Summer learning. Two words that don’t seem to go together. Most students and teachers are happy to be able to have some down time. School is a very busy place and mental fatigue is a real thing, don’t you think? It’s important for kids to go off for summer break and relax, play, and stay up a bit later. But it’s also vital to their learning that they keep their minds active and engaged in learning. When I say summer learning, I am not referring to pencil and paper tasks or workbooks. I am talking about learning through experiences.
The education world has been very excited about S.T.E.M or S.T.E.A.M. Not only are STEM activities important to our future, they are fun! Students learn better when teachers provide learning activities that engage and allow students to experience deeper learning. But what about summer? The best teachers encourage students to read over the summer. But what about other learning that can complement the STEAM activities done in school and encourage kids to be creative at home and on vacation? Yes, please! Here are 3 ways to encourage learning through the summer.
- Encourage observation of the vacation surroundings. (Staycation included.) Watch the ocean tides come in and out. Notice the insects and rocks and sticks at the campsite. Can you count them?
- Build things! Use items from where you are vacationing to build with – a sand castle, a tower, a stick building.
- Create a picture, capture a scene with a camera, write in a journal.
The more we look around, the more we see. Putting all of these things together make for a great summer of learning.
If you’d like to have a set of ideas, take a look at this new resource I created on just these topics!
This set includes ideas for the car (plane, train) to keep kids thinking, talking and engaging with others. It has Science, Math and maker task cards directly related (but generalized) for vacations or staycations. You can store them in a ziplock bag or get a kit like this which is great for travel. (affiliate link).
If you like this set, you may also be interested in Genius Hour. You can read more about that here.
Here’s hoping your summer vacation is full of learning fun!