Lower School Blog: Summer Tips & Activities

Summer is almost here, and your children are excited about the end of the school year, sleeping in and days in the sun. Many parents might be wondering about ways to continue their Toddler and Primary child’s learning organically, during these off-school months.

Here are some tips and activities for a fulfilling summer. 

Maintain your schedule as much as possible. Children at this age need structure and predictability, it gives them that assurance that they have some semblance of control in their lives. This does not mean that you refrain from taking that much deserved summer vacation or a Friday day trip/weekend adventure, but when you do so...

  • Try to plan your vacation towards the start and not the end of the summer. This prevents too many changes and makes settling in to the onset of the school year in September, less daunting. 
  • Prepare them ahead of time about this new change in schedule. Keep your dialogue about the trip, matter of fact and positive. Stress points of interest during the trip that would excite them. For example, meeting a family member, a special sight, or taking a train/airplane!
  • If and when you take adventures different from your routine, plan to do so earlier on in the day, to maintain a consistent nighttime routine. Whether that is going to the pool, or visiting a museum, they will feel comfortable coming home to something that is a familiar part of their day. For example, always plan to be home for dinner, bath and bedtime. 
  • Follow the lead of your child. Be open to pivot if you notice that your children feel too tired, uninterested, or over-stimulated by an activity. Keep the unpredictable parts of the day loose in terms of agenda. A pro tip is to always observe your children, and survey their energy in a new experience. This can help determine your next step. 

Get outdoors! Make use of the beautiful weather and be sure to schedule daily time outside of home. Not only will this stimulate their cognitive development, and build their gross motor development, but it will also encourage more independence and discovery. Suggestions for some outdoor activities over the summer can be:

  • Gardening; from herbs to vegetables to flowers, find a germination plan that is manageable to you. 
  • Painting with or without water
  • Making sidewalk chalk from scratch using this recipe, and then drawing with it
  • Swim lessons, or a day at the beach. Here are some beloved beach books to read together: At the Beach by Anne Rockwell, A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle, and What Lives in a Shell by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.
  • Bean bag tossing, hula hoops, frisbees and bubbles!
  • A scavenger hunt, nature walk, or short hikes. Here are some local, child-friendly trails to try out.
  • A bike or scooter ride (this is a great time to purchase a bike or scooter, if you don’t already have one, and practice riding)
  • A camp out in your backyard 
  • Fly kites
  • Soccer and other age appropriate sports
  • Visit a local farm in the DMV area: Check out some great suggestions here.
  • Take advantage of the Smithsonian sights and tours. 
  • Observe a life cycle of a butterfly, praying mantis, and/or a ladybug. Here are some kits to get you started
  • Food preparation and baking! This is a beloved practical life activity that always utilizes the strengths of your children. Here are some mouth-watering summer recipes to sample over the summer. 
  • Have a picnic with the delicious treats you make from food preparation. 

Keep in mind that there are many unseen methods that children use to learn, and absorb life around them. Embrace the summer, therefore, as the perfect time to let children discover in surprising and atypical ways!

Wishing you a memorable summer!

Warm Regards,
Ms. Vithusha, Lead Toddler Teacher in Mountain Silverbell

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