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Dr. Tisha Shipley has been in education for over 23 years. She has taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, Gifted and Talented 3rd-6th Grades, Dr. Shipley was an elementary principal, a cheer coach, and was on...
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Ideas For You and Your Child This Summer That Also Promote Learning!

Summer learning has a huge impact on accelerating your child’s success for the fall. When the last bell rings for children to be out of school, it is a time for sleeping, spending time with family and friends, playing in the water, taking vacations, AND LEARNING. Children love to learn. Keeping that spark of interest in mind, you want to make sure to work with your child this summer so that skills and topics are not forgotten. It also gives you that special time to work with your child, play and do something engaging.

Things to try at home this summer:

  1. Talk to your child (in the car, at the mall, while eating, in the grocery store, on vacation—ask questions, learn new words, form new knowledge that builds on existing knowledge).
  2. Take Pictures—Pictures are worth a thousand words. If you go on vacation or even to the park, take pictures. Come home, talk about the picture, make up a story, print the pictures and do drawings with them, and make books.
  3. Go outside—Work on gross motor skills. Go for a walk, blow bubbles, jump rope, skip, hop, run up a hill, get a box and slide down a hill, climb, go on a nature hunt, talk, cheer, use sidewalk chalk, and sing. Here are 50 Outdoor Activities for Kids.
  4. Go to Camps (baseball, cheer, basketball, golf, swimming, dance, Science, math, Bible School, etc.). Any camp that gets your child out and about and allows them to converse with others and try something new is always a great thing. Summer gives children the opportunity to try new things when the school year is the hustle and bustle, and there is no time.
  5. Go on Picnics (Take time to count the flowers if possible). This is a time you will never have again.
  6. Go swimming—children love water (make sure there is always adult supervision) canoeing, to the lake, going to the ocean, filling up water balloons,
  7. Go to a drive-in movie if there is one close. Children may have never heard of an outdoor movie! Take them to do things they don’t know about or have never heard of! This again teaches new skills and vocabulary.
  8. Take time to work on fine motor skills (if age appropriate). Use scissors, glue paper, tear paper, and color.
  9. Cook with children. Teach them about different foods and how to stir, sift, roll, and pound. They will be proud to eat something they have helped with. Many things can be made in baggies.
  10. Volunteer- this is an experience that teaches more skills than you can imagine.
  11. Take a vacation or use your imagination- go to a cave, a National Park, a ballgame, a concert, or simply set up a lemonade stand or have a garage sale that the children help with.
  12. Visit a retirement home/nursing home.
  13. Have a campout in your backyard.
  14. Paint, sew, take mom and me cooking classes.
  15. Plant a garden. Let the children pick what they want to plant and then help clean and cook the garden food.
  16. Plan a weekly trip to the library where children have their very own library cards and check out books and learn to return them on time. This teaches responsibility and how to organize times and dates, and even communication skills.

When people think of teaching children, they think of sitting down and doing worksheets. Learning comes in all fashions. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, but learning occurs when we simply talk to children and share stories. Children are constantly learning new things. There are times; however, we do need to sit down and focus on particular skills, but we can also teach many skills in other activities. At home, you can even assess children through authentic assessment by showing you and telling you what they know through activities you have done. Make sure to research free things to do in your community, as there are a lot of things you can do with your child that don’t cost money. Here are some amazing resources that provide fun, free, and engaging things to do with your children.

120 Free Things to Do with Kids This Summer101 Things to Do This Summer,



Mr. Free Stuff. (2016). 120 Free Things to Do with Kids This Summer.


Oklahoma Ag In The Classroom. (2016). Food. (2016). 101 Things to DO This Summer.


Six Sisters Stuff. (2016). 50 Outdoor Activities To Do with Kids.