12 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Mind Sharp This Summer
School’s out, but that doesn’t mean that learning stops! In fact, summer vacation can be one of the best times for kids to learn, as they have more time to really explore their interests and dig deep into new topics. ‘Intellectual play’ is what summertime is all about! This summer, we have 12 great ways for you to help your child keep their mind sharp and prevent the ‘summer slide,’ a loss of knowledge and thinking skills that often happens over summer vacation. With these activities, not only can your child keep their cognitive abilities honed, but they can also develop new skills! Read on for 12 great ways to help your child maintain and increase their smarts this summer.
1.Visit a museum with your child. This could be a tech museum, art museum, or a even a natural history museum. Even if you don’t live in a major metropolitan area, many towns have a small local museum that features artifacts and information about the founding members of the community. You could even check out virtual tours of the library, like the Louvre! Make connections between past and present: Discuss how artifacts from the past (for example, a dinosaur skeleton) are relevant to things we find in the world today.
2. Check out a book from the library. Some libraries offer summer reading programs where kids can earn prizes for reading books. Take the opportunity to learn about critical, relevant topics like biodiversity, waste management, greenhouse gases, and conservation. Whatever you read with your child, studies show that reading with your child has many benefits.
3. Sign up for the FREE Wild Minecraft Code-a-Thon! Kids will explore biodiversity as they learn about different habitats, like forests and oceans, and the animals that live in these habitats, like okapis and bluefin tuna. They’ll create mobs, mods, and storytelling projects, all while discovering the amazing species that live on planet Earth. Plus, they’ll have the chance to be creative and win cool prizes, like $50 gift cards for the Minecraft Shop! Learn more and sign up.
4. Do a science experiment! Even something simple like combining vinegar and baking soda provides the opportunity to discuss scientific principles, like forming and testing hypotheses and the nature of chemical reactions. For more scientific fun, check out interactive simulations, like this one about energy forms and changes, or this one about atomic interactions. Can your child build their own simulations with code in Tynker?
5. Learn about key programming concepts with unplugged activities! With our articles about algorithms, loops, and variables, you and your child can read about each concept and then practice by writing out routines, brushing their teeth and dancing, and writing pseudocode!
6. Explore science and math through coding. Has your child ever wanted to learn more about the solar system or the ecological pyramid? Do they enjoy playing math games? Tynker’s Hour of Code activities empower kids to explore STEM concepts in a fun, imaginative way! Try our Multiplication Escape, Ocean Ecological Pyramid, Solar System model, and other interactive coding projects to unlock your child’s love for science and math.
7. Download the Tynker apps to learn on the go. Coding is a perfect way for kids to practice skills like critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving. With Tynker and Tynker Junior, your kids can code wherever your summer adventures take you–whether you’re basking in the sun at the beach or relaxing at home! Download Tynker on the App Store for iPad or the Google Play Store if you have an Android tablet. You can download Tynker Junior on the App Store.
8. Create something amazing with your child! With the Everyone Can Create project guides from Apple, you and your child can draw beautiful pictures, take great photos, capture meaningful videos, create fun music, and write their own song lyrics. Summer is a great time to tap into your child’s creativity, and these guides can help!
9. Make a nature journal. Go for a walk in your neighborhood or in a park and bring notebooks and pencils along! With your child, draw pictures of nature items you observe along the way. These items could be as impressive as a hill or mountain or as small as a blade of grass! When you get home, check your sketches for any plants or animals (including insects) whose names you don’t know. See if you can identify them by looking them up online. Then discuss how these animals live and why they’re important in their ecosystem!
10. Discover career choices with Barbie! Did you know that Tynker offers free Barbie coding activities? Kids can explore six fun career paths, from robotics engineer to astronaut and more, all while learning how to code! Check out the You Can Be Anything course today!
11. Learn about STEM with Peep and the Big Wide World! In this animated series, Peep, Chirp, and Quack learn about the ‘big wide world’ around them as they explore scientific principles.The series is aimed at children 3-5 years old but can be fun for older kids, as well. Kids will enjoy watching the show and learning about science. Then, have them code their very own Tynker projects with Peep and his friends! In Peep and the Big Wide World: Dance with Friends, kids will learn how to animate the birds. And in Peep and the Big Wide World: Nature Walk, kids will make things appear or disappear depending on where Peep is walking. Both of these projects, which include step-by-step tutorials, include friendly voice-over instructions to help children complete the coding tasks.
12. Serve others. Help your child think about ways they can help others and their community. This July 4th, many animal shelters are inviting volunteers to come sit with the animals to help them stay calm during the fireworks. If you live near a shelter, find out if they need volunteers to help the animals feel safe on this holiday.
Whether your child wants to practice existing cognitive skills or learn new ones, these 12 ways to keep their mind sharp are sure to help them have fun while learning this summer!
Coding is one summer learning activity you can take on-the-go or enjoy from the comfort of your home! Whatever your plans are this summer, be sure your child is learning key 21st century skills like problem-solving, collaboration, and critical thinking through coding!