Learning Activities For Summer

Now that the summer is upon us the kids are out of school and though there are countless fun activities for summer for the kids to do, boredom can quickly set in. So how do you cure those summertime blues? Just because school is out doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. In fact, many kids lose out on some of the things they’ve learned when they aren’t actively keeping their minds attentive with mind stimulating recreation. There are many fun projects and activities you can do with them to keep them occupied and their minds active.

We decided to put our daughter in a Montessori school this past year where she goes part time. I loved their hands-on teaching approach and it was good for her to be able to play and learn while interacting with other children her age. She has really picked up quite a bit and I didn’t want her to lose it. I sought out these fun activities that I can do with her over the summer to help keep her mind engaged in educational activity.

Learning Activities for Summer Vacations

Every year we plan a trip to our favorite beach in a neighboring state. These are some learning activities that you can easily fit into your travel plans while taking a family vacation.

Museums
While you are traveling on your summer vacation, seek out any nearby museums to visit. A museum offers a world of discovery and history and most of them are not too expensive. It’s an easy and fun way to squeeze in a learning experience while enjoying a family trip to together. You can find out where there may be museums by visiting the welcome center of the state you are visiting. In fact, the welcome center may be a great place to start with some located in national parks or famous landmarks (the one we stop at on our way to the beach has a science center where they give tours. We plan to take the kids this year, but I think I’m more excited about it than they are!)

On the Beach
DSCN2304Planning a trip to the beach? This provides several great opportunities for learning and sensory skills. What is one activity all kids do on the beach besides swim? Build sand castles! This provides several teaching concepts not only with building, but also science. Show them what happens when you fill a bucket with just sand and turn it over. Then repeat this step but adding water to the sand to  show them how the water helps the sand stick to make forms and take the mold of the buckets.

While our son is a little too young to enjoy activities on the beach, the sand offers an excellent sensory stimulant. There’s nothing like digging your toes in the sand and babies are no different. Just be watchful for glass and sharp seashells.

Collecting seashells can be a fun learning experience as well. Pick up seashells along the beach and talk about each one such as the color, shape, and what type of creature (if any) might live in it. Afterwards you can count out all the seashells you’ve collected with them and even try sorting them by color or shape. You can also take along a sand sifter to let them search the beach for washed up treasures in addition to seashells.

Scrapbooking
scrapbookingThis is a fun hobby that you can do once you get back home from your vacation. Be sure to collect brochures and postcards from your endeavors and take many pictures. Start a scrapbook with your child and let them put themed stickers and use child-safety scissors for decorating and cutting. As you go through the pictures of your trips ask them what their favorite part was and to pick out a picture from it to make a page.

I’ve always enjoyed scrapbooking but never really had much time once the kids were born. Now that my daughter is a little older and can do crafts I get to share the hobby with her by letting her help. It gives me the chance to have our pictures organized and out of old shoe boxes so they can be looked at later while talking about past trips and family events. You can find hundreds of scrapbooking supplies at a hobby shop or even the dollar store. If you’ve never scrapbooked before, try a starter kit that contains the basic essentials.

Home Activities for Summer

Cooking and Baking
Measuring cupKids and toddlers love helping out in the kitchen. This poses a great opportunity to help them learn and retain math skills through the use of measurements. Let the kids in on helping out with lunch and dinner preparations or baking up tasty snacks. If your toddler is too young to measure out the ingredients, use a clear measuring cup with clearly marked labels to show them how much measurements are.

Another teaching method to help them learn about measurements is using different tools such as various measuring cups. For instance, we have plastic and stainless steel cups as well as two pyrex measuring cups. Fill a 1/2 cup measuring cup with water and pour it into a 1 or 2 cup glass (or plastic) measuring cup to show them that it still comes out to 1/2 cup.

Reading
PocahontasThere’s a reason why so many schools instill a summer reading program for students. Reading opens up many doors for learning in children from language and vocabulary to character and plot concepts. To make reading a little more interesting for your child, choose books that have a movie for them (or vice versa). Many Disney movies also have the book versions. Pocahontas is a great example of a movie/novel that is educational and interesting for kids. Read the book first then let them watch the movie. You can discuss the differences between the two.

Butterfly Gardening

dd66371fc971dd966d60b76efed18ef7This is for those who have a green thumb. Planting is a great learning experience for kids as well. It helps them learn about nature and observation in watching flowers grow and bloom. A butterfly garden can further broaden their learning and bring more life to your garden by attracting beautiful butterflies. Your kids will be able to see the physical change of flowers as well as see new life and observing how caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. You will appreciate the added appeal to your yard making it a pleasant place to spend outdoors.

Growing bodies need more than just physical activity and exercise for healthy development. It’s important to keep young minds active through stimulating activities and experiences to encourage mental development as well. These learning activities for summer time will keep your little ones engaged and happy while helping to retain key fundamentals they’ve learned through school.

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