It's going to be a busy summer. For many parents and educators, all the June chatter is about about summer slide and learning loss. But within a few weeks, I'd bet even the most well-intentioned parents will probably let their kids zone out in front of the television. So, I have pulled together some resources to get kids excited about learning through the summer months. Skip the worksheets -- consider these ideas a way to keep the little ones primed for an easy transition back into the classroom, without losing the joy and freedom of their break. Maybe they'll find these activities so fun, they'll stay engaged in learning outside the classroom well into the fall!
Video Playlist: Summer Learning Boosters
Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube.
- Welcome to Wonderopolis! (01:44)
The National Center for Family Literacy puts together this website and offers daily emails with thought-provoking questions to send your kids on a journey of discovery all year 'round. Sign up at the Wonderopolis website.
- Start A DIY Club! (01:13)
DIY.org is one of the coolest free online communities for kids I've ever encountered. It offers projects that encourage kids to learn all kinds of new skills and share their work, individually or by forming clubs. Learn more from their guides for parents and educators.
- Exploratorium: Changing the Way the World Learns (02:10)
Late summer is a perfect time to visit a local children's museum. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we're so lucky to have the Exploratorium, but check out the Association of Children's Museums to find one near you.
- How Kids Can Learn From Apps, Websites & Games (02:15)
So you're unable to peel your child off that device? Common Sense Media offers quick tips on choosing the best games and apps for learning. Use their database of reviews or mobile app to find information by title.
- The Bubbleologist - The Code (01:52)
One way to get a constant stream of learning prompts is to follow a great curator. Check out The Kid Should See This website or Twitter feed -- Rion Nakaya's collection of not-made-for-kids videos for kids.
- Book Domino Chain World Record (03:01)
I couldn't resist including this epic domino book chain that the Seattle Public Library did to promote reading and going to the public library. Keep those kids with their noses in books all year!
- Homemade Geyser Tube - Sick Science #149 (01:06)
Got a bored kid? Turn them on to Steve Spangler's YouTube channel or his website for messy and mystifying science experiments you can do at home with basic materials. Bonus: Ted-Ed flip on Mentos + Coke geysers!
- Audri's Rube Goldberg Monster Trap (04:07)
Want to have your kids learn hands-on physics while keeping them busy for hours? Build a Rube Goldberg machine! Edu-curator Larry Ferlazzo has a great resource page -- this video is a favorite.
- Student Writing Center 826 Valencia (02:06)
If there's an 826 Writing Center near you, get there quick. They offer writing workshops for kids in 8 cities around the US. Each one is connected to a unique storefront -- like the Bigfoot Research Institute in Chicago or the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.
More Ways to Boost -Summer Engagement
I hope you've been inspired to get up and do some fun activities in the weeks of vacation. Here are more resources for keeping kids engaged outside of school -- all year!
Links for Summer Learning and Summer Slide
- National Summer Learning Association
- Articles tagged with "summer slide" on MindShift
- "Encouraging Year-Round Learning," by Sarah Caron, SheKnows Parenting
- "#EdTechChat - Prevent Summer Slide with Digital Tech," Getting Smart
- Summer Learning, Crafts & Activities - Pinterest Board by WeAreTeachers