Family LIfe

6 Tips for Keeping Your Kids Busy During the Summer
by Vielka McFarlane

"You have to motivate and stimulate their minds and bodies," says Vielka McFarlane, a long time educator and CEO and Founder of Celerity Educational Group. "You have to provide them with choices and opportunities to expand on the classroom knowledge they gained during the year," she explains. Although she maintains that how you keep a child busy depends on their developmental stage and grade level, there are nevertheless key activities that will enrich a child and preoccupy their minds.

  1. Build Have them build a kite, a bird house, a boat or even a Lego structure. Building accesses spatial temporal reasoning and improves fine motor skills. More importantly, most kids get absorbed in the process of creation.

  2. Cook Have kids help in the kitchen or become Chefs for the day. Cooking utilizes reading skills, math skills and basic judgment. The finished product will produce pride and self-confidence. It also gives the parent a mini-vacation.

  3. Chess and Scrabble Chess accesses math and sequencing skills. It is an excellent way of Athat meet so your child will have the opportunity to compete. Additionally, Scrabble is an excellent way of building your child's vocabulary and perfecting their dictionary skills. You can also compete with your child to keep their skills agile.

  4. Art Summer art projects can be great for keeping your kids busy. Get them outside and have them work on landscape paintings or drawings. Or have them work on a found art project. Looking for components for their project can become a treasure hunt. The art supplies you provide can be minimal. The point is to give them ideas for their creation.

  5. Write Activate your child's story telling abilities by reading them a portion of a story and having them finish the story in their own words. Younger children can also illustrate their stories. Writing flexes the entire brain and is beneficial for a child's development and success in school.

  6. Take A Tour Taking tours can be fun and educational for you and your children. Contact your local newspaper or TV station and ask about arranging a tour. Learn about the inner workings of the media industry. Go to a museum or see an art exhibit to find out exactly how art imitates life. Take a trip to the zoo and take in the sites and sounds of the wildlife. Spend a day in another world while experiencing life first hand.

These ideas may seem basic, but they utilize key mental and physical skills. The best way to keep a kid busy is to get them absorbed in a task and to almost trick them into learning. These six tips, with some preparation on your part, can keep a child active all summer and get them primed for the school year.

About the Author:
Vielka McFarlane, a veteran educator and administrator, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Celerity Educational Group in Los Angeles, CA. Celerity is comprised of three elementary charter schools; Celerity Nascent, CelerityTroika, and Celerity Dyad.

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