6 Ways to Keep Learning This Summer
School’s out, and kids are ready to kick back and take a break. Don’t let them lose academic ground – prevent the “summer slide” by keeping their minds active this summer. They’ll be having so much fun, they won’t realize they’re learning!
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Read Every Day
Make a special place for kids to read. This could be a corner with a soft rug and lots of pillows, a cozy bean bag chair or a hideout with a canopy. Outdoors, set up a teepee (look online for DIY ideas), hammock or create a spot under a shady tree.
Create your own summer reading club with incentives for reaching a goal, like reading 30 minutes a day for a week or reading a set number of books. Rewards could include a pizza and movie night, a trip to get ice cream or a small toy.
Learn more about a favorite author; many popular kids’ authors have websites with activities, games, book previews and printables.
Be a Scientist
Have fun in the kitchen! Cook a new dish, bake a treat or blend up a smoothie. Kids can learn about measuring and fractions, following recipe instructions and chemical reactions.
Head outside for some experimenting! Look online for at-home STEM experiment ideas. Find instructions for making a homemade geyser, a mousetrap car and more at stevespanglerscience.com.
Take a Vacation Without Leaving Home
Have kids choose a destination and research its location, landmarks and how to get there. Make a travel scrapbook with local wildlife, interesting facts and customs. Try a far-off locale like Fiji, New Zealand or Egypt!
Go on a virtual tour of Crater Lake National Park, the National Mall, Yellowstone, the Statue of Liberty and more at nationalparks.org.
Choose a cuisine and explore it! Try Cuban sandwiches or Indian food at a local restaurant. Choose a different country each week and plan an international dinner night with themed food and decorations.
Encourage kids to do something artistic – paint a self-portrait, make a collage or sculpt with clay. Look for online tutorials or book-and-craft kits to learn knitting, sewing or making LEGO robots.
Make puppets using items you have around the house, like socks, paper bags, craft foam or felt. Add a storyline and a theater made from a large cardboard box and perform a show for family, create a video or invite friends to an online presentation.
Encourage your kids to write their own story, keep a journal or create a blog. Interview grandparents or other relatives about their lives and put their stories in writing.
Learn to play a musical instrument, compose a song, or make up a dance routine. Check with a local music or dance studio for camps or summer lessons, or look for inspiration online.
Go On a Field Trip
The Game Is On
Turn off the screens and break out the board games! Classics like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Sorry and Scrabble Junior can improve math and reading skills, as well as concentration, strategy and teamwork. Find more educational and fun games here.
Chess teaches kids to think ahead and strategize. KidChess has online games, clubs and lessons for all skill levels. At home, Story Time Chess: The Game is a great way for kids as young as 3 years to get started.
Card games are a great way to reinforce math skills. Grab a deck and start a game of go fish, spoons or crazy eights; look online for games kids of all ages can play.