Summer Fun and Some Learning Too

By Suzi West /

Do you and your kids have a “Summer Bucket List”? Or maybe a “Let’s Have the Best Summer Ever” list? What is this you ask? Well, just scour the web and you will find lots of different blog posts and articles on this theme, which simply lists some fun and novel activities to try during the summer. These can be great resources when you and the kids get the blahs or when they say the dreaded “I’m bored!” (you know it’s inevitable!)

clipart from Discovery EducationYou may have ideas like going for ice cream, hitting the beach, camping, bike riding, or a bonfire with s’mores. But sometimes you just need or want to stick close to home, too, so how about simply doing a science experiment together, baking together, or putting colored water into squirt bottles and letting the kids make designs in the driveway. Sidewalk chalk is great for drawing—it can also be used for hopscotch, targets for bean bag tossing, drawing elaborate roads for toy cars, or 4-square (just need a ball!).

I am sure you and your family can generate a list of ideas tailored for you, but in case you need some help getting started check out these links:

100 Things To Do With Kids This Summer:

20 Favorite Must-Do Activities for Summer:

Let’s not forget that even though summer should have lots of unstructured time, we still need to help our kids retain the skills they have learned throughout the school year. Some options to help stop the ‘brain drain’ are:

  1. A summer reading program at your local library or do your own reading program with incentives at home;
  2. Use those tablets and computers for some learning-based games, as there are oodles of free ones out there;
  3. Pick up a workbook at the dollar store for your child’s grade level that your child could do; or
  4. Take the “work” outside and have your child practice writing their name in the sand at the beach or use the sidewalk chalk to do math problems.

Check out this link for ideas on how to create your own ‘summer school’ at home:

I plan on letting my kids have plenty of carefree time this summer, but we will definitely mix in some learning, too. Have fun making your summer bucket list, especially after the long winter that we had!

Suzi West works as a Great Start Parent Liaison, has lived in Adrian for six years and has an early childhood degree from CMU. She has three children (ages 8, 6, & 4) and is passionate about supporting our youngest learners to be successful in school.


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