trips at the weekend and ask helpers
to initiate follow-up activities and
projects through the week.
Learning in disguise
Themes can help bridge the education
gap while school is out, without the
rigours of academic learning. “It’s every
parent’s fear that the kids are going to
forget what they’ve learned,” says long-
time primary teacher Julie McGuire.
It’s vital to take a break from a busy
routine,” she says. “A holiday can offer
time for a wide range of rich activities
and learning in really fun ways.”
She suggests involving kids
in researching days out, looking
for interesting facts, and in route
planning, which assists in language
and problem-solving. On the
trip, they might help navigate by
reading signs, pick up leaflets to aid
language, or work out timetables
and journey times for maths. “Don’t
underestimate the power of props,”
says Julie. Bring a Frisbee or buy
a diabolo to try out new forms of
physical exercise, she says, which also
provide great ways to work off energy.
Once home, the kids can follow up by
making scrapbooks about the day out,
or writing an email telling a friend
about it to reinforce language.
Do aim to keep things fun, urges
Julie. Note which kids prefer journal-
writing, list-making or emailing and
encourage what they enjoy. “Keep it
hands-on, and don’t refer to activities
as school work or learning,” she says,
which sometimes has a reverse effect
and turns kids off.
You may have visited Ocean Park
numerous times, trekked the Peak
more than twice, and taken a tour
to the islands. But, if you think like
a teacher and plan around a theme,
you might just score your family an
A-grade summer break.
Theme: All Aboard!
Use a week or two to travel across the many varied forms of transport
Hong Kong offers – ferry, tram, light rail, cable car, taxis, subways, buses and
others. Adventurous types might like to pick unknown destinations to alight.
Stopwatch, notepad.
Before each trip, older kids can study timetables and work out
times to destinations. Take a trip to the same destination via two different
transport modes and compare journey times. Younger kids can pick out
numbers on buses and platforms.
Go outside one day and count the number of different vehicles you see.
Make a graph or chart at home later.
Use masking tape on the floor at home to set up car-parking
spaces. Label every one with a vehicle type. Get kids to park the car in the
correct space.
Motor skills, Problem solving:
Use Lego or similar toys to design
and build vehicles.
Summer 2013