21 Best Ever Summer Learning Activities for Kids

Summer is a time for fun and relaxation, but it can also be an excellent opportunity for children to continue learning in enjoyable ways. Balancing summer activities like ball games, vacations, and pool trips with educational experiences can be challenging for parents. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 25 fun summer learning activities that will keep your children engaged and entertained while they learn.

To make it easier, we’ve provided a free printable checklist for tracking these activities throughout the summer.

1 – Scavenger Hunt

A perennial favorite, scavenger hunts excite children and adults alike. You can design your own scavenger hunt. Equip children with a clipboard and magnifying glass to enhance their detective experience. Encourage them to practice their reading skills by following the scavenger hunt instructions themselves.

Additionally, foster higher-level thinking by having them create their own scavenger hunt for friends, siblings, or parents.

2 – Visit a Museum

This summer, consider a trip to an art, science, or history museum. Many local museums offer kid-friendly activities on their websites, including printable worksheets and games.

Before your visit, explore the museum’s website for activity ideas. If no activities are provided, create your own.

Challenge your children to identify three favorite exhibits and either write about or draw them when they return home.

Equip them with a notepad and pencil to jot down observations during the visit, fostering a deeper connection to what they see and learn.

3 – Visit the Zoo

A zoo trip can be more than just fun; it can be educational too! Incorporate reading and math activities into your visit.

Provide your children with a checklist of animals to mark off as they see them, and have them count the animals or draw their favorite ones.

Giving them a notebook or clipboard with a pencil adds a sense of responsibility and engagement.

4 – Flashlight Words

Help your child retain sight words over the summer with a fun game. Write sight words on note cards and place them around a tent, yard, or house. At dusk, give your child a flashlight and have them find and read each word before it gets dark.

This activity makes learning sight words interactive and enjoyable.

5 – Visit the Library

Head to your local library and take your visit to the next level by engaging in a reading challenge. Many libraries offer summer reading programs or challenges for children, complete with prizes and various in-person or virtual activities throughout the summer.

Check with your local library to see what they have available. If they don’t offer a reading challenge, you can create one yourself.

Set a goal for your children to read a specific number of books and reward them with a prize or treat upon completion. For additional inspiration, consider exploring the Battle of the Books challenges.

6 – Go on a Drive

Take a drive with your children and turn it into an educational adventure. Bring along notebooks and pencils, and encourage your kids to observe their surroundings. Have them write or draw about what they see, or simply discuss it together.

Use this time to build vocabulary and conversation skills by talking about road signs, landmarks, or sharing stories.

Let your children figure out the cardinal directions or engage in other educational conversations. Encourage them to be both speakers and listeners, asking and answering questions throughout the drive.

7 – Write the House

Adapt the popular classroom activity “Write the Room” for summer fun with “Write the House.” Utilize resources like the Write the Room Kindergarten and Write the Room First

Grade materials, which include math and reading activities. Print and cut apart the cards, then hang them around your house.

Provide your child with the corresponding recording sheet. This activity will keep them busy, engaged, and learning while having fun.

8 – Go to the Park

Bring a tape measure to the park and engage your children in measuring various objects. Children love using tools and will enjoy comparing the lengths of different items.

Challenge them to find objects that are longer, shorter, or the same length as others. For example, if you measure a flower that is 12 inches tall, ask your child to find something taller or shorter. You can also bring a ball, throw it, and measure how far it goes.

Encourage your child to use a notepad and pen to record and organize their findings. The park provides an excellent opportunity to be active, enjoy the outdoors, and incorporate practical math into everyday surroundings.

9 – Make a Book Box

Create a personalized book box using a shoebox or cardboard box. Let your children decorate it to make it their own. Ensure the box is a size they can easily carry.

With their book box, children can find a cozy spot to read outdoors, such as in a treehouse, on a blanket, or in a tent. This personalized touch will make reading more enjoyable and encourage them to engage with their books.

Rotate the books regularly to keep their interest fresh. Monthly Mini Books offer themed mini booklets for each month that children can fold, color, and read independently.

10 – Summer Packet

Prepare for rainy days or extremely hot days by setting up a workspace for your children. This doesn’t have to be elaborate; a simple box of school supplies (crayons, pencils, markers, scissors, and glue) will suffice.

When they need a break from outdoor activities, they can use their supplies and enjoy the Summer Packet.

The Summer Packet is packed with engaging reading and math activities designed to keep your children on track with the academic skills they learned during the school year. This will ensure they stay engaged and continue learning, even during the summer break.

11 – Rock Painting

Rock painting has surged in popularity over recent summers, with many creative themes such as ladybugs, bumblebees, and various nature-inspired designs. There are numerous rock painting kits available, or you can collect your own rocks.

To make rock painting educational, consider painting the letters of the alphabet on the rocks and have your children arrange them in order. You can also hide the lettered rocks around the yard and organize a letter scavenger hunt.

For a literacy twist, paint words on the rocks and let your children arrange them to form sentences. To incorporate math, paint dots on some rocks and numbers on others, then have children match the rocks accordingly.

12 – Family Drawing Day

Drawing is a beloved activity for children, and it becomes even more enjoyable when done together as a family. Younger children benefit from the guidance of older siblings, and older children gain experience in teaching and mentoring.

The result is a collection of beautiful drawings that everyone can be proud of. If you’re looking for inspiration, our Directed Drawing Resource offers 100 directed drawings across various themes, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

13 – Write a Book

Encourage your children to become authors by writing their own books. This activity stimulates higher-level thinking skills and allows children to unleash their creativity.

Let them choose the topic, characters, and setting, and guide them to structure their story with a beginning, middle, and end. Focus on their ideas and creativity first, leaving concerns about grammar and punctuation for later drafts.

Writing a book can be daunting, so provide support to help them take the first step, boosting their confidence. Finally, let them share their stories with family members or friends to celebrate their hard work.

14 – Sink or Float

Introduce some science into a fun water activity. Fill a water table or a large bucket with water and gather various household items that can get wet.

Discuss with your children which items they think will sink or float and why. Test each item in the water and explore the reasons behind their buoyancy.

15 – Go on a Picnic

Empower your children by letting them create the shopping and packing list for a picnic. This helps them organize their thoughts and develop planning skills from an early age.

16 – Go to the Grocery Store Together

Though taking children to the grocery store can be challenging, it is a valuable learning experience.

Give them the grocery list and let them help cross off items as they are added to the cart. Have them write the price next to each item and estimate the total cost. Encourage them to compare prices and ingredients, and find items on the shelves.

While this trip may take longer than going alone, the educational benefits make it worthwhile.

17 – Sight Word Hopscotch

Create a hopscotch game using sidewalk chalk, but instead of numbers, fill the boxes with sight words. As your children hop from one box to another, have them read the sight words aloud.

18 – Count the Dive Sticks

Make your trips to the pool educational by incorporating math. Throw dive sticks into the pool and have your children retrieve them. Encourage them to count the sticks each time they bring them back.

For added learning, use a permanent marker to number the dive sticks. Children can then line them up in order and identify which numbers are missing.

You can label the sticks by ones, twos, fives, or tens to match your children’s skill levels.

19 – Seashell Numbers

Collect seashells during a beach trip or use ones you already have. Write numbers or letters on the shells with a permanent marker.

Children can mix the shells up and put them in order. For an extra challenge, hide the shells in a sandbox and let them find and organize them.

Discuss with your children which numbers are bigger or smaller, and practice counting by ones, twos, fives, or tens.

20 – Sand Letters

Place magnetic, block, or foam letters in a sandbox. You can also use alphabet sand molds. Encourage your children to find the letters, name them, and arrange them in order.

21 – Summer Journal

Provide your children with a journal at the beginning of summer and set aside 10-20 minutes each day for journal writing. Initially, children might be reluctant, but over time it will become a routine.

A simple notebook can serve as a journal. Make the activity engaging by using various pens, markers, and stickers. Allowing children to choose their own supplies can increase their enthusiasm for writing.

Encourage daily journal writing and motivate your children to add more sentences each week. By the end of the summer, reviewing the journal will showcase their writing progress and creativity.

SUMMER LEARNING ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

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