Summer is a challenging time for parents and their young children. Children no longer have the structure of the weekly pre-school day, which can leave them restless and bored.
Fortunately, parents can take some simple steps to keep their children active and engaged during the summer. It's all about finding the right activities.
Becky Meyerson, Executive Director of St. Christopher's Montessori School in the Park Cities, says that children need to be physical every day. Active play will keep both their bodies and minds active, and will prepare them for the start of the school year in the fall.
"The more children are active, the more engaged they will be," Meyerson said. "Engaged and happy children will make the summer more enjoyable for everyone - children and their parents."
Meyerson shares her list of top five summer activities for young children.
- Garden: Parents don't need to be experienced gardeners or own a large plot of land to teach their children the basics of growing vegetables, fruit and flowers. Meyerson recommends that parents and children work together to grow tomatoes, squash and carrots in containers or small back yard gardens. Children will enjoy watering and harvesting their produce.
- Cooking time: Meals offer a daily opportunity for parents and children to work together. Meyerson recommends that adults teach children how to measure ingredients and mix them together. Children should also help with the cleaning-up process. This may seem like work to adults, but children will enjoy dipping dishes in soapy water and scrubbing them clean. Cooking is also a good way to inspire children to try new foods.
- Paint: Children can exercise their imagination by painting in just about any medium, from watercolors to sidewalk paint. Young children will enjoy taking a bucket of water and a paintbrush outside to "paint" their home's sidewalks, driveways and patios.
- Play dates with a purpose: Take some short trips with learning lessons added to them such as a local farmer's market, where you can teach children how to identify fresh fruit. The Dallas Zoo’s new Koala Bear is a kid fan favorite. A local park offers a fun place to hold an impromptu scavenger hunt. Instruct your children to find a woman wearing a hat, a man walking a dog or a teen on a skateboard.
- Science fun: Parents can teach their children the basics of science while disguising these lessons as fun. Parents and children can make a baking soda volcano, create invisible ink or tour their house with magnets to see which appliances and toys are magnetic. In addition, the Museum of Nature & Science in Fair Park has many fun – and air-conditioned – activities for young children all summer long.
Montessori schools rely on fun activities like these during the school year to keep children engaged and learning. If you're interested in learning more about Montessori, call St. Christopher's Montessori School at 214-363-9391. You can visit the school online at http://www.stchristophersmontessori.com/.
St. Christopher’s Montessori School
7900 Lovers Lane
Dallas, TX 75225
Southwest corner of Lovers Lane & Central Expressway