How Can I Keep My Child Engaged and Learning?

30+ Simply Sensational Summer Educational Activities for Young Children, Part I

  • Read, Read, Read! Encourage your child to read out loud, read silently, read to a friend, read independently, read books, read recipes, read signs, read magazines! JUST READ!
  • Write, Write, Write! Encourage your child to write in his/her diary, write a letter to a grandparent, write a response to a story, write an email. Use paints, chalk, markers, lined paper, post it notes, colored paper!  JUST WRITE!
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! Encourage your child to practice his math facts. Practice with you, practice with his friends, practice on his own. Use cards, use games, use the computer. JUST PRACTICE!
  • Parents, Please Read to Your Child, no matter their age! According to the National Commission on Reading, “The single best indicator for success in school is reading out loud to your child.” This fact is based in research from 1985 and proves true even today.  It applies to students of all ages.  It requires only 15-20 minutes every day, of one-on-one time with parent/caregiver and child.  The benefits are remarkable. 
  • While reading to your child, be sure to discuss the book.  P.T.A. TODAY claims that “a good sharing story session should be dominated by talk, and 80% of the talk should be commentary.”  This is not a time to “test” your child’s understanding of the story but merely talk about it – the characters, the storyline, the events, etc.
  • Take the sidewalk chalk outside to review math facts or spelling words. Or better yet, get a squirt bottle filled with colored water and write or calculate away!
  • Go on a nature walk, even if it’s in your yard, and collect items of interest.  Encourage your child to start a nature journal, where he can draw pictures or take notes of his observations. 
  • Being outside is not only healthy, it invigorates our brains.  “Research indicates that children should be outside for at least 2 hours each day.  Parents are convinced that their children’s technology use will help them succeed in life.  But young kids would be far better off with no screen time and more time outside” (McKenna, 2019).  So, get them outside riding their bikes, swinging on swings, and playing a good old-fashioned game of tag.
  • Make a meal or bake a cake from scratch.  (Read the directions to or with your child as you prepare.)  Involve your children throughout the entire process from measuring (understanding fractions), to stirring (building fine motor skills), etc. (Now that’s teaching life skills at its best.)  You might even leave a baked good at someone’s door who might not be feeling well, and leave a special note with it. 
  • Write a letter to a grandparent or an elderly friend or neighbor.  The more children find purposeful ways of writing, the more they see themselves as writers. Most importantly however, the children will be making connections across generations and within communities.
  • Draw a picture or make a card for someone that is shut in.  (Do you see a pattern here?)  There are many members within our nursing homes that go weeks or months without seeing family or friends. Sending pictures and cards to these residents would make their day!