Friday, June 18, 2010

Three Fun Summer Learning Activities

This following ideas were featured in a newsletter I receive from BrainWare/Learning Enhancement Corporation and I thought I'd share them with all of our summer savvy parents.  The author is Betsy Hill and the full article is accessible here.  

Happy learning, everyone!

1.  The “Think and Listen" – A parent and child agree to “think out loud” about a topic of mutual interest:  the menu, the weather, world peace, etc.  Each person agrees to speak for the same length of time, the listener never interrupting.  The “Think and Listen” gives the thinker good practice identifying thoughts and articulating them.  Just a few "Think and Listens" can make children more articulate and confident. They are more likely to do well in class discussions and to express ideas that are important to them.

2.  The “Restaurant Review” – Give summer vacations more “mental meat” by writing restaurant reviews with your children after dining out. This is a good way to work cognitive skills such as memory, sustained attention, creativity and prioritizing of values. Those skills will come in handy next fall, when it comes to reviewing for an exam.  

3.   The “Visual Scavenger Hunt” – When planning a summer trip, develop a list of things you might see along the road – the kids can help with the research – and give each child a list to check off as they find the items. Include a mixture of common objects, like a stop sign or a gas station, and rarer objects … like a jewelry store, a cemetery, a cactus, a purple flower, a black squirrel …. The mixture of objects will help sustain interest and balance the difficulty of finding one with the feeling of discovering a treasure when something rare is spotted.  This simple game strengthens focus, visual discrimination and memory skills.

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