I thought about titling this, “6 Ways to Trick Your Kids into Learning During the Summer.” I mean, it’s so great to take a break from school, but then we have the problem of filling the days for the kids. It’s a great time for being outside and creating grand adventures and swimming and friends….but there needs to be a little bit of education in there. Gotta keep those young minds working!
So I add some more playful educational activities to the week during summer break. The kids enjoy them, and they have no idea it’s really school. We moms gotta be sneaky….like when we throw away a piece of their artwork….when they’re not in the room we dig down under the grossness in the trashcan and bury it so they never see. We can do the same thing with school, sneak it in there!
Here are a few fun summer studies you might try, or use them to spark your own more clever ideas!
1. Hiking/walking. There is SO much to learn from the great outdoors! Even if you live in a city or neighborhood, you can look at the sky, the plants, any animals you see or hear. Go for a walk together or head a little bit out of town to a campsite and hike for a morning. Have your children take notebooks and write down 5 things they see. Then over the next week each day they can draw a picture and find out one interesting fact about that thing. During dinner on Friday night they can present what they learned to the whole family.
2. Fire. What kid isn’t, at least in part, a pyromaniac?! Fire is fascinating, and summer is a great time to let the kids learn about safety with open fires. If you are in an area where you can build a bonfire, that’s a great opportunity for some lessons on how to build fires, watch them, and treat them. Then you can make some s’mores after! But a barbeque pit or burn barrel works too….even just a teeny fire in a flower pot (make sure it’s not coated with anything flammable) is a great teaching tool.
3. The sun. Nothing says summer like the SUN! It’s hot, hot, hot here in Texas and a great time to learn why it’s so much hotter than other times of the year. Make some charts….the temperature throughout the day, where the sun is on the horizon each night, what time each day the sun is straight up in the sky, things like that. It will give your kids an awareness of the amazing gifts we have around us every day but don’t pay attention to!
4. Water conservation. If you live in a neighborhood, then you likely have water conservation measures to follow each summer. We live in the country, so we have to make sure we take care of our well and pump. Have the kids make a list of all of the ways your family uses water and guess how much water you use each day. You should be able to find some averages on Google to compare to their guesses. Talk about the water cycle and how it goes from sky, to land, back to sky. Water is a fascinating thing to study!
5. Summer fruit. The summer harvest is magnificent, and it’s a great time to learn more about all of the foods that grow naturally in summer. Learn about why they thrive in heat and how farmers manage the drought times. You could try a new fruit each week and learn how to cut into it, how it tastes, feels, looks, sounds….hey! I think I just stumbled onto another study of the 5 senses. LOL!
6. Bible verses that relate to summer. Whether you look up the word heat, or sun, or weather, or seasons, or rest…..find all of the references in the Bible that relate to any of those and have the kids write them down. One verse on the board (we have a huge dry erase board in our dining room) that they have to look up each day before they go out to play, and it’s a simple way to get God’s Word in them before they are off to their own activities. And it makes great dinnertime conversation. Ask them how that verse could apply to the day they had.
I’d suggest getting each child a notebook and let him or her keep all of this info in it. It can be their “Book of Summer” and they might just come up with some even more fascinating topics to add!
Happy summer y’all……add in some summer studies and enjoy every sweet second of it!
How do you add education into your summer?