Here are summer hints for kids

Hints from Heloise

Dear Heloise: School is out, and many of the kiddos will be spending time at grandma’s house. Here are 10 suggestions that grandparents can do to keep themselves and the kids entertained while still learning.

1. Do jigsaw puzzles. Maybe try buying one of the United States map so that children can learn the states and their capitals. I taught sixth grade social studies one year, and the students were told to write in the state names on a blank map. Few could do it. One student wrote Canada for California, and another wrote South America for Florida. (Hints: Vermont is shaped like a “v,” New Hampshire is shaped like a backward lowercase “h,” and Rhode Island is the smallest.)

2. Get a globe so kids can learn the countries of the world.

3. Learn to name the U.S. presidents in order.

4. Visit caves. There are lots of them around San Antonio.

5. Teach them cursive. Writing books can be purchased. On the first day of second grade, my grandson wrote his name in cursive. His teacher made him erase it and print it.

6. Make a growth chart. Buy a 6-foot length of shelving and attach it to the wall a foot above the floor. Make a column for each child and measure the grandkids when they come to visit.

7. Practice basic math skills. Every child should know multiplication when they enter middle school.

8. Learn how to follow directions and work with fractions while making cookies.

9. Teach them to never start a sentence with the word “me,” as in “me and my friend …”

10. Take photos all summer and, at the end of the summer, let each child make a photo cube. Two-piece plastic cubes can be purchased at craft stores. Or you can create a summer scrapbook. — Doreene Barrett, San Antonio



Dear Heloise: Sorry for taking so long to write, but a reader — Peggy W., from Lima, Ohio — wrote in about unscrupulous auto repair places.

If anyone finds bad practices at a business like Peggy did, it’s a good idea to let their state’s Department of Consumer Affairs know about it. Here in California, we have the Bureau of Automotive Repair that handles the regulation of such repair places. They would very much want to know if a business is basically cheating customers. Practices like that can get a business fined or shut down. Report it! Thank you. — Janice French, Bakersfield, California


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