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Everyone knows that summers are for fun and friends, but what do you do when you’re worried that your child will forget what they learned during the school year? Here are some fun summer learning activities that both you and your kids will love doing together.
Obviously remembering multiplication facts is important when school rolls around again, but there’s no reason to stress too much over the summer break. Include some of these hands-on activities and lessons that will encourage your child to have fun, laugh often, and enjoy family time this summer.
Children learn is so many ways, so during the summer months planning a few fun activities a week will keep their skills sharp. With these exciting ideas and ways to practice things from school, students will be in great shape come fall.
Learning During the Summer
Learning during the summer doesn’t have to include boring workbooks and strict schedules. You know your child best. How does your child learn best? Would a hands-on science project or experiment be fun for them? How about a way to learn and get their energy out?
You don’t have to stay at home to learn, either. Summer is a great time to explore and teach kids about the world through fun family activities.
Getting the kids outside is a great way to encourage fun while learning. It’s free and the possibilities are endless. Summer months are hot, right? So let’s start with some pool fun!
Take the kids to the neighborhood pool for some wet and wild learning. Use the opportunity to work on whatever skill they need to practice.
For example, if your child needs to work on spelling, take a list of words to the pool and have them stand on the side of the pool. Call out the spelling word and ask your child to spell the word. When they spell it correctly, they can jump in the pool any silly way they want!
SIDE NOTE: Make sure to always practice pool safety.
Water Balloon Fight
Another way to stay cool and learn is to practice the skill with a chance to earn water balloons for a water balloon fight. Start with the filled water balloons in a large bucket and for every right answer on a math problem, they earn a water balloon. Invite the neighbors over to make it a challenge and see who ends up with the most ammo. I can’t think of a more fun way to learn, can you?
Grab a cup of water and a paintbrush for this easy and cheap way to learn on summer vacation. Using the water as “paint” call out math problems, spelling words, or even definitions for them to match to terms and let your kiddo paint the answers on the driveway or fence.
Take a trip to the local library to pick out books for summer reading. I always like to pick a book to read out loud that’s a few levels up from my kids’ grade level.
Let the kids make a fort, grab blankets and pillows, or even color while you read the book to them. It’s a nice way to slow down and challenge them to listen to something above their reading level. It’s also a great way to talk through some things you read about and give your kids a safe space to talk and work on their communication skills.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
An indoor scavenger hunt is a great way to entertain the kids and practice color recognition, sportsmanship, and other real-life lessons. Grab a paper bag or a small canvas bag and let the kids decorate them. Then explain the rules and use this free printable to encourage a fun game of searching around the house for the items on the list.
Summer Science Experiment
Pinterest is a super handy tool to find easy science experiments that kids will love. Most of them are done with things you already have in your house. Explore things like gravity, electricity, and cause and effect with curious kids.
Letting kids get their hands dirty while making dinner is a great way to talk about kitchen skills and include skills like fractions, color recognition, how to follow instructions, and even how to serve others.
To get started, a quick talk about kitchen safety is in order. Talk about how pot handles get hot even though you can’t tell that they are, how nothing should be near the burners while they are on, when it’s okay to use the oven, and anything else your child needs to know to stay safe in the kitchen.
Next, find a few recipes that you know will help your child with the skill they are working on and let them pick the one they would like to make.
Take the opportunity to remind them that making dinner for dad after a long day or for a family in need is something that will make them feel special. When the focus is off the child and on other people, a great lesson on kindness and helping others becomes the goal instead of learning.
Reading the directions, measuring out spices, even learning how to stop the mixer before you pull it out of the bowl are all skills everyone needs. Believe me, they come in handy when your child decides to make mom breakfast in bed or move out on their own.
Learning in the Community
Visit an Ice Cream Shop
What better way to learn about money and budgeting than visiting an ice cream shop? Skills like how many scoops can I afford with the money I have and what change you’d expect back are more tangible when you have cash in your hand.
Take a Hike
Get kids moving and outdoors with a nature walk. Take photos of different animals and plants you encounter. Discuss the life cycle and other science topics while taking time to slowly make your way through the park or trails. Running, jumping, and even a cartwheel or two are all totally fine when you’re wandering the great outdoors.
After you get home, put together a book of the photos you took and learn about the things you saw. Incorporate drawings, magazine cut-outs, or whatever else inspires your child to create.
There’s no reason to worry about learning with exciting ideas like these. Summer learning loss won’t be a factor when you reframe the summer break as a time to learn differently. And with a little planning the kids won’t even really feel like they are learning- just having fun!
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