Summer Brain Work

Updated on March 06, 2010
M.S. asks from Salina, KS
26 answers

I am a nanny to two girls, 10 and 11. Their mom likes them to keep their minds working over the summer, and typically they do reading and math workbooks during the summers to keep their brains going. This summer, their mom has agreed that we/they could work on something different as long as it advocated learning...I need ideas!!!!! The workbooks ae like pulling teeth!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the responses. I've come up with a pretty feasible summer calendar for us that includes many of the activities you all have suggested. I really appreciate the help!

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Dear M.
You could try doing some cooking lessons with
the girls thats using math. You could do some craft
projects to give to someone who doesn't get out
much. The Library some times have different things
in the summer time to do.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.H.

answers from Kansas City on

learning games on the computer are great. try this website for math www.aaamath.com . The jumpstart learning games are really great and has games for all subjects that are fun. My kids loved those. I think they only go up to the 6th grade though. Play scrabble for spelling. www.zone.com has a lot of games for puzzle type and word games that are single player. These are just a few ideas. Hope that helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

These ideas are all really fantasitic!
My husband and I learn differently, so maybe throw something in that keeps their brain active, but in a different way... Cooking (have them change the quantities to double a recipe or halve a recipe)... Drawing (sit outside on a nice day or inside on a rainy day and draw still life... a plant, a shoe, a rock, etc, talk about shadow, light, color)... Music (summer music programs would be great, especially drumming, where it is easy to see a large improvement relatively quickly)...Dance (use different muscles and need muscle memory and brain memory to do the dances correctly)
Good luck!

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.F.

answers from Wichita on

Dominoes are a great way of practicing math skills without kids knowing it. There are numerous other educational games that can be ordered or purchased (Rainbow Resource is a great place and an economical homeschool supply store. www.rainbowresource.com)
If you are truly interested in building a home business then email me back at [email protected]____.com. I can help you build a business that has low start-up cost, no inventory, no sales, and the company sells everyday products to everyday people. It has been a God-send for me.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Topeka on

Hi M.- What a super job you have! I just wanted to suggest helping the girls to learn to do something with their hands - weaving, knitting, pottery, basket weaving, calligraphy, music. This is for the right half of the brain, which is so understimulated in our culture. The right brain is brain, too! If you don't know of something to teach, perhaps there are classes nearby. My town has city-sponsored pottery and calligraphy classes. You could add the left-brain component by having them learn more about the art - its history, what other kind of materials have been used, what is the chemistry, for example, of pottery when it bakes in an oven.

I also liked the suggestion of taking the girls out into nature. It doesn't have to be a remote place - a city park has lots going on in it, especially if there's water. Have them write a love letter to something in nature - a small thing can work very well. Have them really look at the thing and think about what it does - find admiration and gratitude for it. Then have them roll up the letter, tie it with a bit of cotton string or ribbon, and hang it in a tree in an out of the way spot. Good luck, and have a great summer!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.B.

answers from New York on

Yes it is all the chidren want to no is when to brush there teeth and when to say cheese there is a time and a place for everything and everything in it's [email protected]____.com side. 200 goffe street. New haven,ct. 06511 203 ###-###-####).thank you and have a bless day. Brownsugar.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Wichita on

Good Morning M., Wow what busy life and job you have, Awesome. How about baking? I HS our boys and when we were doing fractions we baked cookies. They had to read the recipes, and learn to use the measuring spoons and cups. There is math and reading.

Children love to be creative too, so how about a small lap quilt or photo fun. Small disposable camera's, shooting pic of flowers or small animals etc. Then help them make their own layouts in the mulitple large frames. Have them keep a journal of each days fun. Let them help think of things to do.
Good Luck and more then anything Have a Blast doing it.
K. aka Nana to 5 gr. kids

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I attended a Noahs Ark Workshop Party and it was alot of fun. The host was a teacher and she really makes good money at this. The stuffed animals are quality and very reasoable. The children stuff the animals themselves and really enjoy themselves. check it out www.noahsarkworkshop.com/kayemcmullin3993

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.J.

answers from Topeka on

Hi, M.,

I don't know where you live, but in Topeka the city zoo has summer classes for all ages of kids, the city parks and recreation department has summer day camps -- each camp has a theme, like nature, crafts, cooking, etc. There is even a theatre camp. The classes/camps are varying lengths of time -- from a couple of hours to full day. You might check out what your city has to offer.

I'm probably old-fashioned, but I think kids should be outside during the summer. I know computer games are all the rage, but kids also need to be out in the fresh air and sunshine. Maybe the computer and inside activities could be done when it's raining or during heat alerts.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from Springfield on

We have used Time4Learning.com. It is amazing and covers their subjects that they need. When they are finished you or mom can go and see how well they did. There is also a book called Summer Bridge that a lot of families use. Just some thoughts, but if the worksheets aren't very fun for them to do the computer might be something that they would enjoy. I know my kids love it. We homeschool and use it everyday.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from St. Louis on

my daughter played Math Bingo at school yesterday. I think think is how it is played: Give them a problem and they figure out the answer then mark it on their board.

not much but it's a start.

D.H.

answers from Kansas City on

You said the workbooks were like pulling teeth, maybe you could take some of the lessons from the workbooks and make games out of them. Or for every 5/10 pages they complete you can have a fun day at the pool or the park or one of the places these other ladies have mentioned. Hopefully they get to do some fun things also, besides brain work all summer. I'm all for keeping your brain going, but summer is for fun also. Does their school district not offer summer school? Ours does for the first part of the summer and they learn and have fun at the same time. Just a thought.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi, M.,
You may already do this, but girls around 10-11 love to cook and bake. Reading recipes, doubling them, experimenting with substitutions, etc. are a fun way to incorporate reading, math, logic, and fun on a daily basis. Just gather a few good cookbooks and let the girls help pick and schedule what to make each week. Going to the grocery to purchase, figuring tax, and cost per portion are other ways to teach economy. When you have an especially good success, plan ways to triple your recipe and take treats to people who could use some encouragement. Your little one may enjoy watching from the high chair and snacking while you talk to him/her and show them what you are doing as you progress. Another idea is to let him/her add certain ingredients when the time comes. Just use your imagination.

Hope this helps.

M. Anderson

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

Y.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi! M....have you ever considered Mary Kay? It's a wonderful F/T or P/T job. You can work it around your on line classes, daughter & current nanny/housekeeper position. The in-come potential is grrrrreat! You could even retire your husband from that over the road job IF you wanted too. It's not hard or expensive to get into & you could do it at home...it's totally up to you. I love the girlfriends that I've met & the encouragement that I get from my MK girlfriends. I like touching women's lives & am striving to do it F/T by building a unit of my own in MK. I'd love to share the business with you & IF your interested give me a call @ 816-413-9342/806-3428 (cell). You could speak with my director, meet one of us for lunch & hear all about it...I do have some DVD's that are very informational as well. Just let me know & I'll be glad to share it with you. I wish you the very best of luck in all that you decide to do. God Bless!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.Y.

answers from Wichita on

The Sedgwick County Zoo has hands on educational classes for kids of all ages. They even get to touch some of the animals. The library has summer reading fun and there is story time at Boarders every Thursday morning. For computer work I was given these sites for my 4 yr old granddaughter, maybe there is something there for the older kids to enjoy. PBS Homepage: www.pbs.org/kids/ , Children's Television Workshop: www.ctw.org , Smithsonian Institution-National Zoo: www.si.edu/natzoo , and for the little ones that are just learning ABC's and reading there is Starfall: www.starfall.com
Some of the music stores have group activities with strings and things. Michael's has kid age craft classes.

As far as you wanting to work at home you might take a look at the member perks. Look for Wildtree. If you are into cooking made easy and nutritional this might be for you.

Good luck with the kidos. Love and Hugs, L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.M.

answers from Lawrence on

Take them on field trips...the nature center/ science center/ museums...do a scavenger hunt (science), go to the library (reading), do art progects(math/science). There are some neat learning games out there now, like chemistry sets. You could also do a lot of baking. Measuring in math. Double the recipes, for more complicated math. I personally believe that children learn much more by doing, than by sitting over a workbook or in front of a screen. What are they most likely to remember? Lots of public libraries also do a summer reading program, which is a nice incentive. The lawrence public library gives out swimming passes after you've read so many books, plus a lot of other great coupons.
There's a lot to do, and an oportuntiy to learn with just about every activity that doesn't take place looking at a screen.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.D.

answers from Kansas City on

Check out the local library. There is usually something going on at least a few times a week that involves learning for different age groups. You may be able to pick up a schedule. Also you could try some home schooling curriculum. Google "HOME SCHOOL" to find many choices, some free.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.K.

answers from St. Louis on

If you really need activities, I'm sure you can find them online, but I would focus on nature/outdoors. There is SO much to learn that way. If these kids have done a lot of worksheets, something they have probably NOT done is learned by observation. You can go out doors and ask them to observe all kinds of things, spider webs, under rocks, nests (don't disturb this time of year but you can go back and check them in the winter) What can they tell you about the critters under the rocks as opposite to mammal (exoskeletons, number of legs, etc) As they gain knowledge, start asking for comparisons, relationships, predators, prey, habitat.

To work on their writing have them take notes out in the field about they have observed and then have them write a journal about the day. Highlight differences (rainy days vs sunny days, etc) If you have a pond or small lake, you can look at aquatic macroinvertebrates (google that alone and you'll get ID sheets, projects, etc.

You can also talk about some safety things, sun, sunburn, sunblock, mosquitoes, ticks. How to identify, protect against, treat.

Look at how science fair projects are arranged. Hypothesis, research, methodogy, experiment, conclusions. Move their observations and writings towards this process.

It will be great and WAY more fun and a WAY better LEARNING experience than worksheets.

I don't know where you live, but in Illinois, many of the soil and water conservation districts may give you some materials.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.M.

answers from Springfield on

All these ideas are great! May I also suggest lapbooks? Let the girls pick a topic, maybe Barbie dolls or something else they're interested in. You get file folders, cardstock, paper, scissors and glue. Let the girls gather the information on their topic, maybe with some help, especially with help if they can use the Internet.
Then you're ready! Once they know what information they want to include, they make little books out of the paper and cardstock. There are instructions for all types of these books on the Internet. After they've made their little books, they get glued into the file folders.
With the Barbie doll idea, they could have a mini book of The History of Barbie. In it, they could have dates important to the history of the Barbie doll AND world events that were happening at the same time. The girls could also have a book that talked about fashion design. They could design an outfit for Barbie and then create it. They could practice their thinking skills, sewing, etc., and all in one project.
Also, a website to check out for great lapbook examples is:
www.lapbooklessons.com
I hope you and those girls have a great summer!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.A.

answers from St. Louis on

So many things...........look at different types of jobs and have them find out information on them. Then do a collage or write a paper. Do a book club with some other kids in the neighborhood or see if there is one at your local library or book store. Look up different states and find things to do there plan a "fake trip" make an list of things to do with driving directions and hotel stops. How many hours it might take to get there by plane, train, or car. Rent a car, figure a budget. Learn a new art form. Call and find out about classes at the art museum. Go to the History Museum or local children's museum and take pictures and talk about the different things you learned or expand on certain parts of these adventures into a different kind of learning experience. More fun than a workbook......hope some of this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Springfield on

Somthing that I am trying with my 7 and 15 yr olds are we are going to learn to cook my husband works alot of hours and we are alone at night . HE and his mom bake all kinds of cakes wedding and birthday ect. so the kids and I are going to learn how to cook .The first thing is a dish from around the world. It a where you make something from from all over .. Next is to let each one pick a place anywhere and once they have got there picks then they can pick to do a desert or a drink or a dinner ..

I hope this gives you something to think about. I think it will be lots of fun .

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Your local library should have a summer reading program the girls could participate in, which usually provides some social time as well. Cooking projects are a fun way to put their math skills to the test, measuring, doubling recipes, etc...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from St. Joseph on

Another thing that I would suggest would be field trips...have them learn about the artists at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum, or more about the Animals in the zoo and where they come from. Take them to Hallmark and learn how cards are made. Take them to the marble factory in Bonner Springs and learn how marbles are made. At Ft. Leavenworth their is a free museum that you can learn about how the installation came into being, see original carriages and some byplanes from the era, and the buffulo soldiers museum (one of only 2 all black calvary units in the US Military). Perhaps sign them up for horseback riding and have them learn about horses, how to care for them, etc. With the Olympics coming up there is a whole myrad of things you can do from learning different sports to playing geography games and keeping track of who is winning the medals. You could always have them study up on architecture and take them along the Paseo to see all the beautiful water fountains and drive downtown to see the different styles of skyscrapers. There is the Independence Library where they can learn about Harry S. Truman, the web site even has a TON of stuff for students/teachers to do and there is an additional exihibit there this summer about Lincoln, the Constitution, and the Civil War. There are always things like Liberty Memorial (about WWI) and the Union Station (which still has the bullet holes in the building from Al Capone shooting at police officers). All of these things can lead to a wealth of more information at the library...just make them naturally inquisitive. What are they interested in? And head in that direction.

Personally, I like to think outside the box...my mom made me do those XXX worksheets and I HATED them. They never did anything practical for me in the real world...much better to get them thinking on their own, why people chose professions, how do things work, why do we do/have this, etc?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Springfield on

heres another idea(although you have a ton of great ones that i may try myself!) do a search for home schooling. there are tons of sites out there with great projects for both indoors and outdoors and naturally they are learning based so mom will approve! if ya want more info dont hesitate to contact me!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from St. Louis on

What about some computer games. My kids missed using them. But my nephews love them and their smarter than whips.

I hope they don't have to do this all day long.

:)
L. B

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.L.

answers from Topeka on

I don't know if these girls are Girl Scouts but if they aren't then you could borrow books. In them are exact things to do to earn badges, these badges range from math to beauty. Sometimes they include trips to places but at least they give you a pathway with ideas. If the girls are interested about doing it because they don't earn the real badge then create a chart and put a photocopy of that badge under their name when they complete it. Once they reach a certain number then they earn something fun.

Hope it helps,
D.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches