Recharging learning batteries: 6 at-home activities to get kids school-ready
As the end of summer starts to crest on the horizon, families might be starting to think about getting their kids ready for the new school year.
While there is still plenty of time to enjoy the warm days outside and soak up the last few hours of summer, now is a good time to ramp up and start getting back into a schedule that will help kids transition to the school schedule.
There are many at-home activities families can engage in with their kids that offer choice and flexibility without kids feeling like they are in a classroom setting. We’ve rounded up a few ideas to jumpstart your child’s summer learning and help them refresh their learning batteries.
This list is just a set of ideas for families to use their school-provided one-to-learner devices or other personal devices. Let these ideas inspire you to come up with your own creative educational learning opportunities.
When using technology with kids, it’s important to create a daily plan, including tech time and non-tech time, and find ways to use technology to create, learn and share.
Write an e-book: Did you take a summer trip or spend time exploring a new place? Try writing an e-book summarizing a trip, summer memories or documentary summer highlights. If fiction writing is more up your kid’s alley, encourage them to write a fictional book. Google Docs and Book Creator are both great tools to help kids get started.
Discover a new passion: Is there a topic your kid has expressed interest in learning more about? Do they talk about a hobby they admire or a skill they wish they had? Maybe they are wanting to take up a new sport or learn to play a new instrument. Instead of scrolling social media, perhaps check out some tutorials to learn coding, or find inspiration on Ted Talks.
Sharpen an old skill: Kids already have a plethora of skills and summer is a great time to refine, continue to develop and grow those skills. Young kids already know how to read, write and draw but tools like Draw So Cute on Youtube can help them to work on those skills. Do your older kids have a developed skill they want to get better at? Summer is a great time to work on developing athletic techniques in preparation for the upcoming sports season.
Create a journal: Journaling for a few minutes each day is a great way to practice writing skills as well as develop social-emotional skills. You can encourage your child to write a daily recap of their day, events that have taken place that were meaningful to them or impacted them in a negative or positive way. Tools such as Blogger and Google Sites are a great starting point.
Digitize Grandma’s photo album: This is a task best suited for a personal device. Helping a grandparent or other family member transfer their photos to a digital platform allows for stories to be passed down through generations. It’s also beneficial in connecting more with family members. Encourage your child to think about how they can use their technology skills to help someone who isn’t technologically savvy. WeVideo and iMovie are great tools to create a digital photo album that can then be shared with family members.
Record your family history: What important moments in history have your family members been present for? Kids live in the here and now so if they can tether an event in history to someone who was there, they have more reason to invest in the topic. Encourage your kid to think about where they were during pivotal current events or historical moments. Consider interviewing a grandparent or other older family member or friend. Record their message, type up the story and share those to stories on Ancestry.com for others to listen to. Using a personal device, they can research that event and talk or write about why it was important to share with relatives.