School is out! No more bells, busy crosswalks, or busses. The kids are sleeping in and staying up later. The schedule shifts to the new summer sun and community pool hours. The backpacks grow dusty in closets and school clothes are long forgotten for the fun of a summer swimsuit. We are now officially in summer and while that means fun vacations and playtime, it doesn’t have to be the end of learning.
Our children do a great deal of social learning in the summer, from navigating a possible bully at the pool to making friends at the park or the zoo. It’s a time for outdoor engagement and exploring nature. These types of learning are crucial to our children’s growth, but there’s no reason they can’t also weave in more traditional types of learning with summer activities.
Make a Game of Reading Books
Take a trip to your local library or bookstore and buy several books appropriate for your child’s age. For every book that your child reads and tells you about, then they get to pick a special summertime activity such as the zoo, the science museum, or a trip to the lake. Or you can trade reading books for a favorite ice cream treat or new kite to fly.
Bring Math into the Kitchen
Have your child help bake a cake or some brownies and have them do fractions as you go. For example, if the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour, make them add fractions of cups (1/3 or ½ cup) to get the right amount.
Physics at the Pool
For those with older children, you can bring a bag of different items to your pool (check that none are prohibited first) and talk about density. What floats, what sinks, and why? Make a game of having them guess what items will sink with small rewards like a trip to the diving board. You can also talk about volume and have your child observe the change in water level as people get in and out of the pool.
Although these activities might seem small, they can help reinforce facts your child learned in school and keep the learning spirit alive in summer, making the transition back to desks in the fall a little bit easier.