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Winsome Arrows

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Grab Bag Redux

With the summer months upon us, it seemed like a good time to revisit last year's grab bag post.

Wondering how to keep your children's skills fresh without making everyone (including yourself) crazy during the long summer days?

Make a grab bag!

Here's how:

  1. Place directions or skill activities inside a plain, brown paper lunch bag.
  2. Have your child pull an activity from the bag at predetermined times throughout the day.
  3. You can also use two bags - one for skill review and one for fun free-time activities or small rewards after each skill review is done.
  4. Reuse skill reviews or activities as needed/desired throughout the summer while adding new ones along the way.
  5. Select the number of activities based on the age and abilities of your child.

More ideas:

  1. Partner with your child to select the activities. This will help increase his/her ownership of them.
  2. Select some days to be set apart for scavenger hunts in which following directions is the focus.
  3. If your child has begun (or progressed in) reading, try using vocabulary that he/she can read and offer your encouragement to this end. Simple picture clues can supplement or replace written directions, if desired, to help your child be as independent as possible.
  4. If your child is a non-reader or if you want to work on listening skills, record your directions for the activities.
  5. Here and there, consider adding household chores or service-to-others projects that you would like to accomplish.
  6. You may want to make a "family bag" or have a different one for each child. It could even be fun to let your children make one for you (with guidance, of course).
  7. It might be a good idea to create a way to keep track of completed tasks - a chart? a special spot to place finished work when possible? another container to hold the slips of paper from the bag when the activity is done?
  8. Every now and then, enjoy a bagged lunch picnic as a reward for finishing a project or mastering a skill.

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