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Summer Learning Activities for Kids

Add some education to your summer vacation with these summer learning activities for kids. Make the most of summer’s flexibility and open hours. This post includes tips on getting kids outside and going new places. Find tips in this post on how to use summer to focus on your child’s strengths and develop new skills, alongside ways to take advantage of fun learning opportunities.

Add some education to your summer vacation with these summer learning activities for kids.

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I love the wide-open days of summer, and I’m a huge fan of free time for kids during the summer. At the same time, summer offers unique opportunities for kids to develop skills and explore new areas of learning.

Be sure to check out Outschool if you’re looking for interactive online summer learning. They have tons of super creative classes!

Fun Summer Learning Activities for Kids

#1 Get Outside

Nature is one of the world’s greatest teachers! Go on a family hike, or a simple neighborhood walk where the kids lead. Did you know that the great outdoors is full of opportunities to learn math?

Build gross motor skills on your local playground, beach, or neighborhood pool. Try tide pooling for a little summer biology.

#2 Go Somewhere New

I’m a HUGE believer in family road trips – we’re on one now! It’s hard for Mike to take time off work for family trips, so I’ve started taking the kids on road trips on my own.

Often family budgets and schedules don’t allow for proper road trips. Try a weekend outing to a children’s museum or splash park. Visit your local college campus. Many have free or inexpensive museums, concerts, camps, and other summer learning opportunities that are open to families.

Consider buying a museum membership for a local road trip destination. Museum memberships are usually tax deductible, and you’re supporting a worthy cause!

Search for local walks and hikes. Try geocaching!

#3 Focus on Your Child’s Interests

Summer is a wonderful time for kids to hone personal interests! This summer all four of my kids are writing stories for the free online Camp Nanowrimo program.

My son enjoyed an archery camp, and we’re getting in tons of swim time thanks to the joy of a neighborhood pool.

#4 Use Summer to Learn About Family

Summer is a time when I slow down my work schedule and spend as much time as I can with my kids. Being ABLE to slow down is a huge advantage, I realize.

We also use summer as a time to become closer as an extended family. A family reunion is one of the stops on our current road trip, and we are visiting other relatives along the way.

Can’t travel to family or visit them locally? Focus on telling family stories. Learning about family helps children develop a strong sense of personal identity.

#5 Take Advantage of Fun Learning Tools

When my kids were younger, they LOVED picking out workbooks at Costco every spring. They would spend the summer flipping through, working on whatever they wanted.

Most of them have outgrown those workbooks now, but they still use summer to drill math facts and practice handwriting.

What kinds of summer learning activities for kids do you love?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

10 thoughts on “Summer Learning Activities for Kids”

  1. So many fun summer activities to choose from! I love the idea of providing Costco workbooks and just letting them flip through and choose what they want to work on.

  2. We usually take at least one trip, and also pick a subject/topic to delve into a little more deeply than usual. Plus, foreign language practice daily — that never stops, even if it is summer :)

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