Incorporating Learning Into Summer Fun – June 2009

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Do you want to make sure your children continue learning throughout the summer?  It’s possible to do this and still have fun!

According to Samantha Stern, training and development director at Ebenezer Child Care Centers, “Keeping children engaged throughout the summer months is easier than you think.  There are opportunities for learning around every corner.”

Creative Play

Stern says you should encourage your children to engage in creative play on a daily basis throughout the summer, and that this can be done by getting them outside so they can run, climb, find secret hiding places, and dream up wonderful adventures.

She also encourages simple toys such as a ball, a sand box, or even an empty appliance box to get their creativity soaring.

“Giving your children a big box, and letting them do whatever they want with it encourages them to use their imagination.  It’s also a terrific way to encourage creative play.”

Reading Regularly

Stern says it’s very important to keep your children reading for a minimum of 20 minutes per day throughout the summer.  She recommends doing this by having plenty of reading material around the house, going to your local library, and reading things together, such as the local newspaper.

Stern points out that most local libraries have suggested reading lists for each age level and many have story hours for young children.  She says you might want to select a weekly topic to read and learn about.

“If you’re going to a Brewers’ game, use it as an opportunity to pick up a book about the rules of baseball or a magazine about the latest and greatest players,” states Stern. “Build upon the day-to-day activities you have planned to encourage reading.”

Weekly Adventures

Stern reminds us that there are many noteworthy attractions in Milwaukee that can provide excellent learning opportunities for children.

“The Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee Art Museum, Mitchell Park Domes, Milwaukee County Zoo, and many public concerts throughout Milwaukee all offer wonderful opportunities for weekly adventures where you can learn more about a wide variety of things.  Plus, many of these attractions have free days for Milwaukee County residents,” says Stern.

Stern recommends that you pick a weekly theme to learn about with your children, and then base your week’s reading and adventures off of this theme.

“Summer can be a wonderful time to connect with your children in a special way and to learn all sorts of neat things together!”

Ebenezer Child Care Centers, Inc. will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night on “Incorporating Learning Into Summer Fun” on Tuesday, June 2, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at their Downtown Center located at 340 W. St. Paul Avenue, across from the main post office.  Come learn more about how to incorporate learning into summer fun and enjoy dinner on us.  This event, which is sponsored by Children’s Hospital’s Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Fund, is free and open to the public.  Registration is required.  Please call 414-643-5070 to register.