Summer Learning Tips from California State PTA
The summer months are a particularly great time for parents and families to reinforce bonds with their children by participating together in fun, learning activities.
Using Numbers for Fun
Give children a map and a marker to follow the route you are traveling. Watch for street or road signs. Using the mileage scale on the map, check approximately how far you have gone, and estimate how much farther you must go to the end of the trip.
Keep a list of car license plates by state and see who can spot the most states.
Add the numbers on each license plate and see who can find the one adding up to the largest number.
In wet sand, compare the depth of big and small footprints due to weight differences.
Estimate how much time it will take to reach your destination by giving your children the mileage and the speed you are traveling.
Plan a special outing to the museum, the beach, or the park, and have your child show the way on the map. Estimate the distance, and then check to see how close you came.
Encourage Physical Fitness
Set a positive example.
Limit your own daily TV viewing, aiming to exercise every day, making healthy food choices and encouraging your child to do the same.
Set reasonable rules for computer and TV use.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two watch no television and children over the age of two limit television viewing to no more than two hours per day.
One hour of exercise a day.
Help your child choose an activity - any activity - such as walking, basketball, or bike riding, and encourage one hour of exercise per day.
Summer sports or camp
Consider registering your child for an organized summer sports league or active day camp.
Purchase a pedometer for your young teen to count steps throughout the day, aiming for 11,000 daily steps (ages 6 to 17). *
*Reprinted with permission from Summer Break - Tips For A Healthy Summer: A Guide for Parents of Young Teens (National PTA website, www.pta.org).
Supporting Reading at Home
Encourage children to help make shopping lists, draw and write thank-you notes, write grocery lists, and create menus for meals.
Visit libraries and bookstores
Check out materials such as toys, tapes, CDs, and books from libraries. Participate in activities held by libraries and bookstores, such as story time, writing contests, and summer reading programs.
Set aside time every day for reading
Keep reading and writing materials such as books, magazines, newspapers, paper, markers, crayons, scissors, glue, and stickers accessible to children.
Read with your child
Read books and rhymes and play language games such as tongue twisters and puzzles with your children. Practice the alphabet by pointing out letters wherever you see them and by reading alphabet books. Point out the letter-sound relationships your child is learning on labels, boxes, magazines, and signs.
Keep a notebook
Write down stories your children tell you so that the child may see the connection between oral language and text.
Be a reader
Children observe and learn from people around them. Let your child know you are proud of his/her reading.
Include the Arts
Extensive research indicates the arts help children learn. Visit the PTA SMARTS Bring Back the Arts web page for resources as well as on-line activities.
Visit a Museum
Try to limit exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Use Sun Screen
Use a waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher applied liberally. Don’t forget to protect lips, ears, and toes.
Sun Safety - Tips from the American Cancer Society
Summer Reading Resources
The National Education Association (NEA) book lists
Reading Rockets - Free print guides created for par-ents, teachers, and others in English and Spanish
Braille and Talking Book Library - The California State Library loans Braille, cassette and talking books, magazines and playback equipment to northern Californians unable to read conventional print.
Reading Tip Sheets in 11 Languages - Colorin Colorado provides bilingual re-sources for parents and teachers.
Parents Empowering Parents Guide and Parent Tips
Back to School Tips