By Cassie Espich, Off-Campus Program Advisor
Summer is here in the Northern Hemisphere, and many of you might be wondering what your students can do for the next few months! Some of you might choose to continue specific academic studies throughout the summer, maybe through a project study or bridge books. Some might decide to turn family travel into a credit-worthy experience, for example, by using navigation as a geography lesson, keeping the budget for a trip as a math lesson, or taking in the culture of a new place for social studies. Others might prefer to step back and let the kids choose what they want to do all summer. The choice is yours, but if you’re looking for ideas, consider these resources.
Summer Reading Programs and Activities
Joining a summer reading program is one of my favorite activities. Almost all libraries have them, and most of the programs involve students reading books, giving reviews, and earning prizes. I suggest starting at your local library to find a program near you, but if you can’t find one, try these online options:
- Book Adventure offers prizes, just like a local library.
- Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge is a program that logs the number of hours students have read. It’s impressive to see!
- Pizza Hut’s Book It summer reading program provides various activities to increase children’s reading time during the summer months.
- And, for those who just want a book list without a program, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Summer Reading List (PDF) is a comprehensive resource. The list is organized regionally by author, so families can find authors near them.
For something a bit more structured and academic, sites like Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher’s Notebook offer resources for quick activity and worksheet ideas. They’re free to sign up for, and a simple site search using the keyword “summer” will turn up loads of results. You can also narrow your results to “free”!
Exploring the Great Outdoors
If you’re looking for ways to get the kids outside in the beautiful summer weather, the National Wildlife Federation will help you locate activities near you. Use the advanced search to narrow the results based on your child’s age and physical ability, or the cost, duration, and difficulty of the activity. You can also find National Parks near you to explore; most of their websites have a kids’ section in which you can find interactive activities and events. Or, if you just want to find a playground or other outdoor play space in your area, KaBoom has a search tool for that.
Something To Do on a Rainy Day
If you want to stay home, Care.com and The Artful Parent have a lot of craft ideas to consider. Or, if you’d rather get out of the house, you can take the kids bowling. Not only will they have a great time getting to move around, they can brush up on their math by learning to keep score and physics by learning how to throw the ball to get the perfect strike! KidsBowlFree lets you search by state to find an alley near you.
And, last but definitely not least, KidsCare is a site that lets you find volunteer opportunities for kids. What better way to spend the long days of summer than helping others?
Of course, there are plenty of other ways to keep learning during the summer months, and we’d love to hear your ideas. Please share them below and have a great summer!