Learning

Summer fun

Play is crucial for children, as it fosters individuality and knowledge as well as creativity and curiosity. And most importantly, it’s usually lots of fun. The Knowledge Academy shares six activities that parents and carers can do with their child at home. They combine learning with mindfulness ­ and they don’t break the bank!

Published

WORD SNAP

Equipment required

  • Paper: £1
  • Pen or pencil: 50p
  • Coloured pencils: 75p

Everyone loves playing Snap so why not make your own version to help improve memory and vocabulary? Choose a mixture of words depending on your child’s age and vocabulary range and write the words onto DIY cards. Lie each card face down and get the children to pick a card. Encourage each child to read the word from their card out loud and then choose another — if the two cards don’t match, put both cards back down again and try until all pairs have been found.

SHOPPING SPREE

Equipment required

  • Paper: £1
  • Pen or pencil: 50p
  • Money and Treats: your discretion

Probably one of the most fun and efficient ways to teach children about money is through creating a ‘fake’ shop at home. Turn a section of a room into a makeshift shop using items you know they love such as their favourite toys and snacks ­ and give them some money to play with. This money could be real or fake, it’s up to you! Price all the items up so it encourages your child to engage in simple maths and work out if they have enough money for certain items.

TREASURE HUNT

Equipment required

  • Paper: £1
  • Pen or pencil: 50p

To help improve map-reading and navigation skills, hold a treasure hunt in your home or garden. Create a map showing different area points where they can find clues that will eventually lead them to the treasure. This activity enhances communication and teamwork skills as well as ‘out of the box’ thinking. It will also result in a sense of achievement, so don’t forget X marks the spot!

The following activities aim to improve your child’s mindfulness. Understanding a child's emotional needs is crucial, as learning may be overwhelming for some kids. An ability to be mindful is excellent for lowering anxiety and can enhance learning.

NATURE ART

Equipment required

  • Paper: £1
  • Glue: 85p

A good way of relaxing children is by making sure they get plenty of fresh air. Combining the outdoors with crafts is a great way to stimulate the brain. Let them explore and gather a variety of different materials such as leaves, grass, rocks, sticks etc and create a piece of art or self-portrait. It is a wonderful distraction from anxiety, whilst feeding their curious nature.

FIVE SENSES CHALLENGE

Equipment required:

  • Paper: £1
  • Pen or pencil: 50p

Take your child for a walk and ask them to practice their senses by observing their surroundings. Get them to record what they see, hear, taste, smell and touch by either writing or drawing them. This allows them to concentrate on their body functions in a fun and educational way and helps to eliminate anxiety.

CLOUD CATCHING

Equipment required:

  • Green space

Relax your child's mind by taking them out into the fresh air. Lie down with them looking at the clouds and encourage them to say what they see in the sky, pointing out any shapes and images that their mind may create. Also ask them to describe any changes in the clouds as they move along. This free activity is great for creativity and even story-telling skills. All you need is green space.

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