Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Early Learning: Summer Skills

Keep your child's skills up over the summer with some simple, everyday activities!

Play! Set up some unstructured play time for your children, when they can interact with others and create, collaborate, and converse. Open-ended play works well to allow children to discover new uses for things and lets them learn to play with others. Genuine conversation will help your child develop and practice language and social skills.

Explore! Find a new park, examine the details on your usual walks, try a new route when you're going somewhere ... All these will open up your child's world a little, without breaking the bank. If you can get in a day trip or two, find child-centered, child-friendly spots to visit. Zoos, farms, playgrounds, music and art events will all give your child new experiences to draw from.

Move! Singing and dancing your way through the day will help your child remember all sorts of things. Pairing facts with music has been shown to help memory ... sing songs about the weather, the days of the week, counting songs, ABC songs! There are so many out there! Some of my favorites come from www.drjean.org.

Count! Count everything you see. Use one-to-one correspondence when you count, assigning numbers to each item. Encourage your child to do as you model. Count forward and backward ... count steps, cookies, Legos - add them up and then take some away. Make it fun and have your child make up number stories, too!

Read! Read aloud, listen to reading, talk about reading ... In short, make reading a daily event! Your child will benefit from reading all sorts of books with you. Picture books, fiction stories, non-fiction informational texts ... Whatever catches their eye! Pair a fiction book about their favorite animals, bugs or dinosaurs with a vivid pictorial non-fiction book and have them discover and talk about the differences. You will be amazed at the discussions you can have, even with little ones.

Have fun!!

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