5 Fun & Educational Summer Activities to Suggest to Your Students
The days are getting warmer and the students are getting antsy–summer break is nearly here! Your students just can’t wait to get outside in that bright sunshine and enjoy the carefree days of summer. We all know that most children have little interest in learning during their summer break, but there are ways in which you can help ensure that they continue to exercise their brains. We have an awesome list of activities that disguises learning as fun–share it with your students so they can enjoy some educational fun with their families this summer.
1. Catch fireflies. Kids who love science and all things creepy-crawly will have a blast with this nostalgic activity. There’s nothing quite like catching a firefly in a glass jar and observing their incredible gift. For the safety of the fireflies, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:
- Use your hands. Fireflies are fairly easy to catch, so encourage children to use their hands rather than a net. Nets can damage the bug’s wings or hurt them.
- Use appropriate jar coverings. The safest way to cover your jar is by using thin, breathable cloth or mesh secured with a rubber band. Fireflies need oxygen, but holes poked in a hard metal or plastic lid may lead to the bugs getting stuck if they try to escape.
- Don’t keep them overnight. Keep the fireflies in a jar for just a short period of time. Reinforce that you are just catching them to observe them for a little while–release them back where you found them the same evening.
The best time to catch fireflies is in the evening hours before it gets completely dark. Slow, quiet movements are best, and always remember to respect the fireflies as other living beings. After they are done observing, kids can research these amazing insects online and answer the questions on Education World’s firefly worksheet.
2. Make ice cream (in a bag!). Every kid’s favorite summer treat is ice cream. That magical jingle-jangle of an approaching ice cream truck can turn even the most well-behaved kid into a begging, pleading, frantic mess who would do just about anything to secure one of those coveted icy treats. This activity is a surefire hit for a hot summer day. It makes good use of a child’s math skills and their ability to follow directions–best of all, it ends in a delicious treat! Check out the recipe and simple directions from Food.com. Encourage students to add their own special touches–strawberries, chocolate chips, crushed cookies–to make their favorite flavor!
3. Read stories around the campfire. You don’t necessarily have to go camping to build a campfire, and you don’t even have to use real fire! Families can choose whatever works best for them–a real campfire during a camping trip, a small bonfire in the backyard, or an indoor artificial campfire. The point of this activity is to enjoy the company of family and friends and embrace the fun of reading. Your students’ families are sure to enjoy the book The Best Campfire Stories—an excellent collection of the most popular campfire stories ever told.
4. Collect rocks. Kids love to collect rocks and you can turn this hobby into a valuable science lesson. The National Audubon Society’s Pocket Guide to Familiar Rocks and Minerals is small, inexpensive, and easy-to-use. Families can also use the U.S. Geological Survey’s website to help them make the most of this interesting activity. Encourage students to collect rocks from a variety of different places they visit during the summer.
5. Experiment with flowers. Amaze your students with a very simple experiment using white flowers, food coloring, and water. By simply cutting the flower stems and adding food coloring to the water, kids can change a white flower to any color of the rainbow. Kids can have fun experimenting with different color combinations throughout the summer.
These family-friendly, educational activities make learning fun. They are a great way to ensure that kids continue to learn during the lazy days of summer, and the students’ families will thank you for the boredom-busting ideas! Please feel free to contact us for even more exciting summer activity ideas.