July 23, 2015
Written by Tina Shaffer
According to the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins University, on average, students who don’t engage in summer learning lose the equivalent of two months’ worth of grade-level math and reading skills. But let’s face it—the last thing most children want to think about during the summer is school. Kids deserve a break from homework and studying during this time. However, you can still engage your children with summertime activities that don’t necessarily feel like learning. Many summer learning activities don’t even require spending a lot of money or heading to a far-off place to discover something new. It’s a win-win for all.
- Read: Summer is the best time for kids to get lost in a book and forget the pressure of having to answer questions about it on a test. And if you have some extra time on your hands, consider organizing a book club. Through a book club, children not only have the opportunity to discuss what they’re read but learn valuable skills including communication, taking turns and respecting others’ opinions.
- STEAM activities: From Rube Goldberg machines to hands-on science experiments to giant outdoor board games, there are a variety of fun and easy activities that are sure to exercise your children’s STEAM skills. Check out our STEM & Literacy Activities and our Creative Stuff We Love: Summer Edition blog post for some of our favorite, fun STEAM projects on the Web.
- Plant a garden: What kid wouldn’t jump at the chance to dig and get dirty? By planting a garden, your young one will learn about seeds and nutrition, how to be responsible in caring for plants, and become more self-confident as their gardening efforts yield plants and vegetables. Plus, it’s good exercise!
- Get theatrical: Gather a group of kids together to write a script, create props and act out their story, or have them create puppets and a stage for a puppet show. Kids can also take the director’s seat by creating a stop motion animation with their favorite toys. We promise it’s not as complicated as it sounds! Check out this great tutorial on stop motion animation for kids by TinkerLab.
- Cook or bake together: This is a great way to teach or reinforce math concepts, as well as enjoy sharing a created meal or desert together. Consider cooking half the recipe and challenge your kids to do that math.