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Summer learning ideas

If you’ve got school age kids, I’m pretty sure you hear about “Summer Slide” as the end of the school year draws near. To be honest, it can put a lot of pressure on parents who don’t have time to plan and orchestrate a bunch of ideas for summer learning.

So how are we supposed to keep our kids’ brains engaged and learning, without going crazy or feeling like a cruise director?

We’ve got some great summer learning ideas for you in this post.

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Ideas for Summer Learning Should be:

There are a few things to keep in mind when you are choosing ideas for summer learning.

Centered around your child’s interests

Summer is a great time to play to your kids’ interests. Because the regular school year may only offer the basics, take this opportunity to let you kiddo explore a more specific area of interest.

Learning skate board tricks, creating videos, exploring nature, designing and sewing clothing, becoming a master lego builder…….what does your kiddo enjoy doing? This summer they can be doing lots of what they love best.

Fun and Light-Spirited

No one wants to sound like a drill sergeant or have to force their kids to do “school work” over the summer. Keep the mood light and fun — always. And if you have chosen something they are interested in, this will be so easy.

Easy for you to plan

The easier an activity is for you to plan, the more likely you are to get the activity going. If your kids are older, let them be a part of the planning process.

Be sure to check your house first for supplies. You might be surprised with what you can dig up!

Cheap or Free

Summer activities do not have to cost a lot. Check out thrift stores for supplies, go to garage sales, check Facebook marketplace, take advantage of local events. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of.

Check out this FREE ONLINE CAMP we participate in every year.

Fun, Easy Summer Learning Ideas.

  • Search for a new popsicle recipe…and make them!
  • Plant sunflowers in your yard.
  • Visit libraries in other towns
  • Listen to audio books, alone or as a family.
  • Keep a piggybank and learn to count coins.
  • Go on a flower hunt, photograph or draw them, learn their names.
  • Do the above with leaves.
  • Keep a family journal with words and pictures.
  • Learn and play new card games.
  • Visit a local, or not so local, art museum to sit and sketch.
  • Create a photo journal of your day or week.
  • Plant a garden or some herbs in a pot.
  • Learn Oragami.
  • Visit a pet store to hold the bunnies, iguanas, etc.
  • Sign up for a class on Outschool.
  • Go on a night hike with headlamps-even around the neighborhood.
  • Have kids plan and research a day of only free things to do.
  • Do a tour of the parks in your area.
  • Make your own popsicles.
  • Visit historical markers in nearby towns.
  • Find a unique museum to visit.
  • Get a crossword or puzzle book.
  • Visit a magazine store.
  • Have a picnic in the backyard.
  • Better yet, set up a tent in the yard for sleep or play.
  • Learn to cook.
  • Go geocaching.
  • Visit a pet shelter. Check to see what they need and bring a small donation.
  • Learn to sew or knit.
  • Make slime or play dough.
  • Learn a new math game.
  • Take binoculars or a magnifying glass outside and discover a new world.
  • Go miniature golfing.
  • Visit a used book store.
  • Look for local outdoor art and craft fairs.
  • Troll Goodwill for a new-to-you board game.
  • Teach teenagers how to list on Ebay.
  • Search for best burger (or pizza or ice cream) in town.
  • Check out this list of fun stuff to keep kids busy and off screens.

Download this list HERE.

More Summer Learning Ideas by AGES:

No matter what age your kids are, read through all the lists….there are many activities that are ageless.

6 and under crowd

  • Turn an underbed box into a water table or sand box and keep outside.
  • Find as many places to sit and read, as possible.
  • Explore other libraries children’s section
  • Take a tour of local parks
  • Plant sunflowers or pumpkin seeds and watch them grow!
  • Make birdfeeders.
  • Take binoculars to a forest preserve.
  • Take a picnic lunch to the park, the backyard, outside the library, in a forest…
  • Make a musical fence.

7 to 10 Crowd

  • Dig in the backyard
  • Set up the sprinkler
  • Learn how to use a POGO stick
  • Go to a U-Pick farm
  • Visit a Farmer’s Market
  • Visit another town’s pool.
  • Give your kid 5 bucks to spend at a used book store.
  • Bring supplies to a pet shelter and stay to play.
  • Find ducks to feed or a pond to sail a boat in.
  • Watch a movie in the backyard.

10 and Up

  • Get good at Yo-Yo tricks
  • Learn to cook.
  • Explore a nearby city with your family.
  • Find the best ice cream in a 10 mile radius.
  • Make Pizza on the grill.
  • Check out a local thrift store.
  • Start an outdoor game night.
  • Take a head lamp around the neighborhood at night.
  • Start a dog walking service.
  • Take apart an old, not used piece of electronics – radio, blender, record player, etc
  • Learn how to twist balloons.

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