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End School With a Fun Learning Plan

by Tania Cowling | May 11th, 2016 | Elementary, School

summer checklistAs your child ends another school year, the same question comes to mind. Will my young learner retain a school year’s worth of knowledge over the summer? Unfortunately, there are no guarantees they will. When I taught school, parents would ask, “What can we do over the summer to help our children academically?” And to this, I always replied, “Keep them thinking every day.” Summer should be fun and a time to explore. You’d be surprised what kids can learn just by observing – whether it’s nature, at a museum, or just through play. Here is a list of 25 fun ideas that also teach.

  1. Take a neighborhood walk and identify trees, flowers, rocks, and bugs.
  2. Plant a flower or vegetable garden together.
  3. Collect place mats from restaurants. Read the menu together.
  4. Write a story where your shoes walked today.
  5. Go grocery shopping together. Add up the bill and count out the money.
  6. Organize a pet parade. Make signs and flyers for the neighbors.
  7. Set up a lemonade (or cupcake) stand. Record the prices and earnings.
  8. Make homemade birthday cards for friends and family. Be creative with art materials.
  9. Make a centerpiece for a picnic using things from nature.
  10. Follow an ant pile. Videotape the ants’ journey and narrate the story.
  11. Have a yard sale – ticket the items and record the earnings.
  12. Read road signs together. Do you understand each one?
  13. Listen to the birds. Are they conversing? Record it. What are they saying? Build a bird house together.
  14. Plan a scavenger hunt for family and friends. Make the lists and execute the game.
  15. Take photos of summer things – the pool, flowers, BBQ… Date them and put them into a scrapbook.
  16. Collect rocks and research each one in geology books.
  17. Write letters and postcards and send them to friends. Find a pen pal and write each week.
  18. Jump rope and chant the names of states, or words that begin with all the alphabet letters.
  19. Make necklaces and rings from dandelions.
  20. Create musical instruments from household materials. Are the sounds high or low?
  21. Start a neighborhood kid’s book club. Read the same book, and then gather to talk about it.
  22. Cook something together. Go through step-by-step directions as you read the recipe.
  23. Visit another country via the Internet.
  24. Create an obstacle course in your yard and participate in a mini-Olympics.
  25. Do you know how to play chess? Or play a new board game with the family.

These are a few of the many activities your child can participate in after the school year has ended. Check out ideas online and in books to make this summer vacation a fun time with many teachable moments.

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