Language arts and social studies academic officer, Erin Schmidt, encourages parents to check out Columbus Metropolitan Libraries and Metro Parks this summer if they’re looking for fun, stimulating activities. At the libraries, students can get their own library cards, participate in summer reading programs, explore different branches and check out books about places they’re going to visit or animals they see at the zoo. At the parks, Schmidt encourages parents and students to participate in programs, discuss pictures they take at the parks, tell stories about experiences, play and take walks while talking about the things they see.
Megan McLean, Kindergarten teacher at Jefferson Elementary, recommends using the summer to create morning and bedtime routines that will work when the school year begins. The school day begins early, and many children will be tired as they adjust to their new schedule. By creating a predictable routine, such as brushing teeth, reading two books and turning out the lights at 7:30 p.m., children will be better prepared for their first day.
McLean also recommends talking about school and what to expect to soon-to-be Kindergartners to help alleviate any first day jitters. Taking kids to play on their new school’s playground and attending open house events are a great way to get children acquainted with their new environment. Parents also can find fun ways to practice writing and math at home with their children by writing their names in chalk or counting flowers in the garden.
It is important to keep children engaged over the summer to support a smoother transition into school. Supportive activities and experiences should focus on the joys of early childhood, including playing and talking.