Summer is officially here! Schools are letting all the kids out, camps are welcoming them in, and as parents, we’re trying to stay sane with all the heat and energy this season brings. Whether your kids are in camp or enjoying a relaxing time at home, there are plenty of opportunities to bring Arabic into your summertime activities. Your children’s attention is not consumed by daily school work, so use that extra “brain capacity” and fill it up with some fun activities that involve Arabic practice.
1. Water play: Who doesn’t love water in the summer? Pull out the water balloons, sprinklers, and blow up pools and let the kids go wild!
Before you let them loose, share with them a few water-related words in Arabic that you want them to use while you’re outside (ماء - مسبح/ سباحة - مبلل - سمكة).
2. Rock painting: Of course you can go the traditional route and pull out some rolls of paper and let the kids go crazy painting outside, but why not surprise them with something new? Rock painting is so fun, you will be lured in too! Depending on your outdoor environment, you can have the kids go hunting for rocks to paint, or pick some up at any craft store! There are special rock painting kits too if you want to go all out! Where does Arabic come in? Depending on the child’s age, you can focus on the names of paint colors in Arabic, or for older children, ask them to describe what shapes, animals, or anything else they are painting in Arabic. If they go on a hunt for the rocks, ask them to describe the natural elements around them (ألوان- أحمر، أزرق، أخضر... أشكال- مربع، مثلث، دائرة…الطبيعة- أحجار، شجر، عشب...فرشاة الرسم).
3. Rainy day Arabic alphabet fun: For those of us who experience sudden thunderstorms and torrential rains in the summer, an indoor activity or two are a must to have on hand. Pull out your trusty box of playdough and have some Arabic alphabet playdough mats printed out in advance. If you can laminate them, they will last longer. You can find templates for the mats for just a few dollars on Etsy and Arabic Playground. Don’t have playdough? Grab some small stones, buttons, or pompoms that kids can use to trace the letters on the template. As the kids are tracing the alphabet with different materials, prompt them to find a word that begins with the letter they are working on.
4. Summer reading: As most of our kids will be engrossed in reading materials in English during the school year, why not take the opportunity to emphasize reading in Arabic during the summer? Create a summer reading log that reading-age kids can aim to fill in every week/month, and throw in some rewards for fun. (We created a printable reading log in Arabic for you!) For kids who don’t read yet, pull together a summer reading corner with a basket of fun Arabic books for them to peruse and read along with you.
These activities are simple and you are probably already doing them, but being conscious about speaking in Arabic and highlighting a few vocabulary words will take this from an everyday activity to a hands on Arabic lesson! We've also compiled these and other ideas into a Pinterest board for you. Comment below and tell us how you keep your kids busy all summer and how you incorporate Arabic in their activities.