Caroline Fernandez: Activity Mummy


The Summer Fun Project- Keeping School Skills Up

Activities to Keep their Minds Sharp During the Break

summer reading

How do you keep your kids math and literacy skills sharp over summer?  Sneak in long division?  Make them write out vocabulary sheets?  Yes, you could do could incorporate school skills in some fun activities.  This is week 2 of the Summer Fun Project.

The trick is to not let the kids know they are working on maintaining (or upgrading) their school skills.  Last year, I let my 10 year old have her own e-mail account (and yes, I check it).  She can e-mail her classmates, me and even her teacher.  Since typing is more fun than writing (to her) it's a treat to get e-mail time (yet, it's a treat for me to watch her write sentences, phrases and even check spelling on her sneaky I am!)

And since everyone loves getting snail mail (well, I do) while you're on vacation - buy a post card and let your child write the note and address the card.

You could also do word finds or create your own word find HERE.  I created one when we went to the Dominican Republic last year and themed it to our trip: AIRPLANE, ISLAND, SPANISH, WATER...etc...

It's also fun to create your own crossword puzzle for the kids.  I make them family personal like...HINT: Mommy's favourite thing to do.  WORD: sleep

Now for math (ugh...I don't like math myself).  I've downloaded some math game apps from iTunes for on-the-go-math.  But there are more interesting ways to incorporate math into summer.

Like having a paper airplane contest to see which one will go the farthest.  Make the airplanes.  Guestimate which went the furthest.  Then, get out the tape measure and measure it (centimetres, inches...whichever scale you wish).

And a simple trip to the farmer's market is great for both math & literacy because you can have the kids write a grocery list - give them the money - and have them do the shopping!  They can check prices, count money and ensure they get the correct change.

And finally, those friggin' gift shops at every "family friendly destination" you visit during the summer.  Give each kid a $5 bill and say that's all they get.  Find something (and not a stuffed animal - I veto anymore stuffed animals in the house!) that is under $5.  No mommy won't buy you a $9.99 mug or a $15 t-shirt.  You've got $5 now get those math and decision-making skills going!

And finally (part 2), the classic "Lemonade Stand" is a great way to keep those school skills current.  Writing the sign, making change, counting up if you have enough to go get an ice cream afterwards...these are perfect literacy and math opportunities.

Now, I'm to defrost some lemonade for the kids.