Summer vacation is coming. There are certainly lots of kids who are looking forward to vacations, camps, playing baseball, attending fun summer programs and extra time with family in the coming months. But for some kids, summer does not hold those promises. I was reminded of that yesterday. I asked a student what the final days of third grade had in store and what she was looking forward to next year as a fourth grader. Her lip quivered and she sadly said, “summer vacation means I can’t play with my mentor anymore.” Luckily, her mentor reassured her that they were going to be meeting again in just a few short months. To help the summer months go by, here are some educational and fun projects mentors and students can do “together” over the summer.
Bird Feeder: Make a plastic bottle or milk carton bird feeder with your mentee. Buy some bird seed for it and it will be something they can take home and enjoy all summer.
Plant a Seed: Have an extra flower pot floating around at home? If so, bring it, some soil and seeds to plant. Herbs like basil or oregano might be good starter plants for kids. Go over how to care for their plant and what to do with the food they will grow.
Keep them busy: You could simply provide your mentee with craft supplies, a book or a puzzle to enjoy over the summer.
Time Capsule: Give them an assignment to collect 5-10 items during the summer that they can share with you once you begin meeting in the fall.
Letters: Many mentors write their mentee. Teach by example and write your student a professional letter or even a cover letter!
Goals: Plan goals together for both of you to reach during the summer months, like learn to swim or try new recipes. Write them down and plan to evaluate and celebrate your progress in September.
Even if you are not a mentor, some of these ideas would be great for your own children who are dreading being separated from their routine and friends at school over the summer.
Photo from freedigitalphotos.net
Post by Michelle Madsen