Summer Slide is a phrase that describes the slide backwards that children make in reading and math skills over the summer. Basically, it is the old adage, "use it or lose it!"
Statistics vary as to how much knowledge is lost over the summer, but there are many ways to support our kids in our daily lives!
Here is 5 things that I do with my kids over the summer:
1. READ, and read so more! Read out loud to them, have them read to you. Kids emulate what they see, so let them see you reading. Read signs at the store, on the road, wherever you go! Make sure you stop by the store and pick up your free Gingy bookmark.
2. Play Games - so many games promote strategic thinking, math & reading skills and even social skills. This summer, I am introducing Yahtzee and a travel game that we just got in store called Words. Some other favourites are Bananagrams, Mexican Train (Dominoes) and Scrabble!
3. Explore outdoors! Take a net to the lake, what creatures can you find? Look up plants with an app or go geocaching (a family favourite of ours) - so much learning and relaxation occurs in our woods, plus the fresh air and exercise are an awesome bonus.
4. Bake or cook - What a great life skill to learn! Reading, following directions, motor skills and math are just a few of the things that can be incorporated into an everyday need. One thing that I do is take away a measuring cup, and ask my kids how we can measure out the ingredients with the measuring cups that are left (fractions!) For example, if we need a cup of sugar, I'll take away that cup and have them figure out that they need 3 x 1/3 Cups or 2 x 1/2 Cups.
5. Traditional workbooks, flash cards, online programs and apps are another way to mix it up and keep it interesting! My kids love the Hot Dots we have at the store (and we have lots of options coming soon!) - they are a neat alternative to the traditional flash card.
So many opportunities arise for added learning, we can help you find the games, tools, workbooks and story books to make this summer fun! If you have a favourite way to add learning to your everyday, share with us in the comments :)
On our last road trip, my youngest uttered the words "Are we there yet?" quite early into our journey. In fact, we had barely left city limits, having just passed 15 Mile Road! Oh Boy!
But the words are we there yet,
"Are We There Yet?" is a super fun, eye spy game that easily fits anywhere, perfect for leaving in your glove compartment. In fact, Nancy's never leaves her car! The cute, car shaped storage bag contains 108 cards with a number of items you might spot while on the road and the instructions. The object of the game is to collect the most cards by spotting all your items! Each player is given one card to start, and once you have found that item you receive another card.
Players may also choose to help one another :)
Board games help children develop logic and reasoning skills, improve critical thinking and boost spatial reasoning. As well, their ability to concentrate and focus for a longer periods of time is also developed.
BUT board games aren't the easiest thing to travel in a car with. You can purchase travel versions of popular classic games, but one player games such as Rush Hour are perfect for the car! Not only are we keeping busy on long road trips, we are learning and developing skills.
My kids, including the 13 year old loved this game! Its a combination of cooperation and strategy, but not super hard - my six year old keeps bugging me to play again and again :)
One person is in control of the lantern, aka the seeker and everyone else is in charge of the Shadowlings and needs to work together to keep them safe and ultimately get them all to one hiding spot to win the game! We suggest using at least one more Shadowling than there are players and using less hiding places for longer game play - overall we give the game a 5 out of 5 for fun, ease and laughs!
The game has some set up that needs to be done before play, doesn't take very long but if you have some impatient types, its nice to know! I also suggest having a small flashlight if you are playing with younger ones, it can be difficult for them to see the Shadowlings when it is time for them to move! The instruction booklet is well laid out and the rules are simple and easy. If you are more of a visual learner, I liked this video from Geek & Sundry -
Boon's Animal bag helps contain the extra thousands of stuffed animals roaming your house! It turns them into a comfy place to hang out, read a book and cuddle with a stuffy :) If you need a stuffed animal we can help with that too!
Pretend & Play Sliceable Fruits & Veggies are a great gift for your aspiring chef! Hours of play and imagination all while learning about healthy eating and practicing motor skills - learning can be snuck into play just like sneaking those veggies into the spaghetti sauce ;)
Skwish is an award winning, classic wooden toy that is awesome for motor skill development and perfect for teething! Keep one in your diaper bag and one at home.
Ladderball and Perfect Pitch Washers are great games for the whole family! Both come with convenient carry bags so you can take the fun with you to the beach, camping and your backyard.
The first opportunity is the Angel Tree at the store! Pick a tag off the tree and buy a gift, its that simple :) There is a variety of age groups on the tree and we can help you find a gift that fits your budget. Every little bit helps make Christmas happier for a Prince George child.
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Last but certainly not least, the UHNBC Paediatric Ward is another awesome place to give this holiday season! Unfortunately, many kids have to spend the holidays in the hospital and you could put a smile on their faces by giving them the gift of play!
We would like to offer a discount to anyone buying toys for these opportunities.
Just mention the reason for your visit to receive the discount!
My kids and I recently got to try out a new product that is in the store. Paint Your Own is a line of products that features stepping stones in various shapes, and 3-D items like bunnies and flower pots. Each kit comes with all the supplies needed to paint the project, all you need to provide is an oven and a cookie sheet to cure the paint.
Abby's Review: (Age 9)
This was a fun project, I want to do another one on my own next time! It does take a while to do because you have to let the paint dry and most of the colours need a second coat of paint. I also liked that we had lots of paint leftover and were able to paint rocks to leave on the trails for people to find.