Summer Learning Activities For Older Kids (That Are Actually Fun!)
My youngest has never met a pool or hose that he didn’t like.
He’s the first one in, the last one out and usually begging for more.
Although we don’t have a pool, we do have a ton of fun each summer with the hose, sprinklers, and other water works.
Part of my plan for this year’s summer learning includes this natural love of all things water. I want him to have fun this summer – not feel like he is in a never ending loop of reading practice and attempts to avoid an academic “summer slide.”
Incorporating water play into our learning has been part changing up existing hands-on learning activities to include a little splash here and there, and part all out creating a brand-new project for summer fun.
Here are the activities I have come up with so far to add water play into our summer learning.
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Water Play For Older Kids: Summer Learning Activities That Are Actually Fun
In the past, I have written sight words or the answers to math equations on ping pong balls, eggs and just about anything else my son can throw at a target. Water balloons are an easy substitution for summer.
The idea is that he reads the new word and then throws the water balloon at a target. I have a feeling this will also turn into throwing them at each other, but this is all part of summer, right?
Just as we have used nerf guns in the past to shoot the answers to questions, the same will be true for squirt guns this summer. I write the words we are practicing on the windows (outside, of course!) with chalk markers and let him go to town.
Who knows, maybe my windows will be cleaner than usual for the next couple of months!
DIY Slip ‘n Slide
My son is all over this one. We are buying a large swath of plastic sheeting, seven pool noodles and duct tape. My son has to design a slip ‘n slide for older, “bigger” children (his biggest complaint about the store-bought versions is that they only really work for “babies).
There will be pictures of this undertaking on Instagram this weekend if you’d like to take a peek.
Trampoline Plus Sprinkler
This happens even when it isn’t summer around here. My son loves me to spray him with the hose as he jumps, or put the sprinkler under the trampoline while he plays. So, it makes perfect sense to combine the learning we already do in the trampoline with all the water. Any time I read aloud, ask him comprehension questions, or even practice math facts, the trampoline is an option. Adding water will just cool him off a bit.
Similar to the water balloon activities, beach balls provide an easy, fun opportunity for practice that I may need to use all year long.
Writing sight words onto the different colors on the ball, reading one word at a time, throwing or kicking it back and forth is an easy summer opportunity for learning.
Friday Fun-Days: 52 weeks of Easy For Mom Activities
My goal for Friday Fun-Days this summer is to error on the side of fun. If my children are not enjoying it, we won’t do it. Because the lazy days of summer are here and I want my children to experience them as I did, carefree and loving it.
Happy Friday and Happy Summer!
Shawna Wingert is a special education teacher turned educational consultant, and mom of two brilliant boys who have learning differences and special needs.
Shawna has also written four books: Everyday Autism, Special Education at Home, Parenting Chaos, and Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs. A passionate advocate for individualized education, Shawna is frequently featured on Today.com, Simple Homeschool, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers and The Mighty. She can also be found supporting parents online at her own site, DifferentByDesignLearning.com.