The summer is the perfect time to have an ed-venture. An ed-venture I hear you say, Jen it is time to use your spell check, they are adventures!
Ed-ventures are where you use your time and activities and turn your adventures into ed-ventures and add an educational aspect to your time. It can take a little forward planning on your part, but it is so worthwhile as your children will be learning without even knowing. But better than that you can turn everyday trips to the market and shops into an experience and keep the kids occupied at the same time, win, win in my experience!
I am going to admit that going shopping is boring, even for me as an adult, so imagine how it must feel for your kids, especially if they don’t want or need anything.
Have an ed-venture whilst shopping and make going to the supermarket educational
Give your child a clipboard or a book and pen, then they can take notes and keep busy whilst you are shopping.
The questions and activities will depend on the age of your child, but some ideas are:
- How is the parking organised (perfect for retail parks and supermarkets)? Why do we have disabled, parent and child spaces?
- Estimate how many car parking spaces there are. Your child can count them or work it out mathematically and also try and work out the percentage of empty spaces.
And those are just before we even get to the shops! All it takes is some forethought.
The aim is to make the outing more interesting for them, therefore, leaving little time for them to get bored.
Other ideas for children include:
- A visual shopping list
- A scavenger hunt – ie looking for things beginning with a certain letter or colour.
- Give them a calculator or get them to use mental maths to add up how much things cost and for older children to work out the change from a set amount.
- Get them to estimate the weight of produce and then weigh it out. Or ask questions such as “if one apple weighs 250 grams, how many will four weigh?”
- Get them to work out if prepacked is cheaper or more expensive and then figure out why.
- Take a world map and mark on it where the produce is from in the fruit and vegetable section.
- Let them buy a fruit or vegetable that they have never tried before and then you can expand your learning when you get home.
Ed-ventures are great ways of practical learning. Some kids find it much easy to understand concepts such as weight when they are in a real life environment
When you get back
Investigate the different ways produce get to the shops. Where did your bananas come from? Did they come via boat, plane, train or truck or more than one way? How many miles did they travel and why can we not grow them in our country?
Design your own packaging. Pick a food group such as cereal and design and make your own brand and pack.
Make a pie chart showing the percentage of car parking spaces that were for disabled, parent and child and empty.
Learning through play and experiences
I am a huge advocate of learning through play and when my boys were younger they loved coming home from the shops and being a shopkeeper themselves. We even bought a foot measurer so they could play at working in a shoe shop!
Now if we can make something so boring as a trips to the shops fun and educational, just think of what you can do on a trip to a museum, art gallery or even the garage. Turning trips in to an ed-venture can help with the summer slide (research has shown that students can lose up to 50% of the years previous learning) and ensure that your kids are learning over the summer.
I don’t make every trip an ed-venture, my kids do that on their own and I know that I am lucky that they have lots of different experience and that I have the luxury of time to do this with them. If you are worried about summer slide then you might always consider a tutor (one in four parents do over the summer).
Using a company such as Fleet Tutors over the summer doesn’t have to be about shortcomings. It could be about exploiting and building upon an interest that they have. My boys have loved learning about parabolic curves (which hasn’t yet been on their maths curriculum). It can be about spending time actively learning and keeping in the habit.