Let’s be real.
Those first few weeks of summer break are about rest and relaxation. You let the kiddos sleep in, you take them swimming and they get to recharge their battery!
Then we get into late June and early July and they are fighting with each other, eating us out of house and home, and are constantly complaining that they are bored. Wait, due to that pesky virus, you may already feel like we are in that phase of summer!
TAKE A BREAK, and enjoy the slower pace of ACTUAL SUMMER. I’ve put together my list of ways to sneak in the education just to bridge the gap before we return to school in the Fall. (Lord, please let us return to school in the Fall.)
Here are a list of activities that are great for keeping their brains working even during the breaks.
1. Reading, reading, reading. Reading is the bridge to developing great writers,
developing strong vocabulary, and being able to make an informed decision. One
way that you can incorporate reading this summer is by setting a reading goal for each
of your kids. They could be weekly or monthly goals. Depending on your child’s grade
level and ability, you could decide on a small prize for them meeting a weekly goal and
a bigger prize for them hitting a monthly goal.
For example, if your child reads two books in one week and that was their weekly goal, maybe let them chose the movie you watch as a family. Or maybe their prize is to get out of doing one of their chores that week. A bigger monthly goal could be a trip to a destination that had to do with one of their books, like a space museum or an art exhibit. Also, for reading, the tried but true local library summer programs are always available. Depending on your library, they may even have groups focused on the upper age group of kids.
2. Scientists will rule the summer. Some kids have that natural-born inquisitive mind.
Some kiddos just like to make things bubble or grow or get slimy. Either way, there are
a bazillion ideas on Pinterest for the scientist in your house! Some of the experiments
that look the most interesting include: Dancing Grapes, Walking Water Experiment,
Exploding Baggies, Melting Ice Science Experiment with Salt and Color. All of these
experiments cost very little and can be performed at home. If they get started on an
experiment and decide they want to try adding things or taking away things, then they
have even created their own experiments! This could also be a great opportunity to take
them on a trip to a local museum or camp with science-based learning.
3. Art is always a good idea! There are so many ways to educate your child on all things art this summer! Creating, presenting, responding and connecting are all great things to keep in mind for their art-related activities this summer! It would be awesome to use all the subjects to incorporate art. The kids could read something about a famous artist, like
Picasso. There have been good reviews written about, “Picasso and the Girl with a
Ponytail.” After reading this story with the kids, they could study how Picasso created his
art and then attempt to recreate it. They could also then attempt to make their own art
using their own techniques. Afterwards, they could share their pictures with their siblings
or other adults who visit.
4. Math can be easily added into everyday activities during summertime. Having the smaller kids count how many grapes they are eating at snack time and asking them how many they would have while taking some away or putting some back is easy addition and subtraction practice. For the older kids, you could develop a calendar with a “Math
Problem of the Day” on it. After they solve the problem, maybe they earn some free
screen time or a sweet treat. There are all kinds of outdoor games to play with math too!
Kids could practice counting with swimming toys they dive to get.
For the older kids, you could give them a multiplication problem for every time they find a toy. A shooting hoops multiplication game could be played with multiple kids. Adults could draw a giant clock with side walk chalk and let kids practice telling time. Another sidewalk chalk practice activity could be multiplication hopscotch. Water balloon could be used for number splash math. The most important thing to remember is that the game doesn’t have to be complicated to be fun!
5. There are plenty of online resources that can be helpful for all age groups. Below you
will find just a few of the ones that seem fun! All the ones listed below have some free
aspects to them.
National Geographic Kids
National Gallery of Art for Kids
Library of Congress
YouTube Science Channels:
Educational Podcasts for Kids:
Tumble – best for ages 6-12
Book Club for Kids – best for ages 9-14Short and Curly – best for ages 7-12
The Show About Science – best for ages 3-9
SHABAM! – best for ages 8-18
BRAINS ON! –best for ages 6-12
But Why – best for ages 5-10
Hopefully this list helps with keeping the kiddos educated this summer! Remember,
sometimes it is okay to just relax too! All of our brains need a break. Especially after the Spring we’ve all had!