Wondering what to do with your young child at home all summer? We’ve compiled a list of fun AND educational activities you can do for free or very cheaply with your toddler or preschool-aged child this summer that will improve their math, reading and motor skills.
Visit a farmer’s market
The plethora of fruits and vegetables at markets are great learning tools. Children can learn colors and work on math skills by counting the fruit they help you pick out. Find a farmer’s market near you.
Open a lemonade stand
Make lemonade with your child and let them help you measure and count the ingredients. Help them count the money they receive from customers. Bonus points if you teach them about the importance of giving back by donating their profits to a local charity!
Go on a nature walk
Create an adventure in your backyard, neighborhood park or the greenbelt. Point out the different kinds of trees, plant and insect life you find with your child.
Put on a puppet show
This project will spark creativity. Read an age-appropriate book with your child. Then, using paper lunch bags, pipe cleaners, markers and other craft items, create puppets of the main characters and act out the story you just read together.
To get your child excited about the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, host a competition of your own.
Count together to see how many times your child can jump over a jumprope or make a rotation with a hula hoop. Using painters tape, create a “balance beam” on the ground to work on motor skills or put on some music and come up with a gymnastics floor routine. Help your child use construction paper and ribbon to create medals for the different categories.
Create a checklist of basic categories of things to find around the house. For example, some items on the list to find may include “something red” or “something shaped like a square.” The possibilities are endless and you can incorporate a variety of skill-building.
Beat the heat
Set up a baby pool or plastic tub outside and fill it with water, measuring cups and plastic toys to practice counting. You can also add food coloring to the water to make it even more fun and eye-catching.