May 072016
 
Child cutting out shapes with scissors for a paper collageAs the summer months approach and the school year winds down, parents are beginning to ask themselves, "How do I keep my child learning and creating during the summer? How do I keep my child's mind active and curious without the structure of a classroom?" Learning does not need to end when the last school bell rings for the summer. There are many ways to stimulate imagination and encourage self learning as children explore their worlds beyond the classroom. With a little bit of creative thinking and planning on your part, you can make your child's summer a time for fun and enrichment.

Five Ways to keep your child creative during summer months:

  1. Encourage Reading - Reading all year long is very important for children of all ages. Reading to children who have not yet developed reading skills is also important.You can encourage your child to read in a number of ways. Visiting the library and reading great books with your child on a daily basis is one very important way to maintain reading and literacy skills.  Enlivening the stories a child has read by creating games and art projects around them is also a fun way to make reading and literacy fun. Have your child draw pictures of the main characters, or have them act out some of the stories in a play or puppet show. The more the child engages with the story in a creative way, the more valuable the reading skills become to them.
  2. Explore New Places - Visiting new places and trying new experiences with children inspires their curiosity in addition to teaching them new things. Take your child on day trips to museums, parks, nature centers, art exhibits, etc.
  3. Listen to Different Styles of Music - Music stimulates creative thinking and mathematical understanding. Encouraging children to explore a variety of musical styles broadens their minds, and it is fun to learn about different cultures through music. Free streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify bring a world of musical experiences to you and your child at the push of a button. Challenge yourself to listen to different musical styles with your child and Google to learn more about them. Dance and enjoy the music with your child!
  4. Engage in Activities with Pets - Children learn valuable lessons about empathy and responsibility from pets. Building relationships with pets can also lead to many creative endeavors that enhance overall learning. I remember as a child, my cat Pyewacket was a great listener as I tried to master the guitar (a failed endeavor, but I learned a lot about music anyway). Pyewacket also participated in numerous concerts and plays, and he was the subject of many drawings and other creative projects. Learn more about creative engagement between children and pets at Crayons and Collars.
  5. Follow Mia Meow's Latest Creative Adventures! - Each week, we will be posting new creative projects and activities here that you can share with your child. You can subscribe to receive her latest adventures by email using the form in the right sidebar.
I hope that you and your child enjoy many creative adventures together this summer! Life is an Adventure! BZTAT

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