The summertime is a great opportunity to keep your children’s brains engaged – especially for those of us who have children with learning differences. After all the long hard work they (and we) have put in to their learning, we don’t want them to lose the gains they have made. Here are some more ideas of things to do to make meaningful memories and engage their thinking skills!
Ideas for Meaningful Family Fun
- Get writing – write in a journal, write to a pen pal, write a postcard, record weather observations, write a story, create a graphic novel, create a cartoon – write a new strip each week, write and illustrate your own book. Even just a sentence or two at a time will help our struggling learners maintain gains they have made.
- Get involved in the community – provide service for a senior’s home, pull weeds at a cemetery, raise money to donate to a charity (set up a lemonade stand or have a bake sale, garage sale or car wash and donate the proceeds)
- Get cooking – let them choose one meal a week they want to make, have them figure out what ingredients they need, go with you to buy them and then make it for the family; bake cookies to take to a neighbour – drop it off anonymously; let them find new recipes online and try them out – have a “dessert of the week”. Reading, following directions, and doing math are great benefits when baking or cooking and really help keep those skills sharp!
- Get looking for your family tree – find pictures and stories to go with the names. Let them make a tree on a wall and attach the names and any photos you may have to it. Visit older relatives and ask them to tell their stories – record them.
- Get developing a new skill or hobby – something that your child is really interested in learning to do and help them set goals to develop it. (Baking, photography, science project, wood work, painting, astronomy, how to write a haiku, you get the idea!) Help them research what they need to know or talk with someone who is a specialist in that field or find a YouTube video demonstrating how to do it. As they set and achieve goals and learn new skills, they will not only be engaged but will feel the satisfaction of success and trying something new. This can be particularly valuable for our children with learning differences as it can give them an opportunity to discover something they are really good at – a strength they have!!
Of course the most important thing is to be together and HAVE FUN!! Really enjoy your kids – no matter what the struggles are. (Go on walks or bike rides, play games (Blink, Simon Says, Charades, Checkers, tag, hide and seek), tell stories about funny things they said or did when they were younger, watch home movies, build something) Spending time as a family will not only strengthen your bonds, but will keep your kids with challenges engaged and developing! To get them to be more co-operative, make sure they are involved in the planning!!
ENJOY your summer while engaging their thinking skills and making meaningful memories! If you missed last month’s blog, check it out here for more ideas!
Need ideas for what to do this summer with your kids? Check out these previous blog posts for ideas!
- Bring Back Silence, Wonder, and Solitude
- Make Meaningful Memories This Summer
- Summer Reading Ideas for our Reluctant Readers