As a parent of three children, I’ve been met with groans at the suggestion of schoolwork during the summer. However, learning can be “disguised” as summer fun, and basic skill practice can be presented in spaced practice over summer days. Here are a few favorite ideas for summer learning experiences.
- Collect piles of good books and make time to read! Libraries, used-book stores, and thrift stores can provide new reading material.
- Enroll in summer reading programs at your local library, or encourage your children to keep a reading log of books.
- Be a tourist in your town and visit museums, parks, and interesting sites. Make a “wish list” of activities to do with your children.
- Help children create and write a blog about summer adventures. This Pinterest site provides sources for helping kids create their own blog.
- Make a journal so that children can write or draw pictures about the events of a given day or week, or write reviews about favorite books, movies, and outings.
- Get creative and try new arts and crafts or cooking projects, having your child take the lead in reading directions, gathering supplies, and applying math in measurements. Our favorite projects have been making ice cream from scratch and making soap! This blog provides ideas on using math in the kitchen with young children.
- Plant a small vegetable, herb, or flower garden. This Kids Gardening website offers many great ideas, including planting a pirate’s garden, growing your own salad, and building a fairy house.
- Create an obstacle course outside. Have children plan a design on paper, and then build the course together. Our summer learning Pinterest board includes many ideas for backyard summer fun and more!
- Ensure that “screen” time is meaningful and educational.
- Set aside periods of time for reading and practice of basic skills. If you’re interested in summer enrichment books, I recommend Evan-Moor’s Daily Summer Activities for grades PreK–8. I’ve used these activity books with my children and appreciate the teacher-developed activities that review all the core skills in reading, math, writing, language arts, and science.
We are interested in hearing how you keep learning alive over the summer months. Please share your ideas!
Theresa Wooler has more than 10 years’ experience in K–6 classrooms as a parent volunteer and homeschool educator, has taught high school English, and is currently involved in education through Evan-Moor’s marketing communications team.