Summer is here and there’s fun to be had! However, just because school is over doesn’t mean learning should be on break too!
Make sure that all the amazing growth your child has made this school year doesn’t run down the drain faster than a melting popsicle! Check out some easy and engaging ways to prevent the dreaded “summer slide” while promoting critical thinking and creativity with science, math and reading!
Science experiments are as close as your freezer door! With the weather changing from Spring to Summer, temperatures fluctuate greatly. Using the Learning Resources Classroom Thermometer, an ice cube, and my phone as a timer, my children decided to test out how the temperature effects the time it takes for an ice cube to melt.
We talked about how we feel the heat in the air as well as on our feet as we walk barefoot on the concrete. In 106 degree heat (phew!), it only took 2 minutes and 5 seconds to melt.
The following day was 75 degrees and my daughter noticed the “red line” didn’t go up as high on the thermometer.
I asked her if she thought it would take the ice more time to melt, or less time. She made the connection that less heat means more time, and guessed it would take 3 minutes this time. Low and behold it actually took 8 minutes and 55 seconds! She could not believe how long it took to melt since it was still hot outside!
Want to make it more fun? Try mixing up some fun colors in the water or change the size of the ice cubes with different ice molds. Encourage your child to ask questions, observe, and report on their findings!
Using the Learning Resources Giant Soft Cubes: Dots I had a plan of having my children roll and count the dots to see how many hops to take across the room to the “secret treasure”. This can be a piece of candy, a small toy, just be sure to keep it hidden! This is a great way to sharpen counting skills as well as get some energy out!
The dice is perfect for this game as it is big, easy to see, and soft enough to not worry about corners!
After we played the hopping game, my daughter and son came up with some additional games to play. This fun spark of creativity led to some unplanned learning time! Hooray!
These games included: determine how many hops to take on the trampoline before it was the next person’s turn, figure out how many bites of chicken to take, pick how many M&M’s to snack on (FAN FAVORITE), and barter how many extra minutes of playtime before bedtime. Throughout any activity we used the cubes for, my children were excited to count and count and count some more!
Being a reading teacher, this subject is near and dear to my heart. Simply reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to keep little brains working.
Use the 5 WH questions (who, what, where, when, why) to generate questions for your child as you read. Encouraging your child to tell you the story just using the pictures is another great way to stimulate the brain! Try reading a short story each night before bedtime and have them follow along if they can.
To ensure your child maintains the growth they’ve made during the school year, nothing complicated needs to be done. Just plain and simple engagement and conversations with your child go a long, long way! Science, math and reading skills can fit into every day play and will keep your kids prepared for the next school year to come!