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It is officially Summer vacation here! Bring the long days of sunshine, sleeping in, popsicles and swimming pools. It is also a lot of down time for their brains. Now, I’m all about taking a break. We all need one now and then, but I’m also a big fan of learning and activity books are a great tool to use.
That doesn’t mean that I sit my kids down for hours of studying at the dinning room table, but I have found a few things that they love to work on.
I ordered the Summer Brain Quest from our school’s monthly book order not really knowing what it was going to include, but my preschool graduate loves it! She didn’t even wait for summer vacation to start working on it. This edition is designed to review skills from preschool and build on them to prep for kindergarten. There is a map and stickers included to track your progress through the book, and I think that’s what sold her on the book. Every activity she completes earns her stickers to place on the map, and she is so excited with each additional sticker she earns. This book earns all five stars from her (and me)!
My oldest loved her Summer Brain Quest so much that her younger sister quickly got jealous and wanted her own. She is going into three-year old preschool this fall so there isn’t a summer edition for her, but she loves the Brain Quest Workbook for Preschoolers. This edition has a pull out poster of the ABC’s and mini flashcards you can cut out for additional learning. Some of the information is a little advanced for her right now, especially towards the back of the book, but she’ll pick it up quickly once we get that far. After all, she has to keep up with her big sister!
Since my oldest is flying through her summer workbook so quickly, I also ordered the Brain Quest Workbook for Kindergarten. I don’t plan on starting this one with her for a while yet, but it looks like it’s full of great material too. It also comes with a pull out poster of a clock to help with telling time and some mini flashcards to practice the skills learned in the book.
Brain Quest also has workbooks for each grade level, as well as the summer in between grade levels, up to grade 6. Check them out this summer!
We also have this Scholastic Kindergarten Jumbo Workbook. Honestly, we haven’t done any of the activities in this one yet. I might just save this one for my youngest when she is ready for it. In true Scholastic form, it is full of great information presented in a bright, colorful and easy to understand format. It’s packed full of core curriculum, and of course, stickers. There are also assessment tests to check progress and free web access to more learning games. I have no doubt that my girls will love this one as well when we get to it.
We are also huge fans of Usborne Books and More around here! They make awesome products that really hold up against kids. Their wipe clean selection is a favorite of my kids. They come in books and cards. The books are full of fun pictures to look at and talk about, as well as lots of opportunities to trace letters, numbers, lines and shapes. The Getting Ready for School with abc and 123 is a great one to start with if you’ve never tried them before.
Brain Quest also makes awesome flashcards. These are perfect to throw in your purse or car this summer when you are waiting at the doctor office or for an older sibling to finish ball practice. We have a couple different versions for 3 to 4 year olds. Each card has 3 different questions on them presented in picture form with the answers on the back. They are also bound together so you won’t have a mess of cards covering your backseat. I think Santa might be leaving some of these in stockings this year!
As I mentioned, Usborne also has wipe clean cards. These can be another great thing to throw in your car when you know you’ll be waiting. The cards are Usborne quality to handle many, many uses, and they are available in many different options to match your child’s needs. I think Santa might be leaving these First Words Cards in someone’s stocking this year too!
My youngest loves Usborne’s All You Need To Know Before You Start School book. I even find her looking at it and pointing things out to herself. It is full of all the core curriculum that they work on in preschool. I also used this as an easy testing book for my oldest before Kindergarten roundup to review all the basics. It is a board book style and built to hold up well against the abuse of three olds. This isn’t a workbook, but I defiantly recommend this one if you’re looking for a place to start.
Now again, I’m not saying you should park your child at the dining room table for hours of workbook learning this summer. These workbooks are a great addition to all the summer fun you’re planning. Pull them out on a rainy day or for a quiet afternoon activity.
As always, my favorite way to learn with my kiddos if by simply reading to them! When they say they are bored this summer, take them to the library!! Sign up for a summer reading program. Our local library offers one for babies through adults with fun weekly prizes. It’s a great way to find new favorites and spend some time together.
If I missed one of your favorites, let me know!