Are you looking for some fun activities to do with your children this summer?
According to Beverly Anderson, executive director for Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in downtown Milwaukee, southside Milwaukee, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “Variety is the spice of life. Use the summer to focus on a wide-array of activities that will keep your children engaged and wanting to learn more.”
Reading and Writing
Anderson says it’s very important to keep your children reading and writing for a minimum of 30 minutes per day throughout the summer. She recommends doing this by having plenty of reading materials around the house, participating in your local library summer reading program, and reading things together.
“Most local libraries have suggested reading lists for each age level, and many also have story hours for young children.”
Anderson says you might also want to select a weekly topic to read and learn about.
“If you’re going to a baseball 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 Anderson. “Build upon the day-to-day activities you have planned to encourage reading.”
Likewise, Anderson suggests having your children keep a daily journal of what they did during their summer vacation. It will help them keep their writing skills fresh and serve as a great memory in the years to come. If this idea seems a bit overwhelming, consider helping your children make scrapbooks that highlight their summer through words, pictures, and mementos.
Anderson says that you should also make it a point to incorporate math into every day, real life situations throughout the summer.
“If you are baking cookies, utilize this fun activity to talk about fractions. Or, if you are remodeling a room, have your children help you figure out the square footage of the room, so you can order new flooring. Opportunities to discuss math with your children are everywhere.”
Anderson says one place in particular that can offer a great learning opportunity for math is at the grocery store.
“Talk to your children before you go shopping about the importance of budgeting and have them estimate how much you are spending as you shop. It will be a valuable lesson,” says Anderson.
Anderson says to take advantage of the great summer weather and explore the world around you.
“Take nature hikes and search for bugs and wildlife. Look at constellations on a clear summer night. Visit the zoo and learn about some of the world’s endangered animals. Plant a garden or go berry picking to learn about how food is grown and harvested.”
Music and Art Ideas
Anderson says summer is the perfect time to let your children’s artistic senses soar. She suggests attending one of the many free concerts around Greater Milwaukee. Create finger puppets based on characters in a book you’ve read. Make bugs like the ones you’ve captured outside, or sketch flowers like the ones you’ve picked. She also says to let your children draw with sidewalk chalk or paint with an old paint brush and a bucket of water on the driveway until their hearts are content.
Anderson believes it is very important to get your children up and moving every day. You can do this by visiting your local parks, going for a bike ride, or swimming. You can also do yard work or just take walks around your neighborhood to explore the world around you.
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers free Parenting Talks and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, and in Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.