As Summer Break is Winding Down, Get in a Few Family ActivitiesJuly 24th, 2017
Family Activities Improve Learning Skills for Dyslexia, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, and Gifted
Summer break is winding down, but there is still time to have fun and bring your child’s skills up. There is nothing like taking the last few weeks of the summer and infusing in some extra fun while gearing your kids up for the new school year. This is especially important if your kids have any learning problems, dyslexia, or ADHD. Giving your kids the best start you can is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. And, doing these summer break family activities does improve learning and memory skills.
Three Summer Break Family Activities to Improve Learning Skills
Field Trips with the Family
Go on a few field trips. I have found over the years that many counties have a special Heritage Day where all of the county museums are open for free. This is a great low-cost activity that brings huge learning benefits.
This is one of the things we’re doing this year with our grandkids. It will be such fun to see the 2nd and 3rd grader seeing the old Chinese Gold Rush Era Museum as well as the original schoolroom from the 1800’s and they will learn how to make ‘old fashioned’ ice cream.
To keep this heritage day memory, we will take pictures and then when we get home we’ll put them together with writing a few sentences about our day (using the fill-in-the-blank forms from Ten Minutes to Better Study Skills). This will only take about 10 minutes, and then we’ll put it in the family scrapbook. Going through the scrapbook every month or so helps the kids remember the event as well as all they learned that day.
This additional part of the day is extremely important for all kids, whether they have dyslexia, learning disabilities, ADHD, or are gifted. This activity is what builds memory skills.
So, look around your area. What museums are available to you? What state parks or county parks are available? Where can you go for a low-cost fun day of learning with the family?
Reading: Costume Dinner with the Family
- Read daily.
- Read one book together, taking turns reading.
- Plan a dinner where everyone dresses up as their favorite character. Imagine in what sort of ‘voice’ your character would speak. Also, think about how your character acts in the story. How does your favorite character interact with other characters in the story? How would they interact with a character from a different story? Try to role play a little bit through your meal.
Scavenger Hunt: Summer Break Family Activity
A scavenger hunt is a hunt where teams of players search for specific items that are on the list. The player or team that finds the most items wins. The prize can be simple such as picking out the video they will watch. Scavenger hunts can be set up in one room, a house, a yard, the block or park, or even at a shopping mall. Keep the lists length age appropriate: i.e. 5 – 10 items for first and second graders; 10 – 15 for 3rd and 4th graders; 15 to 20 for 5th grade and above.
Items by Color Scavenger Hunt
Find an item that is:
Items by Feature Scavenger Hunt
Another hunt would be to find items by various feature type, such as finding different types of leaves:
- A red leaf
- A pointy leaf
- A smooth leaf
- A leaf that is less than one inch tall
- A leaf that is more than 4 inches tall
Store Window Scavenger Hunt at the Mall
You can also do a scavenger hunt at the mall where players have to write down which store window they saw a particular item in. It is helpful to go to the mall first to find items the participants should look for. Some examples:
- A red shoe
- A black and white belt
- A yellow sun hat
- A cell phone
- Jean shorts
- Boys swimsuit
- A tennis ball
What are some memorable scavenger hunts you have done in the past? Or, what are your favorite family activities you have done this summer? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear about them!