Summer can feel like a whirlwind – how do these months seem to go so much faster than the rest of the year?! That can make it really hard to be intentional about making time for learning, there’s just so many other things happening! There are still some really great ways to incorporate basic educational skills into even your busiest summer days. Here are some of my favorite easy summer learning activities. This post does contain affiliate links.
Workbooks. I know there are tons of opinions on workbooks, but I’ll throw mine in here and say that I think there are ways that these can be used effectively and appropriately. The key is to choose workbooks that are meaningful to your children. They should cover skills that children are already familiar with, and serve as an opportunity for review. These shouldn’t be used to teach new concepts, but for summertime review to ensure that we’re not losing the skills that have already been developed then they’re perfect. I also love a thin workbook – it feels like something a child can realistically finish, and that builds a lot of confidence. Really thick workbooks might be a great value, but they can be really overwhelming to look at! Another important step is identifying a goal for these that works for your child – is it realistic to do a page or two everyday, or would one or two pages a week be more appropriate? My favorite workbooks are these from Scholastic – they’re appropriate for the very youngest learners, and they’re from a trusted source.
Conversations about money. Real-life situations make for excellent learning opportunities. Acknowledging what is happening when you exchange money for goods or services is a great way to introduce children to this important life concept, while also beginning to build some understanding of financial responsibility. My daughter loves searching a pile of change to find a quarter for the cart at Aldi! I’ve also given her a handful of change to sort in the car, explained how my debit card works, and had her help count out dollar bills to hand to a cashier.
Cooking. No matter how busy we are, we all still have to eat! Kids can help make meals and learn while doing it. Yes, this does take a little patience – but that’s an investment that means they’ll eventually be able to make meals on their own. Measuring dry ingredients, spreading peanut butter on bread, turning on the mixer, putting toppings on pizzas, and tossing salads are all super easy ways to involve kids in making meals.
Planning. When we’re busy, having calendars and to-do lists are so helpful. Kids can learn these planning skills through imitation. When you sit down to make your to do list for the day or the week, offer a piece of paper so that your child can pretend to do the same. Talk about what they might put on their own to do list. If you’re someone that lives by their calendar (like me!) then getting a cheap one for your child gives them the opportunity to see the week laid out in front of them. They could even draw a picture for the important things that happen each day.
For out smallest children, EVERY moment is a learning opportunity. Sometimes taking advantage of these means that we have to be open to recognizing them. It’s also ok to miss them, because life has a way of bringing those moments back around. Summer is supposed to feel a little more carefree, so find a balance for learning that feels natural and not forced. We’re all doing our best!