here are a few ideas:
Set up incentives to help inspire reading. It can be as simple as stickers on a chart for every book read, working towards a larger reward like a special outing, a toy, a treat. Or, it could be as detailed as a full-blown competition that lasts all summer long. Make the rules ahead of time and follow up regularly with encouragement and conversation about what they chose to read and why. Check out the library for some inspiration and all the reading material they could need.
Try to stump the adults
Challenge kids to ask a science-based question that they think an adult will not know the answer to. Incentives can come into play here if they successfully stump the adult, but often the thrill of being right is more than enough of a reward. With younger children, work together to find the answers you don’t know, and ask older children to be prepared to show a source for the correct solution.
Play a trivia game, community edition
Ask your kids to come up with trivia questions about a community, either their own or anywhere. This game has two parts; the first is finding facts to turn into questions, and the second is presenting the questions to someone, like a parent or sibling, to answer. The fact-finding can be done together or independently using free online resources like newly-released census data on community makeup, population size, number of houses, etc. They’ll enjoy sharing new knowledge with adults and the chance to be the teacher rather than the student. At the same time, they’ll gain some valuable research skills disguised in the game.
Find out how to use free census data at statcan.gc.ca/census.
— News Canada