7 answers

Summer Activities for 4 Year Old

What do you do during the summer to keep your children learning? I have a few activity books, but I have a hard time sitting down at a time when one of us is not tired! Can you help me with some ideas on how to keep learning while playing? I also have a 2 year old and want to keep them both busy this summer. Thanks!

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Four and two year-old learn by playing and doing. It sounds like you are keeping your boys active and outdoors. Just relax and enjoy the summer!

google MOMs Club and find a chapter in your area, (Im in CR, IA) we have activities a few days a week and its up to us which ones we want to go to and which we dont. It gets us into things we wouldn't normally get to do (fire station tour, etc) but also has playgroups and fun activities in others homes so im not constantly coming up with ideas or the mess isn't always mine to clean up. Other than that I'd say check the library, there is at least one activity a week here that is fun and educational. Good luck! And just get out and play and learn along the way (what color is that, how many blue cars did you see, what rhymes with ____, ) and other things like that tha tyou can even do in the car.

Free days at a local zoo if they have them. Check with your local parks and recs department to see if they offer any age appropriate activities. Also check with your local YMCA as they often have fun 'daycamp' activities that you can take your kids to and check with your local hobby store as well as they often offer kids activities too. Swim lessons are a great summer time activity as is reading time at the local library! If you have a musuem locally, they often will offer age appropriate activities as well.

For at home activities, books from the local library that help answer questions they may have, or just plain silly books to read and enjoy. Dr. Suess' Fox in Sox is a great one as it's full of tongue twisters that made my kids laugh to try and say fast! Jump rope, hula hoops, catch, and catching lightening bugs after dark is a great activity too as is star gazing or cloud watching (try to find things/shapes in the clouds!)as I think it's just as important to stimulate creative thinking and imagination and also helping kids with their fine and gross motor skills too (it's all learned and needs to be practiced in order to improve).

I do "Mom Camp" a few afternoon a week. I need to keep them out of the heat of the day so we do a craft, workbook pages, or create a snack. I pick up things at gagare sales and throw them in a bin so I can grab things. We also like flash cards and playing games. Liz S.

Definately check out the library programing near you. Different libraries have different schedules, so check a couple. Lots of storytimes, puppet shows, music. Its great and free. Many bigger bookstore chains also have storytimes. Also check your nearest nature center. You may not be able to do classes since your kids are so young, but you can still go to the nature centers.
Don't undervalue just going to the park/beach/pool, either. Play is learning for little ones. Have fun.

I agree that summer doesn't mean that kids should stop learning :) What I do is set 1 hour a day for "homeschooling" in the morning between breakfast and morning snack (my kids learn best in the morning). We do activity books and I look on the internet for free packets of age appropriate work that I can print. In the afternoon, we have "quiet time" during which the kids can watch a video, and 2-3 times a week I use a learning video during that time (they get to pick on the other days). I also contacted my local library and found out that they have summer programming like storytime, special speakers from the zoo, and project days where they provide the materials. I also have the kids signed up for some programs through community education in our area. Finally, usually there is a bible camp (I don't know your beliefs in that area) in every town, which the kids have a blast at and promotes some reading skills and good social skills. We also do one field trip a month (our budget is small) to somewhere fun, but usually somewhat educational. This month we are eating at a russian resturant Moscow on the Hill, and next month we are going to the zoo and to see Transformers at the Imax theatre.

I think the biggest thing is getting on a good schedule and sticking to it. It is hard at first, but after a week or two, you will notice that the kids really depend on it :)

Good luck!

keep in mind all the active learning opportunities that you can have with your child...taking walks and pointing out different kinds of trees, plants, animal sounds, teaching about recycling by picking up garbage at the park, numbers by looking at prices and healthy foods at the grocery store, spelling, numbers with chalk outdoors, animals at como zoo,...also, my 4 year old love arts and crafts, try cutting up paper, give him stickers, glue, colors etc...it helps with colors, fine motor skills, creativity etc.

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