Your kids are on break and the last thing you want is for them to spend all their time playing video games or watching YouTube. Neither activity is inherently bad but it’s understandable that you want them to make better use of their summer vacation time. There are lots of ways to incorporate educational ideas for summer family fun. We all love water parks, the beach, cookouts, going to the movies and other ‘typical’ summer activities.
It’s also a good idea to provide fun activities that help kids keep their brains in tip-top shape. In fact, you can easily turn the fun activities mentioned earlier into brain-training events, as well! No one wants summer to feel just like school. Then again, kids who don’t engage their brains all summer may struggle when they go back to school.
Easy, inexpensive educational ideas for summer
The following list includes low-key learning ideas that can easily be worked into your family’s summer time fun:
- Start a family blog: Blogging is an easy way to get kids who don’t care much for pen and paper writing to use their creative writing skills. You can choose private or public settings for a family blog. Create your own style. You can upload posts daily, weekly or whenever. Your blog might include miscellaneous topics or special features, such as tracking your summer time travels. Kids and parents can work together to design the blog. Every person can take turns writing posts.
- Use the beach as a science classroom: Kids can learn so much at the beach! Don’t just take pictures of sea creatures or sand dunes and collect shells. Take time to learn more about what you’ve seen and have found while you’re lounging around the hotel room or beach house.
- Field trip per month: Field trips are easy ways to incorporate educational ideas for summer. What historical landmarks are within driving distance of your home? Bodies of water? Mountain ranges? Try to visit one place each month and create a family scrapbook as you go!
- Book club: Whether you keep it all in the family or invite friends to join, starting a summer book club can be fun. You can have meetings once a week or once a month, perhaps in conjunction with picnics or backyard barbecues! Choose stories that apply to all ages or divide into age-appropriate groups. With adult help, even the youngest members of the family can enjoy a book club.
- Use movies as educational ideas for summer: Going to the movies is so much fun. It can also be educational. Similar to a book club, you can create a summer viewing schedule. After viewing a film, get together to discuss musical score, thematic elements, plots, casting and more. Who knows? You might have a future film director in your family!
- Keep up the vocab: Everyday conversation can be part of your educational ideas for summer. Each week, challenge every family member to learn five new words and try to use them in conversation. You can quiz each other at the family dinner table. At the end of summer, the person who knew the most definitions ahead of time (meaning, before the dictionary definition was shared), wins!
- Physical fitness challenge: A healthy body promotes a healthy brain and vice versa. Why not enjoy a family fitness challenge throughout the summer? You can use a bucket list style, such as setting goals to do certain physical activities. Do you want to climb a mountain or try an iron-man obstacle course — maybe run a 5k? You can also create a physical exercise schedule and hold each other accountable for workouts, three to five days a week.
- Topography fun: Using maps can be lots of fun! Challenge your kids to create a map or increase their map-reading skills by having them navigate while you drive. If your family thrives on spontaneity, you can hop in the car with a map in hand and let everyone choose a destination. Then let the kids use the map to help you get there! No GPS allowed!
Share this list with your family and see what other educational ideas for summer time family fun you can come up with. Hot Mess Press readers might want to try some of your ideas, so feel free to share them in the comments!