One week, your kids are running through the house dripping wet after spending all day at the pool. The next, they’re sitting politely in class soaking up knowledge about dinosaurs, volcanoes, and the solar system. But as the freewheeling fun of summer vacation gives way to the rigor and structure (and excitement!) of back-to-school season, there are certain ways you can ease your kids’ transition back to the classroom, so they’re ready for a successful year.
Here are a few tips and strategies to help get your kids get back into the swing of learning — all while they continue to embrace the carefree air of summer.
Make Learning Activities More Fun (and Keep It Casual)
One of the most important things you can do leading up to school is to look for ways to integrate learning into everyday fun and activities — without making a big fuss over it. “Even when you're doing activities that are fun, you can throw in things that will engage kids in some amount of learning,” says Novea McIntosh, Ed.D., an assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Dayton, Ohio. “Make it informal and fun, and unbeknownst to them, they'll actually be learning.”
Take for instance, these Klutz Circuit Games: They may appear to be all fun and games, but with a step-by-step instruction guide, wires, LEDs, and buzzers, children must tap critical thinking and STEM skills to build their own electrifying games. Any activity that is playful but requires new skills will help ease your child back into the learning that’ll be expected of them in school, while they still enjoy the fun of summer.