Making Summer Learning Fun!
Summer is nearly here with its long, school-free days. And after the school year we’ve just had, teachers, students, and family members are probably quite ready for the long break!
Many schools are running summer programs or offering some formal learning to help address unfinished learning and the COVID slide, but there are plenty of ways to keep students’ brains active during the summer that don’t require much planning (or taking attendance).
Ideas for Summer Learning Fun
One of the best things for students of any age to do is read! For your youngest students who haven’t yet learned how, reading with older family members will do the trick. And encouraging reading can be as simple as providing kids with access to a wide variety of books covering different proficiency levels.
Direct students to the public library, or, if you have a robust library in your classroom, consider lending books out to your students. Curating summer reading lists can be helpful, too, especially for students who are voracious readers—again, your local public library can be a huge resource here for this.
In addition to practicing literacy skills, reading can help students explore interests. If the books they have available to them span different subjects—like math, history, and art, for instance—they can dig into these subjects more and further develop their knowledge and skills around them.
As wonderful as reading is, it’s not the only thing students can do to keep their gears turning over the summer.
There are lots of incredible learning resources available on the Imagine Learning YouTube channel, which can help reinforce and review what students learned during the school year in preparation for the next one.
Another great way to learn is by visiting cultural sites, like museums, zoos, and public gardens. Children’s museums and science centers can be great fun for people of all ages. And make sure to check your public library for discounted and even free passes.
For some outdoor fun, build and nurture a garden! Kids can learn more about the life cycle of a plant, and you can even grow things like vegetables and herbs to eat. Or, if you can’t grow a garden, walk around and take note of different types of architecture, animals and insects, and public art and murals.
And when it’s time to eat, consider involving students in the cooking and baking process. Doubling or halving a recipe can involve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. And participating in the chemical changes that happen in cooking and baking enables students to see science in action (and will result in some full stomachs and happy people)!
Looking for a little more science fun? Check out these science experiments and help your students do things like build a geode!
There are also lots of great virtual field trips available for those who want to explore more. With virtual field trips, students are only limited by their own imagination and interests!
Television shows and movies can be great, too. These days, content from all over the world is available at our fingertips. Get practice listening to and understanding other languages, watch documentaries and docuseries to get more in-depth information about any number of subjects, and so much more. And again, the public library and PBS can be really helpful here, too!
There is no shortage of ways to encourage informal learning over the summer—did we mention how great the public library is for this? Even if students are participating in summer learning programs or completing learning packets, a lot of these ideas can be fun ways to pass the time and help ensure students are ready to begin formal, classroom learning again come the start of the next school year.
How are you encouraging summer learning with your students? Share your ideas with us @ImagineLearning and enjoy your summer breaks!