Summer is a wonderful time to explore and try new things. While its important to find ways to nurture routine and regularity, it can also be easy to get stuck in a rut with the types of activities we choose or that our child gravitates towards.
In the Education for Life approach the focus is on "all sided" development of the child which means incorporating ways to develop and engage all four aspects of ourselves: body, feeling, will power and intellect. Balanced development leads to true happiness.
Most of us have a particular preference or area of strength that we tend to gravitate towards and the same is true for our children. Some kids could spend the whole summer getting lost in book after book. Others are constantly on the move playing sports, swimming or just running around. Whatever your child's preferences, summer offers us lots of opportunities to find ways to help them stretch in new ways and incorporate activities that help to balance their development.
You can get creative too. Perhaps you want to include an art project for your child who prefers to run and jump. Why not have the art supplies on one side of the room and the paper on the other? Or perhaps make your "art project" more movement based with dancing, music or theater games.
Whatever you do, use your child's strengths and areas of interest to engage them in something new in a way that feels fun and uplifted rather than just a chore that's "good for them." In this way it'll be much easier to motivate them and make a much deeper and much more positive impression overall.
Here are a few ideas of ways to engage and develop each of the four tools of maturity this summer but feel free to create your own as well! Notice which ones you or your child tend to gravitate towards more naturally and bring in an additional element to help them stretch like adding music to bring in feeling or a timed challenge to activate the will power. In this way you will be sure to encourage balanced, holistic development and growth for your whole family.
play an active game or sport or include an element of movement in another activity
experiment with trying some new seasonal fresh fruits or veggies
run, walk, bike etc. to nearby destinations instead of taking the car
set up a sprinkler in the yard and play a game of tag trying to dodge the water
make slime or scented play dough to play with and explore the senses
spend time in nature not just actively but also in quiet ways (try some of the Sharing Nature activities)
listen to uplifting music as you travel or commute
read an uplifting book or story to engage the imagination
learn and sing a new song together as a family, perhaps a song from your childhood!
spend time with animals by visiting a local farm or zoo
make time for creativity, even just a few minutes of quiet drawing or coloring while you prepare dinner
do something new every day - add something new routine to your like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand or making your bed with your eyes closed
create a family challenge to give up something for a day (like sweets or screen time or complaining!)
set a timer and make a challenge out of an everyday activity like cleaning up or getting to the car - try to beat your best time the next day
choose a new skill to learn like juggling, playing an instrument or whatever feels age appropriate
read non-fiction books or magazines to learn more about something relevant to your lives or where you live
have a puzzle out somewhere to work on regularly as a family or play word games like Scrabble or Boggle
visit a local museum or library to explore and learn something new
learn to read a map or follow directions while on a hike or a road trip
If you're looking for more ideas or want some support in knowing where to start, sign up for a free initial coaching session today!