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Welcome to Simply Summer School—weekly activities and tips to keep your child learning and engaged over the summer vacation gap! Try out this week’s tips and activities to get your child motivated to keep learning!

Weekly Activity: Create a Newspaper!

It’s time to break out a pad of paper and pencil and get the latest scoop! This week’s activity will engage your child (maybe even some neighbor kids or family members!) while reinforcing reading, writing and personal social skills. Your child will love creating their very own newspaper. From naming the newspaper and writing articles to interviewing family members or taking photographs for the paper, your child will be so engaged, you might just get to sit down with a glass of lemonade! Remember, the more you get excited about what your child is doing, the more active and excited your child will be.

Here’s some suggestions for guiding your child to create a newspaper:

  • Read through some articles in magazines and newspapers together to find out what your child might be interested in writing about. Make a list of ideas for articles.
  • Brainstorm together to come up with clever names for the newspaper. Let your child have the ultimate say in what the name is!
  • Dress the part! Help your child come up with a “reporter” outfit—complete with camera, notepad, pencil and a hat.
  • Encourage your child to interview people in the neighborhood. Another idea is to write about something important to your child such as a nearby playground or what’s happening at the library.
  • Find a newspaper template for your computer so your child can type up their articles. Microsoft offers a free one!
  • Print the newspaper and let your child be a newspaper boy/girl! Your child would probably love it if your friends and family paid $.25 per delivery!

TIP: Children who can’t read or write will still really enjoy this activity! Let them dictate to you what to type for the stories. Or, if they are beginning to write, let them write using their own spelling of words and then read to you what they write. Inventive spelling is a very important developmental stage for learning to write! This activity can be enjoyed by children ages four or five and up!

Weekly Tip: Keep up with basic skills using games!

Many children lose basic math and reading skills over the summer. Take a look at the skills your child mastered this past school year and practice them over the summer. You can find games to keep up with the skills. Some math games you can play are Challenge 24, Shut the Box, Yahtzee, Sequence, and 7 ATE 9. Here are some games we enjoy that will keep language and literacy skills polished over the summer (many of these have junior versions for four to seven-year-olds): Scrabble, Boggle, Scrabble FLASH and Story Cubes.

We love board games at our house. Other games that are great for learning various subjects (but are so fun your kids won’t even realize they’re getting smarter!) are 10 Days in Europe (various other continents), Qwirkle, Rummikub, Apples to Apples Jr and Doodle Dice (a family favorite!).

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