Today’s summer activity for kids, #12 in our 51 Easy Summer Family Fun Activities series, will help to avoid the summertime brain drain by playing school. While your school-age children may GROAN about this activity at first, your kids, especially your toddlers and your kids entering kindergarten, will enjoy having some summer fun by pretending to go to school. If your child is really nervous about starting kindergarten then showing him or her what to expect can not only be fun, but help ease their fears. (This is also fun to do when your younger child is devastated that their older brother or sister gets to go to school and they don’t.) A way to get your school-age kids to enjoy this activity is to have them be the teacher for their younger siblings. They’ll love being the know-it-alls!
Here are some ways to pretend school is in session:
- Make up a silly name for your school to get everyone in the giggly mood.
- Invite other kids in your neighborhood to be students or set up your child’s stuffed animals at little “desks” in the room.
- If you have a desk at home, pull it out into the middle of the family room. Set up a white board, chalk board, or tape a large piece of white paper to the wall so you can “teach” in front of them.
- Give your child a notebook or some pieces of lined paper to write, draw or pretend math.
- Give them some scissors to practice cutting shapes you’ve drawn on a piece of paper.
- You can print some worksheets from a variety of online sites to use.
- Set your alarm clock to go off loudly, to announce that school is in session.
- Use pretend money to practice counting and recognizing coins and dollars.
- Read some fun story books about school.
- Go outside and study bugs for science. Have them draw the bugs in their notebook.
- You can even pretend to go on a Field Trip – loading the kids in a wagon and taking them to a local library to enjoy new books or visit a train station to talk about transportation. (Pick any nearby destination that your kids would enjoy and look at it from an educational angle.) For older kids, get some stealth learning in by visiting your city’s history, science or art museums. They’ll be having so much fun, they won’t realize they are learning.
- Although, this isn’t playing school per se, help the kids to make a lemonade stand or have a neighborhood bake sale to learn how to count money and make change. While baking the baked goods to sell, they’ll need to learn about fractions and reading a recipe.
- Have a fire drill. Set your alarm clock to go off again and “evacuate” the building safely.
What do you do to avoid summer brain drain? Have fun playing and learning.