When summer rolls around it’s hard to get your child interested in anything that doesn’t involve water, swings, or slides! While outdoor play and summer fun are certainly essential parts of the season, you can sneak in some learning and skill-building between cannonballs and water balloon fights. If you do it really well, they won’t even realize it!
Summer is a great time to work on skills to prepare your children for what’s ahead, no matter their age. Whether they’re heading off to Pre-K or Kindergarten or they are going to be home learning with you, don’t discount the benefits of incorporating learning into your summer plans.
In order for your children to be interested, you need to make it fun for them. That’s where Noggins come in! Noggins make exercises like writing and even using scissors that much more fun. Having a cool character attached to your pencil or scissors that they can play with will make your child more likely to say “yes” to your summer learning plan. Here are some ideas on how Noggins can be a part of your summer fun and improve fine motor skills at the same time!
Throw a Noggins Party: Invite over your Mom friends and their kids for a Noggins party! By masking the get-together as a “party” kids will forget that they are actually learning in the process. Have each Mom set up a little station with a Noggins activity. To help tune fine motor skills focus on: (1) a writing activity, (2) a cutting activity, and (3) just for fun, a play pretend activity (Noggins make great finger puppets!). Have each child choose their favorite Noggin and attach it to their pencil, scissors, etc. Choose one activity from the Noggins activity sheet set for each station. Once the children complete the “working” stations they can free play with their Noggins on the third station. You can do this for as many rounds as the kids want. With the Noggins as your aid feel free to come up with your own writing, cutting, and coloring activities too!
Bring the Noggins Outside: Who said your Noggins need to be kept inside? They like to get their fresh air too! Set up a table outside with your Noggins. For each activity completed, reward your child with ten minutes of free play, whether it’s blowing bubbles, playing ball, etc. Set a timer so that your kids know they need to return to the table in order to get more free time. You can even turn your outdoor Noggins time into a little picnic. Get creative with a little picnic basket and make it a fun experience so your kids will want to do it again!
Set up a Noggins “Puppet” Show: Utilize the Noggins without attaching them to a pencil or scissors by putting your Noggins to work. By work, we mean putting them on your child’s finger to pick things up, open their mouths to “talk”, or move around and interact with each other. The idea is to let your child be as creative as possible while working on fine motor skills as they pick up objects and move their fingers. You can even have your child put his Noggins to work before the show by drawing tickets and cutting them out, with the Noggins attached, of course! Family members can “buy” tickets adding some more fun to the mix!
Children can have fun with Noggins-based activities over the summer which can prepare them for school in the fall. The “summer slide” doesn’t have to be a thing in your house with these activities and the help of Noggins!
Written by: Kristina Cappetta
Edited & Designed by: Jamie Schmalenberger
Graphic Art by: Brgfx / Freepik
My name is John Haber. I’m a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the founder of Nogginsland. I became a COTA in 2003, and then went back to school much later, receiving my Master’s Degree in OT from Mercy College in New York in 2016.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a variety of populations in different settings, from school districts, to developmental disability centers, to children’s hospitals.