Thursday, June 8, 2017

Preparing for summer holidays

Pre-K 2 at snack time.

Our growth wall.

Pre-K 2 at play time outside.
Congratulations! We have survived the school year. You are likely to think: now what? Here are some ideas to get you and your child into a good holiday spirit that will help keep her/his curiosity peaked, imagination active, and social-emotional skills developing:

1.     Develop a new summertime routine without school. This will create a sense of security and stability for your child now that she/he will not be going to school every day.
2.     As a part of the new routine, consider setting up regular play dates or joining a playgroup so that your child can continue to socialize and practice her/his social skills.
3.     Let your child play. Young children do their best learning through play.  This is when their creativity and imagination flourish as well. Inside and outside play offer varied environments for discovery and imagination.
4.     Encourage your child to participate in the household: she/he can help pour in ingredients when cooking; “write” (draw) a shopping list; or be responsible for a reasonably specific task (such as putting her/his toys away or watering a plant daily)
5.     I received positive feedback from parents about the link I posted on the blog in late May. You can continue to help your child develop her/his social-emotional skills. Praise positive behavior; name emotions, and help your child get through a difficult moment by encouraging and modeling healthy ways to respond to an emotion. Try a new technique during challenging moments (Refer to some other resources here or here).
6.     Let your child play!
7.     Read books to and with your child. If you can access a public a library, visit the library and let your child choose some new books from time to time. You can even simply look at the pictures together and describe what is happening.
8.     Offer options for coloring and drawing such as pencils, crayons, and paper or child-friendly paints if you have them. Here is a link for free coloring pages: Coloring pages link
9.     Offer options for unstructured creative projects that will also enhance fine motor skills such as cutting and gluing old magazines or newspapers, playing with playdough (here is one homemade playdough recipe), or playing with magnets and paper clips.
10. Let your child play! Even if you do no have lots of toys, that’s okay. Boredom can spark imagination. You can also pull out some non-breakable kitchen utensils, plastic containers, a cardboard box, and towels or couch cushions/pillows and see what your child comes up with (then have her/him help clean up!).
11. Open up your closet for some dress up and make-believe time.
12. If you want to (and have time to), you can do some craft projects with your child. Here is a link with ideas. Save some things that you would normally throw away like plastic water bottles (Diago), cardboard boxes, or toilet paper rolls that can be used for such projects.
13. Sing, dance, and play games with your child. Our kids have loved all of the songs we sing in class! They can teach you these songs or you can sing some children’s songs in your own language. They can also teach you simple games we have played like Duck, Duck, Goose or Hide and Seek.
14. Depending on your child’s interest, come up with various challenges or games for your child, such as collecting as many stones as possible from the garden, or building the highest lego tower, longest block road, spotting as many different types of birds or plants in the garden, etc. as possible. Playing I-Spy is great for long car rides or long waits.
15. Let your child play and get dirty J Take out a bucket, fill it with water, soap (optional), and a few toys and let your child get wet and dirty outside. A simple mixture of cornstarch (Maizena) and some water (add little by little gradually) in a bucket is also hours of fun (preferably before bathtime)!

If you are working and/or spending a lot of time away from your child, you can suggest some of these activities to a secondary caregiver who will spend more time with your child during the summer holidays.

I wish you and your child a safe and very happy holiday!

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