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Blog - For Teachers - Summer Learning
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6 Sensational Elementary Summer Learning Themes

July 2, 2018

As a parent or a teacher, you might be afraid of the infamous “summer slide” as kids and families alike shift from learning to summer fun. While all kids deserve much needed rest and relaxation, it’s important to keep kids engaged and learning over the summer months. 

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If you’re looking for activities to do with kids in the summer, let’s discover some theme-based ideas covering math, reading, writing, science, social studies, and arts and crafts. 


Make Water Splash Learning Math!

Summer activities for kids should include a lot of water! There’s no doubt that kids love to swim and play on the beach during the summer, so why not use water to learn more about math? Try out the following ideas to practice math while playing with water in the hot summer sun: 

  • Water balloon addition, subtraction, and multiplication games.  Use chalk to write numbers on the sidewalk, and call out problems tailored to your child’s abilities, and have a blast bursting the water balloons on the correct answers! 
  • Compare volume using different shapes and sizes of containers. Practice estimating the volume of water using measuring utensils, like a water dropper and measuring cups. 

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  • Water gun math game. Have your child face off against a sibling or friend and call out problems. For each problem they get right they can squirt their opponent, but for each problem they get wrong they get squirted themselves! 
  • Volume, perimeter, and area word problems. Find the volume of water in an average water balloon or swimming pool, and talk about different forms of liquid capacity, like pints, quarts, gallons

Ramp up Reading Fun Studying Mythology

Speaking of constellations, did you know that most of them have thrilling classic myth tales behind their names? Make your child’s reading theme interdisciplinary by jumping from the constellation your child is studying outside at night to the fascinating tales that inspired their names!

  • Print out and read myth tales. Stories about Orion, Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Draco the Dragon, and more are great to read and discuss with your child. Do this before heading outside to find constellations, for an exciting summer bedtime routine! 

Create a Writer’s Garden Journal

Boost your child’s descriptive writing abilities by simply taking a walk outside on a hot summer day and helping your child write what he or she sees! This summer learning theme will have your child making observations about their surroundings and finding the words needed to describe the beauty they see around them. 

  • Create a journal or diary. Describe the sights and sounds of summer. Then a walk through the family garden or a nearby walking trail in the woods, and point out the flowers, plants, colors, and more. Take daily trips to somewhere within your community that offers lush foliage and beautiful sights.
  • Introduce new descriptive adjectives. Watch as your child’s sensory language grows while recording daily journal entries describing what they’ve seen!

Take a Trip Around the Sun during Summer Space Exploration

Since kids will be spending much more time in the sun during the next few months, it only makes sense to study it more! Keep your child interested in learning space! Start with monitoring NASA’s summer mission to the sun:

  • Study the Parker Solar Probe. Slated to launch on July 31st, 2018, your child will be excited to learn more about the mission and what NASA hopes to learn from this one-of-a-kind mission! 
  • Study solar energy. Fry an egg outside or create a solar oven to demonstrate the sun’s awesome power. And don’t forget that summer is a great time to get outside late at night or early in the morning and study the constellations and watch for meteor showers, including the upcoming annual.
  • Perseid meteor shower that will be on full display between August 11-13! 

Study Social Studies by Celebrating Summer American Holidays

Here in America, most of us consider Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer regardless of the summer solstice. Even though the calendar has set days for the beginning and ending of summer, we all tend to think of these holidays when we think about summer.

  • Attend a parade. The 4th of July marks the mid-way point, ending with Labor day.
  • Let your child help out hosting the family gathering. Watch videos that explain these holidays to kids and create crafts to decorate these important days!  

That said, this summer’s social studies theme should focus on teaching your child more about these uniquely American holidays, and why we celebrate each.  Talk with your child about the meaning behind each of these holidays, and make a deliberate effort to celebrate each of them.

Save Those Popsicle Sticks to Create Fun-Filled Summer Crafts! 

Arts and crafts are always an exciting option for fun summer activities for kids! This summer, revolve your arts and crafts around a childhood favorite summer treat: popsicles! Save popsicle sticks or by them from a craft store to create exciting summer crafts! 

  • Сreate an American flag by gluing and painting popsicle sticks to make a flag. With popsicle sticks, the ideas are virtually limitless, allowing kids to create all sorts of items from summer decorations to be placed around the house, to functional popsicle stick boats to play with or race in the water table outside.

Your child will have an endless amount of fun finding and creating popsicle stick projects!

Keeping kids engaged in learning can be tough during the long summer months. Incorporate the above themes into your child’s daily summer routine, and watch as your child discovers all the fun-filled ways to learn over the summer break!

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