Every day should be National Parents’ Day, but you can officially celebrate it on July 25. As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. This summer, you can support your child’s learning and get them ready to go back to school in August.
And the best way to do that? Through play. The family engagement team at Collaborative for Children has lots of ideas to make every day a learning day for you and your child.
Below are some simple and fun things to do with your family. For more tips, visit the Resource for Families page here.
Ask your child what National Parents’ Day means to them, then ask them what you should do to celebrate as a family. Recognize their creativity by doing their suggested activity first — you can make the little members of your family feel big when you empower and acknowledge their imagination.
Designate your child as executive chef for breakfast or lunch. Help them to organize simple ingredients — bread, nut butter, and jelly — so they can make an easy and nutritious meal. In addition to modeling good eating habits, you are teaching your child how to be a responsible team member.
Picnic in the park
“Forest bathing,” as it is called in Japan, has been shown to be beneficial for both physical and mental wellbeing. Go to a local park and listen to the songs of the birds or watch the dogs play. Make a day of it and pack a picnic lunch — everyone can help gather blankets, finger foods, and water. Don’t forget the mosquito spray!
Spend time outside looking at the clouds and identify shapes; with luck, there’ll be a playground on-site too. Outdoor play is restorative for both children and parents and it’s even more fun when you do it together.
Back to school
The start of school is just weeks away. After the past year of isolation and hybrid school schedules, it may take extra help to get your child emotionally and socially prepared for a return to the classroom.
“Parents and teachers need to listen to one another to foster a child’s success," says Dr. Melanie Johnson, president and CEO of Collaborative for Children. "With consistent, open dialogue, challenges a child faces can be addressed now, so a parent can intervene and help their child grow. Truly, that type of collaborative relationship is empowering for children, parents, and teachers.”
Little ones can’t vote, but Mom and Dad can help to build an equitable society that supports all its citizens by becoming actively involved. Send an email to your elected representative and let them know what resources and support your family needs to be successful.
Remember, Collaborative for Children has a host of resources on its website, plus programs and references to help you in your most important role as Mom and Dad. And thanks for helping prepare your young kids to be future leaders.