Backyard Discovery Blog
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From Swing Sets to Scavenger Hunts: How To Keep Kids Learning All Summer Long
Summertime, and the living is easy. Now that the kids are out of school, it’s time to think about what they’re going to do all summer long. As a parent, you have many options of what to do with the little ones during the months of summer. With all the free time on their hands, it’s important to keep kids engaged, entertained, and with the following activities, you can educate them as well. So turn off the TV, and turn on their imaginations. Backyards, swing sets, and kitchens are the perfect places to start. Here a few ways to keep kids learning all summer long.
Get a green thumb.
Gardens make a great complement to backyards, with or without swing sets. So go outside and get going. Digging, planting, and pulling are a great way for kids to explore their senses, while you teach them a thing or two about plants and science. You also benefit by getting a little extra help in the yard over the summer, and perhaps, for the rest of the year.
Create an obstacle course.
From backyard pools to swing sets to playrooms, any space can be transformed into an obstacle course, with a little imagination. Invite your kids to create an obstacle course using pool noodles or pillows. Hang them, drape them, lay them on the floor in a zig zag pattern–the opportunities are endless. Encourage kids to jump, crawl, skip, and walk through the course. Getting the kids up and moving has tons of benefits, not to mention, getting them tired out for nice quiet evenings at home.
Put on a show.
Become the producer of a backyard production, written, designed, and starring your kids and their friends. Whether they create sock puppets or take center stage, performing a play or story is a great way to ignite their creativity. Backyard swing sets can become pirate ships or princess castles, and the rest is up to you–and your kids–to create the ultimate summer theatrical performance.
Take care of business.
Encourage your children to learn some real-world skills by starting an enterprise over the summer. Whether it’s washing cars, selling brownies, or cleaning up backyard swing sets in the neighborhood, this is a great way to teach kids about responsibility, business, and, of course, math.
Create a scavenger hunt.
Spend some time crafting clues to send your kids on a hunt around the house and yard. Create riddles to engage their problem-solving skills and send them up and down, and all around, to get them physically engaged as well. Whether the tasks are swimming laps in pools or climbing up and down monkey bars in swing sets, they are sure to be entertained–and engrossed–by a summer scavenger hunt.
Don’t forget classic games.
When in doubt, remember the games of your childhood. Hop-scotch, freeze tag, or Simon Says are always good options for the kids. Add a learning component by incorporating new vocabulary or a mathematical twist. For instance, instead of just saying “Simon says climb up the swing set,” you can teach them a new word by saying “Simon says ascend.” Or “Simon says jump four times two times.” This will help the kids have fun while also building their learning skills.
So don’t be scared when school ends and summer starts. With a little planning, creativity, and inspiration, you can create experiences for your kids that will be both educational and entertaining.