Trying to keep children on a good learning path while also enjoying summer vacation can be tricky. It’s important that children continue their learning experience through summer. According to the National Summer Learning Association, a child can lose up to three months of previous progress in the summer without review. Summer also provides many creative ways to make learning more fun and interesting! Here are a few educational summer activities to keep those little brains in gear.
1. Educational Adventures
The beauty of summer learning is that it can take you anywhere! Plan a trip to a local learning experience or a road trip to an exciting new place. Try children’s art museums, interactive festivals, historical reenactments or towns, botanical gardens, and more. These can be fun road trips across the state or just right up the road. Trips will create a sense of adventuring the unknown for children and make summer learning more exciting.
2. Movie Nights
Plan a weekly movie night. This not only gives the kids a chance for learning, but it also gives hard working parents a break. Planning a movie night ahead of time creates suspense and gives a child something they can look forward to. The movies can be anything from educational features to fun cartoons that incorporate learning in a simple way. Plan movie nights after dark so the summer sunshine won’t be distracting and enjoy some quality, educational family bonding.
It’s so simple and it really works! Reading in the summer is where learning can be much more flexible. Everything doesn’t have to be as educationally focused. Take the children on a trip to the local library or bookstore and let them pick out a new book to read. It can be anything, like funny cartoons, comic books, interactive books, joke books, or even sing along books! Reading is very beneficial for brain stimulation no matter the content and this will build reading comprehension skills that will improve test taking skills in the future.
4. Exploring the Future
It’s never too early to start encouraging your child to set goals and dream about what their future could hold. Aspirational dreams start at an early age! Ask your children what they want to be when they grow up and run with it. If they want to be an astronaut, see if there is a local space center to explore. If they love the ocean and marine life, consider a day camp through a local program to inspire your budding little marine biologist. Feed their imagination any way you can!
5. Playing Catch Up
Summer is the perfect time to focus in on any area a child may be having trouble in. There are no distractions or confusion from other subjects or topics and it gives a child time to really hone in on one thing at a time. If there are any areas that could use some improvement, try to incorporate them all summer. Learning in an outside, creative environment may also improve the child’s attitude towards this subject or concept and help build confidence.
6. Summer Gardening
Summer gardening is an easy way to get the kids outside, teach responsibility, and bond. Whether you just plant one flower together or a whole vegetable garden, it’s sure to get the children excited about new things. Take the opportunity to boost math and science skills. Encourage your child to measure it daily, take pictures, and be proud of their accomplishment! This will also help grow confidence and a connection to nature.
7. Creative Experiment Books
One of the easiest ways to get a child excited about learning is by mixing in gooey, crazy, and weird crafts. There are countless recipe books that have a variety of crafts, experiments, and foods that you and your child can make all summer long. From slime to alphabet cookies, the possibilities are endless. This is also a great bonding activity for parents or siblings. Check out the Good Housekeeping blog with 40 fun summer activities!
Summer is a precious time for children to let their body and minds rest and recover, but this doesn’t have to include losing progress. Take advantage of this time you have with your child to really get to know them and how they are developing. These ideas are easy ways for you to get in touch with the child at heart and help your baby grow and learn in a simple interactive way. So, try some of these educational summer activities and enjoy this time off with your child.