Ways to Keep Kids Learning Over the Summer
“I am looking for some ways to continue the growth of my two children during the summer without being formal with workbooks and flash cards. Any suggestions?” – EricaB, Bright Horizons Online Community Member
While summer is a time for a bit more relaxation, it doesn’t mean that learning has to end. How do you keep little minds thinking over the summer months? We’ve gathered several creative ideas from members of the Bright Horizons Online Community and our collection of family resources for ways you can keep your kids learning over the summer months.
Summer Learning Activity Ideas
Members of our own Bright Horizons Online Community chimed in on the topic of summer learning and have some fun ideas. Check out these clever family activities and tactics for keeping kids learning over the summer:
- Become a “tourist” in your town or in nearby cities. There are many learning opportunities if you go to places and do things you wouldn’t normally do every day.
- Visit a nursing home or veteran’s home and spend an hour listening to stories from the older generation.
- If reading is one of the subjects you’d like to continue to encourage, many local libraries host summer reading programs for school age kids during the summer months.
- Adding a little more responsibility to their day is a great way to keep kids’ brains engaged. Ask them to write out your shopping lists, count out the money at the store, or count and sort your bedside coin collection.
- If you are in or near a big city, museums and zoos often have day programs every week or two that can give great hands-on learning experiences.
- Nature hikes can provide a ton of science exploration.
- On a sunny summer day, take the kids out to the driveway with some colorful sidewalk chalk. You can let them draw pictures, play games (tic-tac-toe, etc.), write their names or the names of what they see around them, and so much more. It’s the perfect combination of being outdoors while developing creativity and other valuable skills.
- Form a parent-child book group – it keeps children interested in reading, part of a team with goals and it can inspire additional learning.
Additional Family Resources for Summer Learning
Learning at Home Activities: These at-home activity ideas, designed for infants through school-age children, are a great way to foster learning – and they also provide a great solution to the common “I’m bored!” summer complaint.
Growing Readers: Looking to foster a love of reading in your child? Our Growing Readers site features recommended children’s books for every age group and tips and activities to encourage early literacy at home.
Bright Horizons Classroom Activities: Fun learning activities happen every day in Bright Horizons classrooms. Bring these lessons in exploration and discovery into your own home! Check out these videos – many of the science, art and other learning activities showcased can be replicated at home.
E-family news: Articles such as Fun Summer Activities for Families and Water World – Making Learning Come to Life in Summer offer several tips for keeping kids learning by involvement in the great outdoors during the summer.
Do you have any ideas or thoughts on how you keep your kids learning over the summer? Share tips and strategies in the comments area below or join the conversation over on the Bright Horizons Online Community.
This article was originally published in 2014.