Hidden Splendor was recently contacted by http://mydadventures.com

mydadventures offered an article that shared ideas and resources to
help continue learning (in fun and creative ways) through the summer months for the school-age/older child. June, July and August provide opportunities for our children to continue learning in a non-school setting. This is ideal for the student who struggles in a formal classroom!  Summer break is a perfect time to create wonderful memories, strengthen bonds between parents and children, learn new skills and/or hobbies, or to improve/master a challenging skill (such as math, reading, etc.)

We hope this article will inspire you in the most creative ways to help fill the summer months with magical moments.  It is filled with links that share many more ideas too. Hidden Splendor would like to thank  http://mydadventures.com  for sharing with us.

Have fun and enjoy!

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Ways to Keep Your Kids Summer Safe, Fun and Productive

While your child’s biggest goals for summer may be sleeping as late as they can and spending as many hours at the pool as humanly possible, you might have a few goals of your own for them — and at first, they may not thrill your child. As a parent, it’s your job not only to make sure your kid has fun this summer, but also that they continue the learning process, expand their horizons, and stay safe.

Blur the Lines Between Fun and Education

Learning is a full-time gig — especially for kids. You don’t want your child to suffer an education deficit because they’re on summer break. You should establish summer reading hours as part of your summer schedule, regular trips to the library can reinforce this. It’s a good idea to blur the lines between fun and education with some activities that your child won’t even recognize as “learning”. For example, video games are good for brain development. And there are even educational games available as well.

Outdoor activities like planting flowers or vegetables, collecting insects or rocks, and even walking around your local arboretum can provide plenty of learning opportunities for your child. You can teach them about weather by getting them interested in storm spotting. Going to a museum or taking a trip to a local historical site or landmark is fun, and also very educational. Even when your child wants to watch a movie, you can choose historically-focused films that provide opportunities to discuss real life events.

Take Time to go for Walks

Going outside for a walk with your children is not only a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, but also can be a bonding activity for both parents and kids. Additionally, if you live in an area with a high walk score, then you may have parks, shops, and other fun places to explore within walking distance. Going out on walks can help develop important skills like navigation and problem solving while giving your children the opportunity to learn more about their environment. Plus, it’s just plain fun! Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and remember to bring along anything necessary such as snacks or water bottles so that everyone remains happy during the journey. Exploring new places together as a family is always rewarding and can provide lasting memories that will stay with your kids forever.

Set a Goal to Learn a New Skill

There’s a lot of free time during the summer, which makes it a perfect time for your child to set a new goal to learn a new hobby or skill. Let your child in on the decision making, so they can feel truly invested in their new challenge. Set a goal to hit by summer’s end, like to play a song on the piano or learn how to do a backstroke lap in the pool. You can then add “practice” time into your child’s daily summer schedule.

Launch a Small Business

Keeping your child productive during the summer is an important part of their development and can be done in a fun, imaginative way. Starting a small business with them can be a great way to do this. Whether it’s a cleaning company, cooking business, an arts and crafts shop, or an online store, there are many different ideas that could help your child learn valuable skills such as financial responsibility, customer service, and problem solving. Not only will they learn how to start and run a business, but they’ll also have something to look forward to each day! Taking on this kind of project together can also foster strong bonds between you and your children that will last for many years. Plus, who knows – maybe it will even turn into a full-fledged business.

Think About Summer Camp

If your child is struggling to adhere to a summer schedule, you might consider sending them to summer camp. Not only does summer camp provide opportunities for your child to expand their social horizons, learn new skills, and stay physically active, but it gives them the tools they need to march into the next school year with a lot of confidence.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re considering a sports camp, a performance camp, or a camp with a little bit of everything; your child will come home with new, unique experiences, having met new people and learned new skills. All that ‘new’ adds up to a lot of growth that can give kids the confidence to handle challenges at school and later in life,” says Active.com.

Open up a Line of Communication Regarding Drugs and Alcohol

There’s something about summer that turns up the volume on the risks of bad behaviors. The combination of all that free time and the proximity to friends increases the chances your child will at least come into contact with drugs or alcohol.

It’s important that you establish an ongoing dialogue with your child about the dangers of experimentation and the signs of addiction. In order for them to feel safe in being honest with you, you must cultivate an environment free of overreaction and judgment. This doesn’t mean you can’t set definite rules and boundaries – you most certainly should – it just means you need to focus more on the conversation than the punishment.

Focus on using effective communication strategies. Pay attention to your body language, tone of voice, and the quality of your listening. Be consistent and calm. Asking them to repeat what they heard is a good way to find out if your message got through to them. Keep in mind that you are trying to convey information, but you are also trying to be open to receive information. The way you lead the conversation can make all the difference in how your message is received.

Summer is a wonderful time of year for kids, but just because they’re out of school doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Whether you start walking every day or launch a small business, use these tips to help your kids learn, have fun, and be safe this summer.

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