Kids get the summer months to get their hands dirty, enjoy popsicles, and engage in some good, hard play. Why not take advantage of the sun and let them learn a few life skills as well?
Life Skills Your Preschooler Can Learn This Summer
1. Swimming– Summer is a great time to teach your kids how to swim. Sign them up for a simple course that will get them acclimated to the water, learn to stay afloat, and possibly even a start them on a few basic strokes.
As an alternative option, you can teach them yourself if you have a pool at home or a seasonal pass at your local recreational center pool. Uswim.com is a great resource with online lessons, instructions, and skill sets to make sure you are covering all the basics.
2. Basic Plant Knowledge– Take advantage of all the time your are spending outdoors and share some basic plant information with your kids. If you hike a lot, you can point out plants to avoid like poison ivy or sumac, as well as teach them about berries that are safe to pick and eat.
3. Growing and Harvesting Their Own Food– Teach them about where their food comes from. Go berry picking, take a field trip to a farm, or grow a backyard garden.
4. Boundaries– Boundaries are always easier indoors. Why not give them a little more space outside and teach them to stay within specified boundaries? Take this opportunity to have regular conversations about the boundaries. (Why we have them and how they help us.)
5. Basic Map Reading– Choose an age-appropriate map and let them discover while learning how to follow directions. It may be as simple as a hand-drawn map or a “bear hunt” that you can teach some basic map-following skills and terminology.
7. Hospitality– Let your child learn how to be a good host or hostess throughout the summer as you have family and friends over for backyard parties and grill nights. Have your kids invite the guests into your home, engage them conversation, and practice serving with a happy heart. And if they spill a little lemonade on the grass or drop someone’s hotdog, it’s no big deal. 😉
8. Sports- Summer is a perfect time to introduce sports. Spend time outdoors tossing or kicking a ball back and forth. You can get them onto a team and let them learn a few game rules and team building or you can stay at home and teach them yourself. Either way, it gets them exercising and strengthening their gross motor skills.
9. Picking Weather-Appropriate Outfits– Talk to them about the their outfit choices and encourage them to pick out clothes that will work well with the temperatures outside.
10. Helping Others– Serve as a family to help others, whether it be cleanup of after a church function, or helping someone move. Allow your kids the joy of giving to others with their time, care, and effort.
11. Playground Etiquette– Teach your kids to respect others in the playground setting. Talk to them about taking turns, sharing, and watching out for others (especially the little ones).
12. Public Safety– take advantage of all your time away from home at places like beaches, parks, and zoos and teach your kids about safety. Tell them about the dangers of wandering off by themselves, interacting with strangers, and what to do in an emergency. Also, teach them about washing their hands, and not eating things off the ground or given to them by strangers.
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What life lessons are you working on with your kids right now?