Have you read my post 5 Fun Summer Learning Activities to Beat the “Summer Slide” over on the Beautiful Budget Life website yet? If not, you might want to start over there. I think keeping kids’ brains working all summer is really important, so I came up with 5 more fun summer learning activities.
I know summer is supposed to be a time for relaxation and fun. School is over and the pool is open. Who wants to stay inside and learn? Fortunately, summer learning doesn’t have to mean sitting with a book for hours on end or completing pages of math problems. There are plenty of summer learning activities that will keep young minds thinking while they’re still having plenty of fun.
As a teacher, I can tell you that “summer slide” isn’t just a myth. Students leave school in June reading on grade level. When they return in late August, many of them slide backwards a level or two. The same is true in math. Concepts they learned the previous year have been completely forgotten. With just 15-30 minutes of brain-boosting activities each day, we can get rid of “summer slide” once and for all. Try these fun summer learning activities to keep your child from slipping backwards.
5 More Fun Summer Learning Activities
#1 – Big Backyard Challenge
Our school theme this year was “Our Big Backyard”. We wanted our students to explore nature and spend more time outside, rather than in front of screens. My co-worker and I developed the Big Backyard Challenge. We created a Bingo board for each quarter of the school year. We also made an extra one for summer. You can download it and use it to reinforce science, math, and reading concepts all summer long while playing Bingo. Our students loved it, and I’m sure your children will, too!
#2 – Plan a Picnic
Summer is the perfect time for a picnic! Have your children help you plan the menu, make a grocery list, and estimate how much the ingredients will cost. Just use your local grocery store’s weekly circular to find the prices. If your kids are really adventurous, challenge them to use coupons to save some money on the ingredients. Maybe they can use the extra money to buy something special for dessert.
You can use the lessons from Cooking and Learning in the Kitchen to plan your picnic. Each lesson includes a kid-friendly recipe and three different learning activities to reinforce math, reading, writing, science, and social studies concepts. Each activity has three different levels and is appropriate for ages 3-12.
Once your picnic is planned, all you have to do is find the perfect spot outside to enjoy your picnic. You kids will have so much fun, since they were involved in the whole planning process.
#3 – Play-Doh
If it’s a rainy day, Play-Doh can come to the rescue. It entertains my kids for hours! Plus, it can be great for learning activities. For younger children, you can practice colors, shapes, and numbers. Older children can use a Play-Doh tool to write words and math problems. Even using their creativity to build new things is a great learning experience.
#4 – Car (or Airplane) Games
A lot of us travel over the summer. That traveling often involves long hours spent in the car or on an airplane. Use that time to play games with your children to keep them learning. My favorite travel game as a child was the ABC game. Choose a category, and see if you can think of a word that starts with each letter of the alphabet. For younger children, it will reinforce their ABC’s and letter sounds. Older children can expand their vocabulary by finding new words that start with each letter.
Another great car game is Bingo. Make Bingo cards before you leave with things you might see while you’re traveling. For younger children use pictures, and for older children write the words. See if they can get Bingo before you reach your destination.
My first grader even loves doing math facts in the car. He tries to see how quickly he can answer addition and subtraction facts. Memorizing basic facts will help children with math for all their years of school.
#5 – Bedtime Story Time
I know a lot of you probably already read with your children before bed. This is so valuable and will help them develop a love of reading. Even if you didn’t have time to do any of the other activities during the day, spend just 15 minutes at night before bed reading. Your children can choose the books. If they’re old enough, they can read to you. Even older kids enjoy being read to, though. This special bonding time will be a great way to end your fun summer days!
Cooking and Learning in the Kitchen
Get the recipe for Banana Bread Sandwiches and three fun, learning activities for FREE!