Do your children know where their summer vacation went?
Help the students in your home remember what they did in the summer.
Once the children reach the school yards on the first day of school, expect high-pitched shrieks, laughter and endless chatter as they re-connect with their school friends. Eventually, they will all talk about and maybe even boast about what they did during the summer vacation.
Some children just shrug their shoulders and say they didn't do anything at all. But if they really thought about it, they will find that they did have a cool vacation too. Summer vacation is often synonymous with flying off to an exotic country but it really doesn't have to be so. Even in your own backyard and the age of staycations, it will be hard not to have done anything at all during your vacation.
Sometimes, sharing their summer activities with the class serve as an ice-breaker among teachers and students. It just might be a great way to awaken the dormant brain cells and get them back to school mode.
Before your children get back to school, spend some time with them and ask them what was their favorite or most memorable summer activity. If they are having a memory lapse, jog their memory with this list of some things might have done. There are also some questions to make them think a step further and note why they liked (or disliked) that certain activity. Then if the teacher does ask for a short essay, they are halfway there.
This can be day camp where kids go to a site for the day for fun activities or to learn things like art camp, computer camp or a sports camp. Or it can be a week-long or month-long event away from home. What did your child learn at camp? Did they meet new friends?
This can be attending a concert of their favorite singer (Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, etc.), attending a convention (like Comic-Con), or watching an advanced screening of a popular summer movie (Harry Potter). Did they get to meet someone famous or get an autograph? Were they allowed to go with friends unchaperoned? Did they dress up in a costume? Did they get a unique souvenir?
This can be the family vacation to another country or city or the weekend trips to the cottage or a camping trip. Was there a first-time experience they remember? Was there a meal or food they enjoyed having? Was there a funny anecdote that happened during the trip?
Books and Movies
For the avid readers and movie aficionados, summer is a great time to catch up on reading and movies. What books and/or movies did they enjoy reading/watching? Did they read and watch both the book and the movie and find out what changed? Maybe some children also had the chance to see a musical or theater performance for the first time.
Attractions & Museum Visits
Was there any visit to the museums or amusement parks done this year? These places are often very popular with children. Some families have a family pass that gives them year-round access to amusement parks or museums. For sure children would like to try new rides or see the new exhibits. What were the best new things they saw this year? Did they find their old favorites or perhaps try new ones?
Family and Friends
Summer often brings visitors to your homes too. After all, they are on their vacation just like you. Having guests sleep over can be a treat for the children specially if they have other kids to play with. Did the children get a visit from a favorite relative or meet cousins and friends for the first time? What did they find in common with them? How did they entertain the guests? What fun experiences did they all share?
New Toys and Games
Are your children into video games or outdoor sports? Board games or the latest action toys can fill up many hours of their vacation. Maybe they were lucky enough to get a new toy or game to try out over the summer. Are they now experts on the game? Do their friends also have the same game or toy? How do they rate these toys and games?
Hobbies and Crafts
As children get older, they find that they prefer to do some things more than others. It can be a start of a life-long hobby that they cultivate over summer. An interest in digital photos could push them to learn making digital photo albums on their own. Maybe a younger child takes a keen interest in your gardening or cooking hobby and learns from you. In this age of do-it-yourself (DIY) kids can even learn how to play the drums or the guitar online. What new thing did they want to learn? Would they want to continue and take more formal lessons?
Summer brings thoughts of outdoor activities and sports. Swimming, basketball, tennis and soccer are but a few sports that could have kept them busy during their vacation. Have the kids improved in their sport? Did they try a new one this time? Did they get to see their sports idol in action?
This can be a catch-all for any other things the children did that were not planned. Examples can be experiencing a thunderstorm or witnessing someone being rescued at the beach or from a burning building. These are events that happen and they just so happened to be there. From freaks of nature or even winning a big prize in a raffle or lottery, these experiences can even be a highlight of their summer!
There are probably many more things that your children enjoyed and accomplished over the summer. This is just a short lists of possibilities that will make them realize that they did enjoy their summer.
Hopefully, they have photos and memorabilia to share with their friends as they regale them with just how great their summer vacation was!