Getting creative is what effective learning is all about. How do I teach my kid? How do I help my child grow? What do I do with my child during summer break? Why should I incorporate learning in to my activities with my kids?
Pine cone flowers are an interesting way to incorporate some learning with a lot of fun. But first, let’s answer the above questions!
By talking. By showing. Kids are great lil monkeys… you know the saying… Monkey see – Monkey do. Our children learn the most from our actions, even more so than our words. So, if you are interested in learning new things, your child will be more interested in learning new things. Everything you do with you kid can be a learning experience. Putting on their shoes? Say “right foot, right shoe… left foot, left shoe”. Driving them to school? “Red light means stop…. green light means go…. see the red sign that says STOP… we have to stop…. blinkers tell people which way we are turning….” it goes on and on but really does teach them. Summertime is no different… only… you spend a little more time together!
By this, we mean mentally too. Physical growth is closely tied to nutrition. So, feed them healthy, always have whole food options available and you shouldn’t have to worry (unless they have a specific issue to be addressed). Mental growth… its just as the first question. Monkey see – Monkey do. Just keep verbalizing actions, feelings, thoughts.
Keep the lines of communication open by counting to 3 in your head before responding to something your child did wrong… I am still working on that. My daughter LOVES to climb on stuff… and, well, gets hurt a lot as a result. I tell her something a hundred times before she gets hurt typically, but my first reaction when she does get hurt? Probably not the best… it’s a work-in-progress… because…. I am not a perfect mom… even though I try to be a lot of the time.
The answer… BE with them. Whenever you are together, actually be with them more than not. During school, I am sure you don’t actually get a whole lot of quality time together. School, extra-curriculars, work, homework… busy busy. So during summer, when you get a chance to be with your child more… take advantage of that time.
Really be with them. Walk around a mall together, go to the beach, the lake, bicycle rides, neighbourhood walks (these are great for getting your kid to talk BTW), crafts (if you’re not good at ideas just come here and check out my resources!). Ultimately, involve your kid in your life more. Because as soon as summer is over, life is just gonna get crazy again for everyone.
This question always seemed obvious to me, but I am an educator, so I see things differently. Learning is an essential part of life. We all do it, we all need to do it, and we all continue to learn on a daily basis. It’s just not obvious “school” type learning. Even if you don’t incorporate academics (language, math, science, history etc), still teach them something. Get them thinking critically by engaging them in a conversation about various cultural practices, or of current happenings in the world. It’s important that they learn to love learning so that they continue to grow their minds. With the love of learning….. they can truly do anything.
Okay, so pine cone flowers…. are you ready for this?
First, what is the 4th of July? Why do we celebrate it? Can your child answer these questions? It’s a good way to incorporate a little social studies / history in to this fun little craft.
Did you know a large amount of college students cannot even accurately answer these questions?!
Secondly, what are pine cones? Do you know? I did a little research to find out more and came across this article, VERY interesting stuff! Like, did you know that pine cone can be male or female? Did you know they open and close? Did you know they are ACTUAL flowers?
Where we live there are a lot of pine trees, so we never have a pine cone shortage. We walked around and talked about pine cones, and interesting facts about them (like the info from the article). They collected the pine cones they loved the most, then we came home and got to painting! See the process and finished result below!
The finished product came out so darn cute! And… my kids LOVE IT!
How did I finish their work?
Dollar tree flower bouquet, flowers pulled off, hot glue gun, and A LOT of patience!
Did you like this flower project? Check out this one!
Crystal Kirkpatrick is the creator behind Mrs K Teaches, a blog where parent and educator meet. She is the mother to two young children and a teacher to many middle school aged children. Crystal loves to come up with creative ways to teach our children as well as simple ways to increase parent involvement with less stress. Simple, honest, and fun is her motto.