As a kid, there are few things that feel better than leaving behind school, books and homework for the bliss of summer vacation. However, many engaging and fun summertime activities will allow kids to relax, play, and learn simultaneously! Help kids to have a great summer and develop a love for learning by trying out some of these ideas.
1. Plant a garden
One great way to help kids learn about the plant cycle is to let them plant and tend their own garden. Children can plant seeds and carefully water them each day and ensure that they get the correct amount of sunlight.
You can even help your children to plant vegetables, herbs, or flowers that will germinate and grow quickly, which can help impatient or younger children to remain engaged in the process.
Some plants that grow quickly include mint, basil, chives, cilantro, dill, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, cornflower, and marigolds. For slightly older children, tending a garden can be a great opportunity to begin to learn about photosynthesis as well.
2. Photograph a summer vacation
Are you planning a family vacation to a location with historical significance or natural beauty? Whether you are camping or sightseeing or anything in between, arm each child with his or her own inexpensive or disposable camera.
Let each child photograph places and items of interest to him or her, and then, later, print the photos or upload them to a computer and share them together.
You could even allow each child to make a special presentation of his or her favorites and tell the rest of the family why he or she liked them so much. For older children, it could be fun to discuss some basic photography terms and techniques, such as the rule of thirds, how a lens works, or what an aperture is.
3. Go to a sporting event
Summer is a great time for attending baseball games and other sporting events. There are many free and inexpensive games that you can attend in your community—it doesn’t have to be a professional game to have fun together as a family.
In addition, young children can enjoy keeping score themselves, and it can help them to brush up on their math skills. A math tutor or teacher could help you to think of additional ways to incorporate basic mathematics into a sports setting.
4. Keep a journal
Writing in a diary or a journal can help kids to express their feelings in a healthy way, and can also help them with their writing abilities, including handwriting. This can be as simple as giving them a notebook and pen, but for children who have a difficult time getting started, you could help them to make lists of things they have done or seen or give them specific and engaging prompts about which they can begin writing.
Even young children who cannot yet read and write can keep a journal—encourage them to draw pictures about what they did that day. Writing in a journal can also be a great way to help kids process and enjoy a family vacation.
5. Use a family reunion as an opportunity to do family history
Many families attend family reunions in the summer months, and if there is a family reunion in your summer plans, this is a great opportunity for your children to learn about family history and genealogy.You could help them to make a family tree or pedigree chart and fill in the names of the people in their family.
You could also help them to think of specific questions to ask other relatives. For example, have them ask Grandpa to tell them how he spent his Saturdays as a kid. Reunions are a great time to get kids involved in family history, because it is alive and surrounding them in a fun setting.
6. Go to the beach
Many kids will enjoy not only swimming and building sandcastles, but learning about marine biology as well.
Beaches hold a wide variety of potential topics for learning and exploration, from rocks and sand to plants and animals and even tides. For very young children, the beach is a great place to play counting games. How many airplanes do you see? How many sandcastles do you see? How many sea shells can you find?
7. Get ahead in math with the help of a math tutor
Summer can be a great time to enlist a math tutor to help. Our San Diego math tutors will even travel directly to your home in order to provide a convenient, comfortable environment for your child’s tutoring sessions. Our tutors are skilled at helping children to become engaged in math.
Contact our math tutoring service in San Diego today to find out how, together, we can provide fun and helpful summer math tutoring for your child, individualized to his or her needs.
8. Go stargazing
Stargazing is a fun and easy way for kids to begin to learn about astronomy. Pick a dark night and head to an area without city lights. If you have a telescope, you can even examine the moon or planets up close. If you are going camping this summer, that may be a great opportunity for stargazing. You may even see a shooting star!
9. Go on a nature walk
A nature walk is a simple and fun way for kids to learn about the great outdoors. It can be as easy as going for a walk through your neighborhood or a nearby park. Ask them to point out certain colors, shapes, or patterns, or help them to recognize specific plants and animals.
If appropriate, you can even have them pick up rocks or leaves to collect and bring home with them. You can also help your kids to learn about nature conservation by encouraging them to pick up and properly dispose of any litter or garbage they may encounter, and reminding them to stay on the trail.
10. Incorporate learning and research into your summer vacation plans
If you are planning a family vacation, help your child to learn about the place you’ll be visiting ahead of time. Find age-appropriate books to read—fiction or non-fiction—that will help him or her to engage with the history and culture of the area you are visiting.
Older children can even do their own research about a vacation destination using the Internet or the reference section of a library.