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Our Blog: June 13, 2011

The Busy Parent’s Guide to Summer Learning Fun

Summer’s here! Throughout the month of June, I’ll  have lots of ideas for how to boost your kids’ learning. But don’t worry! My tips are simple, inexpensive, and fun for the whole family – and guaranteed to help that little noggin grow. We’ll start out today with how to get your summer learning off to a great start. Later in the month, I’ll give you my tips for how to use the power of your child’s senses to boost learning, and we’ll wrap it all up with a  complete day of fun activities for Summer Brain Building!

Building Literacy = Having Fun! Summer Activities for Preschoolers

Summer at my home in Hawaii is even more “kick-back” than the rest of the year. The schedule of activities slows down, leaving us more time to play with the kids. But the kids’ minds are growing at a New York City pace! Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of fancy gadgets or expensive learning programs to maximize little ones’ learning and development. Here are my tips to combine learning and fun:

  • Discover the Brain-Boosting Power in Everyday Life. A nature walk, trip to the grocery store, or family vacation are all packed with learning opportunities – you just have to look. Letters on street signs, reading up on summer bugs, and creating thank-you cards for Grandma and Grandpa are all great ways to build pre-reading skills.
  • Spend Less – Learn More. You know those expensive “Learn To Read” infomercials on TV? Save your cash. Luckily, your kiddies just need the basics to learn. A stick to draw letters with in the dirt or the sand, the “ABC Song,” and a library card for lots of fun reading with YOU will get them where they need to be!
  • Read, Read — and Read Some More! Offer books about nature, fairies, dinosaurs – whatever interests your kids. But don’t worry if they want to hear the same stories over and over (and over….). Repetitive learning boosts kids’ sense of safety and predictability in the world, helps them learn cause and effect – AND it builds their reading memory, too.
  • Have Fun! Doctor’s Orders. If you need an excuse, I ORDER you to have fun! Studies show that children learn best from adults who are relaxed, enthusiastic about learning, and make it FUN.  So go ahead and make the most of your summer, knowing your kids will be learning a ton!
About the Author

Dr. Heather Wittenberg

Dr. Wittenberg is a psychologist specializing in the development of babies, toddlers, preschoolers — and parents. She offers no-hype, practical parenting advice on her blog BabyShrink — rooted in science, and road tested in her own home as the mother of four young children. She has helped thousands of parents over the years and knows that the most common problems with young children — sleep, feeding, potty training and behavior — can be the most difficult ones to solve.