1. Let’s create “My World.” Do a “My World” art project with your child. Use whatever type of art your child likes – drawing, sculpting, painting, dancing, singing, photographing, etc.). The idea is:
- Your child should be at the center of the “world” being created;
- The “world” should include who and what is most important in your child’s day-to-day life;
- The “world” should show how those important people and things look next to your child – are they close, far away, big, small, bright, faded, etc.?
- Be sure to display the finished product.
2. Let’s read without using words. Go to the library and ask the librarian where to look for books without words. You can ask to see some by Barbara Lehman or David Wiesner as a start. When you tell your child the story represented by the pictures in the books, use words, character names, and details that are familiar to your child. On some pages you can ask your child to tell you what is happening and help tell the story.
3. Let’s wheel away. Plan a “wheels parade.” Gather neighborhood kids with their bikes, big wheels, scooters, wagons, skates, and anything with wheels. Let them decorate their wheels (colored paper, ribbons, poster, flowers, balloons, etc.) and then parade around the neighborhood.
4. Let’s go past “GO.” Create a MYopoly board. MYopoly is your very own personal monopoly game. Make up your own monopoly board where all the properties fit a topic your child is interested in. For example, for younger children, all the spaces could be “treat” shops around where you live (ice cream, candy, cupcakes, etc.) or all the parks and types of play equipment (jungle gyms, swings, etc.). For older children, the spaces could be baseball properties – like ballparks around the country and the transportation to get there (trains, planes, or busses) or the properties in your neighborhood (houses where their friends live, stores, parks, etc.) Use your imagination. Draw the board and make (or collect) tokens that fit the theme.
5. Let’s play “Sound Alikes.” Take turns thinking up words that sound alike but have different meanings. For example, “dear” and “deer.” Or, “see” and “sea.” Once two “sound alikes” are suggested, continue adding more, if you can think of them – like add “C” to “see” and “sea.” By the way, these are called “homonyms.”
6. Let’s plan a party. Plan to celebrate your pet’s birthday or day of arrival to the family. If you don’t have a pet right now, make plans for what the day will be like when a pet is added to your family. Consider the needs of the pet when you plan your celebration. Make sure the activities and the food are all good for the pet. Remember that people food is often not good for pets, and certain types of play (for example, fish out of water or birds out of cages) can be bad for a pet.
7. Let’s play “What If.” Play “What If” about “not so good” situations. You can play it anywhere – in the car, on a bus, in a waiting room, at a restaurant. It takes no equipment other than brains and willingness to use them. Ask a “What If” question and take turns answering it. For example, “What if you and your brother were really, really mad at each other? Or, “What if it rained almost everyday on our vacation at the beach?” By listening to your child’s answers you can learn how well prepared he is for difficult situations. By offering your own answers you can make sure your child has heard some good ways to handle those situations. It is important that you do not “correct” your child’s answers. Instead, set some rules ahead of time. For example, “Your answers cannot include anything that would hurt another person or thing.”
For more summer activity ideas see:
Summer Activities for Children Part 1
Summer Activities for Children Part 2
Watch for Summer Activities Part 4 on July 8.