If your children are experiencing the summer boredom blues, it could be because they’re craving a challenging activity or experience that encourages them to think, problem-solve, or create.
Here are 10 ideas of our favorite ways to keep your children learning during the summer.
There are TONS of science experiments online that encourage your children to explore, make guesses, and create. Some of our favorites are:
Go to the Library
If the library isn’t already part of your weekly routine, we highly recommend adding it. A trip to the library is a fun way to encourage your child to enjoy reading, and offers them an opportunity to explore autonomy with choosing and reading books. This is also a great learning opportunity for your child since he or she is more naturally receptive to retain information they’ve picked out themselves.
Toddlers, children, and adolescents gradually begin exploring the idea that the world is larger than themselves and their needs. Finding a volunteer opportunity and communicating with your child about why it’s important to help others when we can is a great opportunity to encourage value development through the summer. Some ideas are:
- Walk a dog at the Humane Society
- Volunteer at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab
- Participate in an activity at a retirement home
- Make meals for a family in need or for the Ronald McDonald House
- Volunteer at a water station or the finish line at a community race
- Pick up trash at a community park or trail
Visit a Museum
Utah has a great collection of interesting museums to explore, including natural history museums, museums of natural curiosity, ancient life museums, art museums, and more. If your child tends to get bored at museums, try bringing a sketch pad for them to draw their favorite objects or replicate their favorite art, let them use a disposable camera to take pictures of their favorite exhibits, or create a scavenger hunt or museum bingo.
Cook Something Together
Cooking is a huge home-learning opportunity. From choosing out the perfect recipe, hunting down the right ingredients, measuring things out, following directions, and discussing how the raw ingredients combine to make a different whole, the activity becomes a great math/science/reading challenge for your child. Add in a dose of creativity and experimentation by letting your child invent new iterations of the recipe.
Go to a Symphony, Play, or Ballet
Experts say early exposure to the arts is nearly as important as exposure to literacy and vocabulary. Music has been shown to stimulate young children’s brains, dance helps encourage motor skills, and drama teaches emotions and problem solving. Taking your child to these performances helps to expand their minds, exposes them to expanded stories and vocabularies, and helps them develop an important interest in the arts.
Tell a Story
Ask your child one of their favorite memories and ask them to draw a picture of it. If your child writes, they may write the story on the back of the picture or on a separate sheet of paper. If your child doesn’t write yet, ask them to tell you the story in their own words, and write down their telling.
Work Through a Workbook Together
Summertime workbooks are all the rage, but a misstep could have your child dreading their daily page(s). Try to make the experience fun by working through the worksheets with them, turning the learning into a game, doing a silly celebration dance when each page is finished, or letting them use bright colors to finish their work page.
Do an Engineering Experiment
A quick online search of STEM activities for your child’s age group will yield hundreds of ideas for cool, accessible science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities for your child. Many of the options (like building a marshmallow-toothpick tower or bridge) are easy to set up and may use materials you already have around the house.
Pick up a Science or Art Project Kit
Most department stores have a wide selection of science kits, art kits, or other exploration kits. If you can, let your child pick out whatever kit looks most interesting to him or her (or give them 4 or 5 educational/art kits to pick from). This way they’ll be motivated to go home, open it up, and begin exploring.
How do you keep your child engaged during the summer? Share your favorite activities in the comments below!