It's hot. Summer's humidity has already smacked me in the face and it's way before noon (and June!!). Schools let out very soon and kids are thrilled. The start of summer is the longest time kids will have before they have to back to school, at least that's how the see it. How are you going to keep you kids' minds sharp during these next few months, so they don't walk into their new classrooms next September having forgotten everything they learned this past year? No sweat. Three words. Authentic Learning Experiences! I don't want to use the word sneaky, but I sort of do. You need to be sneaky and keep their little brains in tip-top shape without them even knowing it! Keep your kids thinking without knowing that's what they're doing.
For example: The streets in my neighborhood are all three-syllables and alphabetized. While on a walk, what a great game it would be to ask kids to come up with fictitious names of streets that could fit in between the real ones. So you've got Abingdon, Buchanan, Covington -- how about Camelot? Where would that go? Before or after Covington, why? Does it fit the description of 3 syllables? Why or why not?
How about this one: Each night, my brother incorporates story time with his two girls. But, instead of just reading to them, he gives them a choice: read a book, Dad makes up a story, or Jane and Marie make up the story. The girls LOVE to hear Dad's stories, and usually build off them for their stories the next night. Keep that imagination going. And, then, as they get older, he could have them write down the stories the next morning. They're going to want to do that because the stories belong to the girls. They are excited about them because they created them.
Or, while your kids are out jump roping or playing hopscotch, have a contest to see if they can count by 2s or 3s, rather just by 1s. Use the word multiples, as in "Can you count by multiples of 2 and get to 26 before you step on the jump rope?" Make it some obscure number because that's more exciting for them. They're having fun jump roping, but they're also thinking mathematically and learning the word "multiple" without even knowing it.
What are ways that you have fun with your kids while sneaking in a little learning?