Summertime with Your Primary-Aged Child

By Lydia Mirocha, Primary Guide, Maple Room, Vermont Street Campus

The transition to the summertime season is an exciting one. The days are longer, gardens are full of color and the birds and bugs are abundant. For the Primary-aged child, who still learns through their senses, there is so much to see and do in the natural world during the summer.

Summer is also the perfect time to establish family rituals and traditions, family vacations or day trips that will become a part of your child’s personal history. Portland, in particular, has so many wonderful options for enjoying the summer season. In my family, we love berry picking excursions, family bike rides, participating in the library reading challenge, river visits, and picnic dinners at our local parks.

There are many developing skills that you can also support at home during the summer months, whether your child is enrolled in summer camps or staying home.

Children 3 to 6 years old are still typically developing hand eye coordination, refinement of their senses, fine motor skills (to support writing), and language skills (to support reading). Some fun activities to support these skills include:

  • tonging ice cubes between two different bowls
  • painting designs on the sidewalk with a bucket of water and a paintbrush
  • making fruit kebabs: provide 2-3 different types of soft fruit like berries and/or melon and show your child how to push them on a toothpick or bbq skewer
  • make lemonade together (older children who are reading might be able to read and/or write the instructions)
  • older children (4 and up) could practice writing their name with sidewalk chalk
  • create a Spotify list of music you and your child enjoy together (it might prompt a dance party!)

In general, unstructured family time is also really important for children of all ages. With the unusual year we have all faced, it seems particularly important to make it a priority this season to relax and reset.

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