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5 Fun Summer Activities to Keep Kids Learning

Paper Plane
Written by Jesse

The days of summer provide a much anticipated break and time of fun and activity for children.  Without school every day, kids gain their 3 months of freedom, although soon, excitement and happiness can turn to chants of “there’s nothing to do,” and you’ll need to be prepared with some suggestions. Below is a list of 5 activities that will not only be enjoyable but also keep a child’s brain working in the off months.


Go on a nature walk:

You can do this one with your kids. Take a hike and be on the lookout for something of interest (such as different types of rocks, trees, birds or insects). Keep track of what you see using a notepad or digital camera. Then, when you get home, your child can use the internet to research what he or she found.

Make a journal:

Get your child an attractive looking journal or notebook for them to add entries into. It could be on a daily basis each day of summer, or maybe they would like to keep a vacation journal documenting any family trips. I have a vacation journal from when I was younger and I truly enjoy re-living my past trips!

Have a paper airplane contest.

This is a great one for siblings or friends on a rainy day. Kids can each create their own paper airplane and enter them into the competition. Awards can be given for categories such as best design and farthest flight. Kids use their minds to create an effective design and measure distances.

Put on a show:

Encourage kids to make a movie or a play. This is a great way to add ELA and the arts into the day (or days, if it is a big production). Children can write the script or story, design costumes and sets, and showcase their acting abilities. For idea suggestions, maybe take inspiration from a favorite TV show or movie and make a spinoff or parody. It can be fun to make a big deal of the final product by having a movie premier party or inviting family over for some live theater.

Create an animated cartoon:

Making flipbooks is something I enjoyed as a child. Buy some notepads that can be flipped through easily and let your kids give it a shot. They start by drawing a picture at the beginning or end of the note pad and draw one frame on each successive page. Stress the importance of minimal movement from frame to frame so the animation looks smooth when you flip through the book. It’s an art that takes patience and focus, but the end result can be very rewarding and something your child can be proud of.


 Creative Commons-licensed photo provided by garryknight. 



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About the author


Jesse has taught in various elementary and high school settings. He writes for Plaza Famila and also designs educational online resources. Jesse is a musician and is passionate about providing instruction in a way that sparks student interest.

  • Martha

    Putting on shows is one of my children´s favorite activities, they both take ballet lessons and they love to dance for us, we encourage them with costumes and props so they can put their creativity on their act, so I guess this will go on for the summer and we´ll try to add some of the other activies you describe here cause they look amazing too.

    • Jesse

      Get out the video camera for those shows! You won’t regret it as the years go by!