How Your Family Can Give Back This Summer

Children learn a lot by example, and certain habits tend to make the best impression when they are part of a routine. For instance, children are more likely to develop an interest in reading if they see their parents reading by example. When it comes to routine, children may grow accustomed to reading at a certain time of day which helps instill the act of reading as an important part of their lives. This can apply to other things too: children are more likely to eat healthy if they see their parents eating that way. The same goes for other habits and interests that parents feel may be beneficial for their children. As the summer holidays near, parents may be wondering how they can encourage their kids to do something meaningful, and by making it part of your routine, you can help your children grow into well developed individuals.

Aside from planned vacations, there are plenty of things that families can do together during the summer holidays, yet not many people may realize just how fun, fulfilling and inspiring it can be to spend some time with your family while you also help your community.

Being charitable is a virtue, and as a parent it is a great ideal to instill in your children. Like reading, leading by example and making it a part of your everyday can make giving back a huge part of your child’s life. Here are some ways you can give back with your children this summer and make some memories too:

Does your family have a favorite park or hangout spot? The next time you plan an outing, see if there’s anything that you can do for this community space. Do they need any assistance cleaning up or setting up activities? Cleaning is a great skill, especially for children who are just learning how to pick up after themselves as independent individuals while also learning to complete other tasks on their own. Cleaning up and helping others is a great way to teach accountability and compassion.

Is there a local pet shelter near your home? If your kids love animals, volunteering at shelters is a great way to provide your children with opportunities to play with them as well as help them out, and it can be especially beneficial for kids who may not have pets at home. Unadopted pets need love and your family, as well as your children, can help shelters out by playing with the animals, taking them for walks, or completing other tasks in order to help improve the lives of these animals. You might find that doing so just might help to improve your own life as well!

Do you have a yard or is there a garden close to your home? Planting trees with your children can help impart the idea that taking care of the earth is important, and that even planting one tree can make a difference and help the planet.

Parents can also encourage kids to donate. As the new school year approaches, your children may want new school supplies. Encourage them to gather the things that they may no longer want, such as last year’s backpack or the pair of sneakers they outgrew, and go along with them as they donate these items to other children in need.

There are plenty of other things that you can do to give back with your kids, but remember, by making it a part of your everyday and by leading by example, parents can help make a huge difference in their child’s lives and it can even encourage them to make a positive difference in other people’s lives as well.

8 Tips to Keep Kids Engaged This Summer

8 Tips to Keep Kids Engaged During the Summer

School’s out! For some anyway, and for others your kids are probably counting down the days!  Kids are sure to be happy to have the next few months to themselves. As relaxing as the summer holidays are meant to be, it is still important that kids stay sharp so that they can continue their education without a hitch once the new school year starts in August or September. There are plenty of ways in which parents can do this without giving their kids homework or making them feel like they have a lot of work to do. In fact, there are some fun ways to keep kids engaged while also making sure that they’re having a good time.

1. Encourage kids to keep a journal. Keeping a journal can be fun, and it can make a great keepsake for you and your kids for years to come. While kids are writing about their summers or even writing stories of made up adventures, they are also exercising their writing and reading comprehension skills. Writing in a journal has benefits when it comes to memory as well, and can help kids remember more things with accuracy.

2. Plan fun (and educational) trips. Summertime is the most popular time for families to go on vacation, but integrating something educational and interesting into your summer plans can be both fun and informative. Even if you can’t fit a big trip into your budget, make weekly trips to the library, to local landmarks and other places that can offer a lot for kids and adults alike.

Lemonade Stand for Kids
3. Start a lemonade stand! Encourage your kids to get active and get motivated to make money. Whether they sell lemonade on the sidewalk, help with a garage sale or simply pick up some chores around the house, doing so will help give kids an incentive to take on responsibility. Encourage them to manage their money, too, so they can practice some math while they’re at it.

4. Go outside and explore. Getting outdoors is great. Fresh air and activity are integral for staying healthy and childhood obesity is quickly becoming a major problem, so making sure that kids stay plenty active and spend some time away from screens and computers can be beneficial. Going outside, going to parks, going on hikes or simply exploring your own backyard can also help spark a child’s imagination and help them develop a relationship with nature.

5. Make time to read every day. Some kids are happy reading as a pastime, but other kids may need some coaxing. Make it a routine or a tradition to share a book or two every night. Read aloud, play book-inspired games, or even act out your favorite scenes! Reading will help keep kids’ reading skills sharp, and playing games can help foster their creativity and confidence, as well.

6. Take advantage of free, online learning. Whether your kids are playing an educational flash game or partaking in an online course, kids may be more inclined to want to learn when it involves the family computer or tablet. There are plenty of educational apps and free online schools that can teach kids valuable skills without feeling like its work at all.

Kids Crafts During the Summer

7. Make some arts and crafts. Inspiring kids to create and use their imaginations can help their critical thinking skills more than you might realize. Creativity can help kids learn how to solve problems, weigh their options and make difficult choices, whether it involves figuring out how to solve a math problem or how to accomplish riding a bike. Being creative can inspire some great art, but it can also encourage out-of-the-box thinking that can help boost general problem-solving skills, too.

8. Don’t be afraid to relax! Rest and relaxation are actually important for mental and emotional development, so don’t forget to get plenty of it. As important as it is to keep kids active, don’t forget about valuable down-time either. Finding a balance between activity and reflection is important, so make sure to let your kids relax and do a bit of what they want this summer, too.

KD Novelties is publisher of personalized children’s books making children the stars of their very own stories.  Personalized Reading promotes literacy while building self-esteem.  Subscribe to our blog for more reading and family friendly tips.

Are Your Kids Going to Fall Behind this Summer?

Kids are excited for the summer months, and chances are, you are as well. Barbecues, vacations and family outings are abound during this downtime and that can mean a lot of fun for the entire family. But that may also mean downtime from education and from reading. Since kids are not in school, they may not be prompted to read as much. Whether it is because they are too tempted to play outdoors, or because they don’t want to feel like they are in school, it is still important as a parent to make sure that kids continue to read.
Two months may not seem like a long time, but it absolutely is for kids. Their minds are constantly developing, absorbing information from the world around them and assimilating what they know and experience into usable knowledge. It is vital that kids continue to read over the summer in order to retain and increase their reading level come the following school year. Your kids may want to play outside more, but there are ways to entice kids to read that makes them forget they are even reading.
The first thing you have to do is make the reading feel less like work. Kids who like to read for recreation have shown to have a significantly higher love of learning. This keenness to read also helps kids understand new concepts they learn in school and as they get older. If your child feels that reading is like “school work” then you can show them how fun reading really is by getting them their very own personalized story. Our personalized books for kids make each child the STAR of their very own story.
Plan family outings that are educational as well as fun. Visit historical landmarks, telling your children what they may find there and what happened. Have them read the historical plaques out loud and ask them what they think happened and why. Visit the museum and do the same. Making a day trip out of it can make learning seem more like fun than work.  Engage your kids in reading and critical thinking skills by asking them fun questions about what they did and learned on vacation.
Reading to them nightly can also be a great help. Have them read along and ask them questions about the story or each chapter before saying good night. This makes the act of reading not only a shared experience, but it seems more fun when they are being read to. Ask them to read parts to you. Asking them to answer questions about the story and about what parts they liked and didn’t like help their listening and reading comprehension skills, keeping it sharp for when school starts again.

Even engaging in arts and crafts activities can help keep kids engaged. A hands-on activity with an end goal in mind helps keep kids’ minds working and thinking. Ask them to write poems or blurbs about what they made and why. You can also have them write stories, whether they are about their vacations, what they did that day, or a story they made up entirely on their own. Writing skills are linked directly with reading and require an active imagination as well. Make learning and reading fun by crafting interactive things for your kids to do. It will not only keep them up to speed for the following school year, but it will also keep their summer days full and fun.

KD Novelties publishes personalized children’s books to make reading fun and create a unique experience for kids.  For more resources about reading for kids visit the KD Novelties blog and subscribe.