Staying Home this Summer?
Simplicity and accessibility
Children strive on having an orderly environment that they are able to clean up on their own. Their physical environment at home should be at their height (as much as possible), have child sized furnishings, and be well organized. Ways to help your child at home is rotating toys through out the summer. You should have 8-10 toys available at a time that have a set place for them to return to and rotate every 2-3 weeks to keep the child interested. Examples of toys/activities to rotate are Legos, toy animals, Non-Fiction books, painting, gluing, and coloring.
Indoor activities are great to have available in this Arizona heat! Having a yoga mat accessible to the child with yoga cards allows them to take it out when they would like, a music player with a playlist of their favorite songs that they can listen to, and arts and crafts that they can do and access when they want to.
Children should have access to the kitchen to prepare their own snack. Give the child their own drawer of snacks in the fridge that they are able to access on their own and that you are okay with them eating at any time. You can also prepare a small child size table with a cutting board, peeler, and knife for them to prepare their own vegetables and fruit when they feel hungry. Allow the child to help you with everyday chores and preparing meals. The child wants practical life exercises and will be happy to help!
Three Hour Work Period
Throughout the summer keep a consistent routine and sleep pattern for your child. I know days of traveling can be hard but when at home your child will succeed with a set routine. The child works for a full three hours while at school, allow them this same type of stimulation while at home.
Technology should be limited through out the summer. Instead of screen time here are some great local family activities in Arizona that you can check out!
Traveling this Summer?
There’s no better time to enrich your child’s language than when you’re traveling! A few suggestions include reading books from places you visit or exploring a local library in a new town. Take the time to slow down and point out differences in nature that may be new or exciting to your child such as different types of trees, plants, or wildlife.
To support your child’s development of writing, send postcards from your destinations to friends and family. Invite your child to create a daily reflection journal of their travel highlights. If your child cannot write yet, perhaps they can draw their experiences or collect little treasures from nature.
Count the objects they find in nature, i.e., seashells or pinecones. Create a calendar outlining your trip details for them to track the days of the week. Scavenger hunts are fun tasks, even in hotel rooms. “Let’s count how many pillows are in here.”
Create math equations out of packing tasks. For example, “How many shirts will you need for our seven-day trip if you wear two in one day?”
Connecting your child with nature will help them to develop strong sensorial impressions. The scents of the sea, the color of the pine trees, the tastes of foreign foods. Let them explore and build with local items. Estimating how many buckets of sand it will take to build that sand castle, discriminating the dimensions of the spaces between the logs in the forest will help the child create internal order.
Present your child with a map, show them exactly where they are in relation to home and invite them to track their destinations as you travel. Point out land and water form you find or fly over: “This is a lake. Do you see that island out there in the distance?”
Slow down and appreciate the simplicity of togetherness this summer! The most valuable experiences you child has is when they’re spending time with those they love.