according to kids news agency Middlesex Community College is offering tips for helping keep out-of-school kids engaged and learning, and they range from “word hunt” scavenger hunts outside to taking photographs and writing stories about them.
The college’s Education and College for Kids departments teamed up to create a list of activities for families to try together as they seek to keep learning and having fun during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michelle Dobrin, MCC’s chair of education, recommends that parents establish routines and regular activities to maintain a sense of normalcy for kids even as they are out of school. Activities like walks outside, family meals, homework time and bedtime stories can help create such routines, she said.
“A sense of routine and predictability help children feel safe,” Dobrin said in a press release. “In these times of uncertainty, this becomes especially challenging and even more important. It’s important to maintain routines as they’re a key way of helping children mark time. This may even be an opportunity to start some new routines — involving kids in the process makes them more meaningful.”
The school’s College for Kids program typically helps students maintain a sense of normalcy throughout the summer months to help keep them engaged and learning.
“College for Kids is a room full of open doors for a diverse group of youth to learn about themselves, a few different careers paths and gain access to college,” said Lauren Ellis, MCC’s Program Manager of Community Education & Training. “The youth that attend College for Kids learn that attending college will give you many options and Middlesex Community College is one of them. Summers are about making memories, friendships and discovering your path.”
Ellis said some of the ideas for parents include making flashcards that contain words and then having a “word hunt” where kids go out in search for the cards containing specific words. She also recommends those learning colors and ABCs could take photographs of objects that match assigned colors or letters.
She said trying new activities like cooking or new hobbies can also be stimulating, as can taking photographs of pets or going for walks to see what photographs they can get. Ellis said parents and students are welcome to share what they find with MCC’s social media accounts.
To work on writing skills, Ellis recommends taking photographs inside or outside the home and then having children write stories based on the photographs.
Bethany Peck, an MCC College for Kids teacher and Corporate and Community Education instructor, as well as an artist and preschool teacher, said simple and fun projects with materials around the house can also be good.
She suggests dipping leftover tubes from paper towels or toilet paper into paint to transform them into multicolored art projects, or taking sidewalk art to another level by using masking tape to create new shapes and patterns.