Summer is an exciting time for children. It’s the season they look forward to the most as they have the opportunity to engage in activities which may not be as structured as those that they do in school. But what kind of summer adventure will help your child further develop his talents? What activity will help sustain his potential?
In choosing summer activities for your child, the first rule is to follow his interest. Richmond Yap, a father of one, and director of Adamson University’s Center for Guidance, Counseling, Testing, and Placement Services, says, “Summer activities should be introduced as a way of exploring the personal interests of the child.” As your child may have already exhibited where his talent lies, use these cues to select the activity that will provide proper stimulation.
Here’s a list of suggested summer activities suitable for the different gifts your child may have:
Best for children gifted in: Math, Visual, Language
Introduce the concept of distance and time needed to reach your destination with the help of a map or a map application on your phone or tablet.
For visually gifted kids, looking at maps introduces them to spatial reasoning skills and helps them visualize where the places in your travel itinerary are in relation to one another.
Children with the gift of gab stand to benefit from learning a new language. As you travel, show them the things around you and find out their names in your native and adopted dialects. You can also use a kid-friendly mobile app such as Gus on The Go, Duolingo, Little Pim, Dic-Dic, and Rosetta Stone, which are all available for Android and iOS users.
Best for children gifted in: Math, Visual, Music
Boost counting skills with old-school games like sungka, hopscotch or piko, jackstones, or pick-up sticks. Situational games like tinda-tindahan and Junior Monopoly introduce children to the use of money in everyday tasks. Flash cards and fun activity sheets, which you can download from websites such as MathGeekMama.com, are also great for keeping mathematically gifted kids busy.
Let a visually gifted child play with building blocks or Legos to improve their motor skills and creativity. These materials are also an effective way to introduce kids to math and engineering, which are possible careers in the future.
Is your child musically gifted? Help him create homemade instruments so you can incorporate music into your playing time. Your empty Promil milk can may be turned into a percussion instrument, small pieces of wood can be used as castanets, bottle caps can be turned into shakers, and empty coconut shells can be used as maracas by filling it with small pebbles.
Arts and Crafts
Best for children gifted in: Visual, Language
With photography, a child learns to take pictures and look at things from another angle or perspective. Sculpting or paper-folding is also a good way to enhance visual-spatial ability. These activities help improve hand-eye coordination and artistic abilities, and develop concentration and attention to detail as well as an understanding of three-dimensional objects.
Start DIY art projects such as scrapbooks or storybooks with your child who is verbally gifted. As you cut out the photos and images, have them narrate their story idea before putting them together.
Best for children gifted in: Math, Physical
Baking is a way to introduce several math concepts. Introduce counting and fractions while measuring ingredients, and the concept of time while waiting for the cake to finish baking.
The hands-on process involved in baking is also a big help for bodily-kinesthetic learners. Let your child have a hand at prepping ingredients and mixing them together using a spoon and a bowl.
Performing Arts Workshops
Best for children gifted in: Physical, Music
When it comes to dance, ballet is an effective way to develop physical skills as it enhances children’s capacity to focus and refine their movement, and also improves their flexibility and posture. In time, older children may shift to other forms of dance such as jazz and hip-hop to further challenge their physical skills.
For the musically inclined, options include playing instruments or singing. Does your child respond to beats? He may be inclined to play percussion instruments. Can he pick out the tinkling or soaring notes? He may want to try the piano or choose between a string or wind instrument.
Enroll your child in mentored lessons like Promil’s iShine Talent Camp, which has three main camps: art, music, and stage (performing arts). Exposure to this camp not only develops skills in these areas but also increases self-confidence and provides the support and encouragement they need as children take this opportunity to shine.
One great benefit of enrolling children in group activities or specialized classes like Promil’s iShine Talent Camp is that children learn to interact with others whom they share similar gifts with. This interaction teaches them how to relate with other people and consider their peers’ ideas and needs.
Best for children gifted in: Physical
Gymnastics is a good start, which particularly helps in developing young kids’ coordination and motor skills as they learn how to align their arms, legs, and body while moving. The sport also improves balance, body strength, and flexibility.
Swimming is a very popular summer activity. For younger children, choose swimming programs that incorporate play, songs, and toys into their lessons. As they grow older, children can focus on improving their strokes and speed. Swimming also enables them to learn valuable life-saving skills.
Whether you choose to do home-based activities or enroll them in classes, Richmond says that parents’ involvement is key to developing your child’s gifts. Your assurance and encouragement are vital at this time. Be involved and nurturing, without pushing or bearing down on them. Work together with your child to have the best summer experience possible.