You’ve probably heard of the “summer slide” – the learning losses kids are reported to experience over the summer, when they put away pencils and books. I admit I’m usually too busy enjoying a more relaxed schedule and plenty of lemonade to think about it much, and I’m definitely not a flash-cards-and-worksheet kind of mom. But there are plenty of easy ways to help kids keep their talents honed and brains sharp even in the midst of a lazy summer.
Here’s a few simple ways you can nurture different areas of your child’s intelligence this summer – without having to buy special equipment or spend time sitting with a workbook.
Draw a treasure map. Following maps can help strengthen a child’s spatial intelligence, which helps them learn to navigate and judge distance and direction. Plus, what child doesn’t love searching for booty in the backyard? Create a map and have your child follow it to his prize, and then have him create a map of his own for you to navigate.
Play cards. Go Fish, Old Maid, and rummy are simple games that help sharpen logic and math skills. And even younger kids can handle more complicated games. In fact, my seven-year-old son Owen often beats us all at blackjack and Pai Gow poker!
Make up a story. Creating narratives can help nurture your child’s linguistic intelligence, which refers to anything having to do with vocabulary and language. Plus, it’s easy to do anywhere – around a campfire, at the dinner table or while driving on a road trip.
Take a hike. Physical activity is important for developing kinesthetic intelligence, related to strength and fine motor skills. But these days, it’s all too easy for kids to occupy themselves with screens and stay too sedentary, even in summer. Whether around your neighborhood or in the woods, walking as a family is a great, low-key way to get moving and enjoy time together.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/qwrrty/