5 Ways to Keep Kids Learning this Summer

Many thanks to Renee from School Sparks for her help with this post.

For most families, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of summer vacation with your kids is long afternoons at the pool or running in the sprinklers, popsicles, ice cream, and lots of sun screen.  What many parents forget, though, is that the summer can be a wonderful time to help your child develop or maintain critical school readiness skills.  Here are 5 ways to keep learning this summer:
Simple Summer Schedule
If you’re looking for a simple schedule to give your day structure without feeling overwhelmed, you might like this Summer Gameplan from HowDoesShe. Missy shares a simple way to incorporate exercise, chores, and learning into every morning no matter what the age of your kids, without exhausting mom.
Summer Science Learning
I love these 15 Fun & Hands-on Science Experiments & Explorations from Bern at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. Most use simple household items like baking soda, vinegar, and eggs, so they’re not expensive or hard to do. My kids would love to do the rubber egg experiments, and Oobleck and Flubber are perfect for long days stuck inside because of heat or thunderstorms.
Free Summer Learning eBook
Download a free ebook of Summer Learning Activities compiled by Amy from TeachMama. With over 30 contributors, you’ll get 54 pages of math, science, reading and more. I love the kitchen ideas–with recipes–and indoor play ideas for kids of all ages.
Free Printable Worksheets
You’ll find 500+ free printable kindergarten worksheets at School Sparks. Renee suggests that you infuse a little educational fun into each “indoor session” of the day.  For example, if you and your kids come inside to cool off, get dry clothes, or have a quick snack, get into the routine of pulling out an engaging worksheet that helps your child develop or hone existing skills.  For example, you could start with the letter A on day 1 and each of the following 25 days introduce another letter in the alphabet.  By the time summer is over, your child will have seen each of the 26 letters nearly three times and will likely be a pro at identifying each letter or maybe even writing each letter.  There is no reason the summer can’t be a fun–and educational–one for your child!
Read, Read, Read
If you do nothing else, read to your kids this summer, and have them read independently. If they need a little encouragement, try a Summer Reading Program at a store nationwide, or do your local library’s summer reading program. Our library system has a great program that rewards kids with a coupon book for freebies at local restaurants, mini golf, and water park. They love it! If you need some new books for your library list or Kindle, try my recommended 5 Favorite Kids Books for 4-9 Year Olds and 5 Favorite Kids Books for 2-6 Year Olds.

How are you keeping your kids learning this summer?