FUN Summer Learning: 10 ideas

Did you know that kids can lose 2-3 months of learning over the summer?  No one wants to start the new school year already behind!!

Here are 10 FUN things that kids can do over the summer to keep their brains sharp:

1. Play with water.

Use plastic tubes, things that float/ sink, pool noodles, food coloring, droppers, squirt guns, ice… use your imagination while learning about the properties of water!

2. Build something.

Anything.  Get some “trash” and start upcycling.  Build something that will solve a problem in your house or community. Make something that just looks cool. Be creative and use your engineering skills!

3. Play online learning games.

Online games are especially great for building basic skills (math facts, spelling, etc.).  But they can also be really good tools for building problem solving, resourcefulness, creativity, imagination, logic, and spatial skills (think of games where there’s a ‘map’ that you have to keep in your head- like The Legend of Zelda).

4. Cook or bake something.

Adults need to try new things, too!!  Go to the market and pick up a new fruit or vegetable, then try it in a recipe!  Following recipes helps kids with measurement and fractions.  Try halving or doubling the recipe for an extra challenge.  Practice measuring liquids by making fun new drinks (1 cup of cranberry juice and 1 cup of seltzer water, eg.).

Use your screen time to watch cooking or baking shows (or “Nailed It!”), find something that looks delicious, and challenge yourselves to make it. Bonus points if it’s something you can make on the grill or doesn’t require heat to cook.

5.  Read picture books.

Kids need beach reads too.  Even grown-ups don’t want to read “War and Peace” at the beach or park.  We want something lighter and a little easier to read.  The same goes for kids!  Just because it’s not a challenging chapter book doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.  There’s a ton of great vocabulary, inspiration, and even challenging themes to be found in today’s picture books.

6. Make some art.

Of course, Pinterest has tons of great art ideas for kids.  See what you have lying around the house, and get creative!!  Or try making works ‘in the style of’ your favorite artists.  (Or just make a mess, that’s cool, too.)   Pro tip: This is also a great way to clean out your closets and get rid of some things!  Turn them into DIY or art projects.

7. Organize something.

Let kids organize one of their desk drawers, part of their closet, a shelf in the cabinet, anything!   This is not only an important life skill, but develops important skills like categorizing and ordering. Organizing and cleaning can even help break us out of a bad mood or rut.

8. Invent a new game.

Gather a bunch of random objects to be your game pieces.  Decide what the objective of the game is. Make up some rules.  Adjust it as you go to make it easier or harder. Invite friends over and teach them how to play.  Play and have FUN!

9. Just have a conversation.

There are a million things to talk about!!  What do you think about… ?   What would happen if…?  Would you rather … or …?  If … happened right now, what would you do?   If you could go/ meet/ see/ etc. anywhere/ anyone/ anything/ etc. in the world…. ?
Bonus points for starting a conversation with a stranger or with someone who just needs a friend to talk to.

10. Go somewhere new.

There’s a lot of research out there that shows how good going somewhere new is for our brains.  It expands our horizons (pretty much literally!) and helps us form new pathways in our brains.   We may actually even burn more calories when we go for a walk somewhere we’ve never been, instead of taking our same old route.  Go to a new park, museum, a different library or grocery store, take a different way home, take a day trip, go visit someone, whatever you can.  Just go!

I hope you have a wonderful summer, filled with love, laughter, and LEARNING!
And, for TONS more ideas, check out this Summer Learning Pinterest board!

Happy (Summer Fun) Teaching!!
Christine Cadalzo

PS: If you need a FREE journal page to keep track of all your summer fun, you can get it here!

And if you’re looking for something
a little more comprehensive(but still NO PREP!),
try these summer learning packs 
for second gradethird grade, and fourth/ fifth grade: