By Guest Blogger and Curriki Member Lani deGuia
Summer is a time for fun, relaxation and freedom from schedules and homework. However, there is no reason why learning has to stop! Learning can be incorporated into summer days by mimicking play and entertainment. When your child is having fun, they may not realize they are exploring concepts or reviewing skills they need for the upcoming school year. Here are a few ways you can help your child equate “play time” with academic learning.
Relate to What They are Interested In
Does your child love kitchen science or blow-your-mind science demonstrations? This Sick Science! Video collection explores fun science experiments such as making an ice tray battery or a homemade projector.
Have a younger child who loves all things science and nature? Check out this collection of K-2 student-facing activities covering topics such as the alphabet, solids, liquids, and gases, and microfinancing.
For the budding mathematician, there are plenty of online games where your child can explore their favorite math concepts. Math Game Time and Math Playground provide K-12 interactive experiences for students to play quick games and brightly visual games. Have a middle schooler who loves math? Check out this Middle School Online Math Games collection.
Perhaps your child is analytical or appreciates a good puzzle? Guess My Button tests your child’s application of deductive reasoning from their understanding of patterns and relationships.
If your child has a variety of interests across all subject areas, check out this full collection of Brain Pop videos. Brain Pop offers fun and educational animated shorts that teach specific academic concepts. Most videos are accompanied by supplemental resources for learning including quizzes and more. For example, in this collection of Social Studies Brain Pop videos, your child can explore topics such as the Civil War, money/economics, and even pirates!
Find Activities That are Like Games They Already Love
Most know the fun arcade game as Pac-Man in search for power pellets to evade ghosts, but this version can help your child practice math! Check out Math Pac Man!
A twist on a childhood favorite, Mad Libs, Wacky Web Tales helps your child be part of creating hysterical stories by practicing nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc.
Favorite TV shows are a great place to look for additional learning activities and games. The Magic School Bus offers games to supplement their shows, including topics such as weather, habitats and space.
Investigation and simulation are perfect for older children who enjoy engaging in more involved gaming.
MedMyst is a web adventure that includes five different missions to teach children about infectious diseases and pathogens. Charles Darwin’s Game of Survivall is an online game from Discovery where your child can explore natural selection by seeing if their species can survive a million years. The Build It Yourself Satellite Game from NASA will allow your child to engineer their own satellite, apply their knowledge of wavelengths, instruments, and optics, as well as launch it and view real mission data!
So what are you waiting for? Find a topic your child is passionate about and get them playing!
Lani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.