Summer break is finally here! Life seems to get a bit simpler when the school year ends. To help you fill some of that extra time, we’ve compiled a list of age-appropriate summer activities that also encourage learning.
While this list is arranged by age group, encourage your younger children to try the activities with the older children. You may be surprised to see your older children practicing patience with the younger ones. You may also find that younger children can do more than you expected. Happy summer!
Create an obstacle course. Challenge your kids to see who can get through the course the fastest. Keep things interesting by requiring the kids to move like different animals, hop on one foot, or walk backward. Let your kids get in on the fun, too, by allowing them to take turns changing part of the course or setting the rules.
Grow a plant. It is not too late to start growing something. Many retailers still have starter plants that will grow well in a pot. Tomatoes are a great starter plant for kids. Keep in mind, tomatoes will need to be staked and have a cage to support them as they grow. Ask employees at your local home and garden store for ideas.
Game night. Make game night an event for the entire family. Plan a special snack. To choose a game to play, have each person write two games on a sheet of paper. Put the game names into a hat so that game selection is random. Try to play on teams to help involve younger children. Games like Uno can be played by anyone who can recognize numbers and colors. Yahtzee practices addition and counting. If you have kids who like word games, give Bananagrams and Quiddler a chance.
Write and produce a play. Older children can write their play and create roles for everyone in the family. Younger children can help create a plot or give dialogue suggestions. Assign someone the role of costume designer and have them choose costumes from clothes in the closet. Encourage your children to be creative with their props and scenery. Ask them to search for items in the house they can use to create an atmosphere. Don't be afraid to get a little silly.
Ages 3 – 5
Create an outdoor sensory bin or treasure box. Give your children a plastic bin where they can collect things they find out in the yard or on a walk. As your child collects items, talk with them about what is safe or not safe to handle. You can also talk about the different leaves or flowers they find.
Color. Coloring is such a simple activity, but it does have big benefits! Your children can practice fine motor skills and pay attention to details. When your kids color, it also helps them develop muscle control. Encourage your child to stay in the lines and point out if they don’t finish part of the picture. You can display their pictures in your house or give them to neighbors or family members.
Ages 6 -9
Make slime. Before you roll your eyes, consider that summer is the perfect time to make slime outside! Allow the kids to experiment with different ratios of ingredients and different methods to create slime. You can store leftover slime in plastic lunch meat containers.
Write a comic strip or comic book. Have your children create two or three characters that they write about all summer. Challenge them to write about a certain object, phrase, or event in their comic strip each week. They can work on this activity a little bit each day.
Write to a pen pal. Writing letters is a lost art form. If you have older family members, try having your children write them a letter about what they have done during the week. Encourage the kids to write about their favorite things or ask questions about what it was like for the family member when they were out of school for the summer.
If you do not have an older family member your children can write to, consider contacting a nursing home to see if any of the residents would like to have a pen pal. Emailing letters is also an option, but there is something special about getting a handwritten letter in the mail.
Meal planning. Once a week, have your child plan one meal. Begin by identifying a recipe, then make a shopping list. Let them help in the kitchen when it’s time to cook. Be sure you go through all the steps of the recipe first. Challenge your child to make something new, stick to a certain budget, or create a themed meal.
Be sure to let us know if you try any of these activities. We’d love to see your photos on social media.
Amanda Bshero is a Lincoln Learning Solutions Instructional Services Manager and has been teaching with Lincoln Learning Solutions for nearly She has a passion for teaching science Amanda enjoys spending time with her family and creating items by knitting or crocheting.