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Fun Summer Break Learning Ideas for Children

Janelle Cox

The idea of learning over the summer break probably won’t go over too well with your students. However, during the summer months, students can lose up to 60 percent of their math and reading skills that they’ve learned throughout the school year. This can have a lasting impact on their overall school performance next year. To help students stay in the know, you can keep the learning going throughout the summer break months so they can beats these terrible odds. Instead of spending countless hours on video games and television, your students can spend their summer break filled with exciting new learning experiences like discovering the outdoors, and learning as they go. Before your students leave your classroom for good, be sure to keep them learning all summer long by telling them about the following exciting summer learning ideas they can experience while they're out of school.

Encourage Students to Write about their Summer Break Adventures

The summer offers children the chance to wake up and explore new things. They no longer have to get woken up by an alarm clock or their parents. They can ease into the summer days by jumping out of their bed creating new experiences. Encourage children to write about what they do each day over summer vacation. Even if they think it’s a boring raining day, they can still write about it. Here are a few ways students can write about their summer adventures.

  • Start a blog. Kidblog.org offers students a safe place to write about their travel adventures and experiences and share it with their peers online. They must get parental permission first of course.
  • Document their summer vacation with a scrapbook (digital or tangible). They can collect mementos, brochures, trinkets, or photographs, then write a description about each place that they’ve visited on their vacation in the scrapbook.
  • Be a summer sleuth (kid detective). Students can write about a story that interests them and follow it as it unfolds throughout the summer months. They can bring it to school with them on the first day back.

Have Students Get involved in Their Community

Students can get involved in their local community. Whether it’s lending a hand at a nursing home, collecting canned goods for the homeless, or volunteering their time at the local park, getting involved is a great way to spend their summer. In fact, studies have shown that children who participate in community service activities are more likely to have higher self-confidence and self-esteem. They also gain important developmental, social, and academic skills as well. Community service is said to help children learn how to be punctual, follow directions, and many other essential skills that they need to live in the 21st century. Here are a few more ways that students can get involved and help out in their community over the summer months.

  • Lend a hand to a neighbor, mow their grass, take out their garbage, etc.
  • Volunteer at a senior citizens’ home, play games, read to them, spend time with them.
  • Help build a home, deliver hot meals to the old and/or hungry, and collect perishable foods.
  • Help the environment by picking up trash, creating new animal habitats, and recycling.
  • Help care for animals, at the local SPCA or zoo.
  • Donate toys, collect books, play games with younger children who are in a daycare or summer camp.

Challenge Students to Get Creative

21st-century education is all about using your creativity and being innovative, so what better way to do that than over the summer break? Students can get crafty and creative this summer by making things with their own hands. Hands-on projects encourage students to observe, ask questions, read and follow directions, as well as see through a completed project. Here are a few ideas to mention to students.

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  • Use a cookbook to cook or bake your favorite dish, or invent your own recipe.
  • Build a bird feeder, doghouse, or play area for an animal.
  • Repurpose an old household item.
  • Plant a garden and watch it grow.
  • Design an invention that you can use during the summer months.
  • Conduct a science experiment.

Take the time to sit and talk with your students about what their summer plans are. Every student will have a different response, so there isn’t a one plan fits all when it comes to summer vacation. Make sure that you have your students (and their parents) think about what they plan to achieve during summer, and to set goals to help them achieve those plans. You can even send home a questionnaire and some suggestions on to keep learning over the summer. As long as students are learning, you’ve done your job.

What are you favorite summer learning ideas for students? Do you have any suggestions that you give students and parents before you leave for summer vacation? Please share with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear your ideas.


Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.