July is a great month in the summer. Families vacation and visit each other. Our nation celebrates its beginnings. During the sunny days children off from school have more time to be with their parents and visit parks, zoos, museums and be outdoors. Some families take trips to specifically go fishing, camping or horseback riding. Others relax at home and grill out by the pool.
Making homemade ice cream is one of my family’s favorite summertime activities. We have tried recipes using fruit, flavorings or yogurt. It is a nice way to spend a hot day after supper. Hot summer nights also bring back memories of a circus and carnivals. Adults may see these things as cheap entertainment or even a waste of money, but for the child they are places of adventure.
A chart can be made in the classroom about what students do over the summer. Charts help teach children to count, recognize numbers and letters, develop one to one correspondence, and even help develop basic skills in addition and subtraction. Open ended questions help them remember the fun things they have experienced. What did you do while on vacation? Who did you go see while you were away? What is your favorite thing to do in the summer? What would you like to do next time you are on vacation? Poll the classroom to see what activities are the favorites. Post the chart in the classroom.
Encourage children to write stories and draw pictures about their summer favorites. Drawing and writing (dictation) help children to learn how to express their feelings. They will also develop their imagination and pay attention to the details of things around them. They will learn how to make comparisons between different shapes, textures, and sizes. The product can be sent home to be posted on the refrigerator or send to a grandparent. Their skills in communication will become better through all of this, too.
Hope you are enjoying the summer. Whatever your favorite activity, be sure to share it!