Actually Fun Educational Activities For Kids This Summer
For anyone who was ever a kid, the joy of summer was always in the chance to take a break from daily schooling.
Even those high achievers amongst us (why yes, I did get a perfect attendance award, thank you very much), the time off from school meant time for more fun, more camps, more activities, and more trips.
What summertime is perilously low in? Actual learning. While that might be design (our brains need to rest at some point!), recent research pins the actual learning loss for students during summer at between 17-34% of the previous year’s gains.
On the other hand, talk about summer school used to be perceived as a threat. So the question is: what kinds of activities can we put together that inspire a bit of learning… without seeming too educational?
Below we’ve gathered some of our favorite easy summer activities that are equal parts fun and factual. Take a look!
5 Fun Summer Activities That’ll Teach You A Thing Or Two
Make Ice Cream - Instead of waiting for the iconic sounds of Ice Cream Man to waft down the street, make your own homemade ice cream. With Delish’s 15-minute recipe, and a bit of math (for an added layer of difficulty, scale up or scale down the proportions!), a perfectly summery treat awaits.
Catch, Release, & Learn About Fireflies - One of the quintessential signs of summer are fireflies lighting up the dusk sky. Just as fun is capturing them for a brief moment to use as a table light (but be gentle, poke holes to breathe, and let them go afterward). You can use this as a moment to learn, too, as you pepper in fun facts about fireflies into the adventure. Then have another adult join later and ask the kids if they know anything about fireflies and get prepared for a show.
- Movie Reviews To Watch Movies - From backyard movie screenings to public parks, summer’s a great chance to spend some time with the family outdoors taking in new and classic films. It can also be a great way to get your young one to practice writing. Have them write a movie review about the last movie they saw - or ask them to write the sequel. You can even create a small stage and have them share before your next screening.
Summer Reading Bingo - This idea from Oxford Learning can help inspire your kids to achieve a number of different reading objectives. More than just sheer quantities of books or pages read, it could include time spent reading to siblings, consecutive days, genres of books, diversity of authors, and more. Plus, if you play alongside them, you can turn it into a friendly competition where the winner picks out a prize (like the toppings you include in the ice cream you’re making at home!).
- The Best Paper Airplane Ever - After seeing the family’s best attempts at paper airplane construction, share the secret to the best paper airplane ever. The only trick? It’s up to your children to teach you the 35 steps to make the plane. Guide them through the website (or watch the video if they need a helping hand) as they learn (and teach you!) to make a great paper airplane.