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Local mom shares tips on how to make summer learning fun

Kids don't have to be online or buried in books to learn valuable skills.

TAMPA, Fla. — It has been a tough year for all students, whether they've been learning virtually or in-person dealing with all the extra COVID protocols. 

Now that summer break is here, there's always a concern about learning loss, but even more so this year. The last thing many parents want to do this summer is sitting their child back in front of a computer or bunch of books. 

A local mom who homeschools her three young girls is doing things a little different this summer. She specializes in play-based learning and it's something any parent or babysitter can do with kids.

"It's all about easy for the parents because we're busy and we don't have time. So, easy activities that we can do with our kids which will also incorporate learning without them even realizing that they're learning," Diana Blinkhorn said.

She's calling this 'the summer of Pinterest.' She has a calendar and each day she and her girls will do one learning activity. Blinkhorn also has a popular website, Instagram and Tik Tok pages to show parents the types of activities she does with her kids. 

RELATED: Tips for creating a summer routine for your family

"And it's not what you expect. Baking with your kids is learning. Little things that you wouldn't even think are science experiments, like making ice cream in a bag. That's science."  

She says baking uses all types of learning: reading, math, science and even critical thinking and sometimes problem-solving skills. 

"Believe it or not some of my Pinterest fails have been my kids' favorite moments, because we just laugh and make fun of each other and be silly and make a mess. And that is actually learning too."

Blinkhorn says it's still important to pick up a book and read with your kids, but try creating an activity to go along with it.  Better yet, let your kids create the activity. Letting them take the lead is also a powerful learning tool. 

"Sometimes taking a backseat and letting them tell you what they want to do is really great. It might not look Pinterest-y, but it can be really fun and really great for their development."  

All of these activities can be adapted to the age of your child. If they're a little older, they can follow more complicated directions and do more involved projects. Older kids can even take the lead with younger kids.

RELATED: Districts ready to help kids beat 'summer slide'

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