Find a balance between relaxing and keeping the little one’s brain fit throughout the summer break
The summer holidays are right around the corner and at British Tutors we think the summer should be a time for our kids to rest, relax and explore new hobbies and interests. But, like a muscle, the brain needs constant exercising to stay in shape and we don’t want flabby brains at the start of the new school year! So how can we find a balance between relaxation and keeping that brain active? We’ve put together the following ideas for activities which will stretch the mind without feeling at all like work, why not try them with your kids this year?
Activities for Little Learners: Age 4-6
- Craft activities are always great with little learners. We love the idea of creating your own “cardboard family.” Ask your child to lie on a large piece of cardboard and then draw a line around their body. Take turns for them to do the same to you and the other members of your family. Then cut out the shapes and decorate them with painted features, wool for hair, old clothing, buttons and string.
- Building on your child’s phonics and foundation reading skills are really important during the holidays. Create mini-books using lined paper and cardboard for the book cover. Once they’ve made their book, they can write up a story and illustrate it. For younger ages, this can be done using simple words and illustrations whereas for slightly older learners, they can try their hand at including a plot and some imaginative characters.
- Using old socks, wool, felt and buttons, have a go at making your own hand and finger puppets with your child. Then create stories and songs for each puppet character. Feeling ambitious? Work on creating a whole puppet theatre!
Activities for Mini Explorers: Age 7-10
- Boardgames are brilliant at building skills like strategising, cooperating and interpreting instructions, so bring out the Monopoly, Scrabble and Articulate! and play with your children over the holidays. Or, for the more adventurous gamers, building your own board game as a family can be lots of fun. Get the children to work together leading the strategy for developing the rules, name and purpose of the game and designing how it is going to look and work.
- Create a fun summer project, perhaps on an author they are reading, a country you’re visiting or about Hong Kong itself. Make this a focus for the holidays, going to museums and galleries which are relevant to the project and collecting souvenirs, photographs or ticket stubs to stick into the project book as a keepsake.
- Cooking is a wonderful and varied way to learn. Little do children realise that they are using maths (for measurements) and English (for reading and understanding the instructions) while making something they’ll no doubt want to eat! Have your child plan a menu for a family dinner and then cook it with them, having first gone shopping for just the right amount of each ingredient they’ll need.
Activities for Older Kids: Ages 11-14
- Writing letters and postcards over the long holidays not only keeps your children writing and their penmanship in check, but will also be a wonderful relative-pleaser! Even if you aren’t travelling abroad this summer, your children can keep in touch with their school friends and family by writing from Hong Kong and sending postcards that they can design themselves.
- Remember to make the most of situations. If you’re going on holiday abroad, encourage your children to research the culture, food, language and history of your destination. They can even put together a presentation to give to the family before you leave.
- If you are going to an exhibition or museum, they can read a book about the era of history or a particular artist. If you’re going to see a movie, they can become a film critic, or if you are eating out, have them design their own recipes or become the family’s restaurant critic.
Hong Kong offers lots of different options for holiday fun. At British Tutors we run our popular Summer Workshops for kids aged 4-14. Our workshops specialise in giving brains a workout while learning and trying new skills. Why not consider signing up?
For more information and a copy of our workshop brochure visit www.britishtutors.com/what-we-do/holiday-programmes. Or if you’d rather leave Hong Kong for a summer adventure, how about joining us at The Summer Academy, our UK based summer school, this year? www.thesummeracademy.co.uk
Guest authors Eleanor Ford and Olivia Hungerford are the founders of British Tutors a company offering the very highest standard of tailored tuition in your home by top tutors from the UK. They have a team in Hong Kong teaching a wide range of subjects and courses including academic preparation for UK school entrance.