Warm-weather fun times


June 27, 1999

Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores ways to occupy young minds during the summer. Her column appears biweekly.

With your children, begin to think of ways to fill their unstructured hours during summer vacation. From these suggestions, make a list of ideas you like and post them in a prominent place for all to see. These projects are good ways to continue practicing skills learned during the academic year.

Writing throughout the summer

* Encourage your child to write letters throughout the summer to vacationing friends, grandparents or other relatives.

* Keep stationery, envelopes and stamps readily available.

* Keep colored markers, crayons, pencils, pens readily available.

* Create a family vacation journal that includes photographs or pictures drawn by family members.

* Help your child in recording family fun or vacations using a disposable camera and display the results in an artful way.

* Create lasting memories of a family outing to the museum, park, etc., by drawing pictures and writing about a favorite part. Then each person can read aloud what he wrote. Encourage questions about what was written.

* Help your child review and proofread his or her writing to emphasize proper forms (i.e., how a friendly letter, a poem or a play should look). Check for errors in spelling, capitalization and punctuation.

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award- winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Pub Date: 06/27/99

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