Friday, June 3, 2016

Planning Your Child’s Summer

Now that school is out, it is impossible not to think about the activities that as parents you can have for your child. Whether your child’s summer is centered on summer camps, activities and/or travel, child development experts suggest that you include plenty of time for free play on the calendar.

Discovery School is hosting the DISCOVERY ZONE  7 Summer camp for its fourth year. This camp for children 3-10 offers activities such as science activities, brain teasers, cooking, music, drama, games, arts and crafts and much more. Discounts for parents who bring other children to the camp are offered!

Summer vacations offers many opportunities to let children explore the world through play. Whether the child spends most days in a camp or in child care or at home with a parent or caregiver, take a look at the portion of the day available for unstructured activity that gets filled at the discretion of the child. This is not about TV or computer time. Ideally, children should get a ‘balanced diet’ of several types of activities and play, including active physical play, arts and crafts activities, play with siblings and friends, family-centered fun, reading, outdoor time, and more.

Here are a few tips to consider for your summer:

Ø    Lighten up on scheduled activities. Taking something off the calendar frees up time for child-directed play, and can make your day as a parent easier and more fun, too.
Ø    Respect and protect your child’s playtime as much as you do their other activities.
Ø    Limit television and computer time. Plan ahead with your child the times he is allowed screen time, and stick to your plan.
Ø    Stock up on good and interesting books. Choose books that will be fun for your child to read, and they will be practicing the reading skills they need.
Ø    Visit the local children’s museum, which is designed for play suitable for many different ages. There are other museums in the city that are also worth visiting.
Ø    Make the great outdoors your family’s favorite playground! No matter where you live and how much time you have to play, there is always something new to see or do if you use your imagination.
Ø    The summertime can be a great time to provide some tutoring to build skill and confidence in academic areas of need.  Create balanced opportunities for using the summer to build academic strength, increase skills around independence, and address social skills.  .
Ø    Make a weekly craft day. Look for projects that are easy to do and simple to clean.  Focus on what you are good at, and use it to draw out your child's interests.  Remember that building skills in the small things has just as much value as a big, useful project.