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Making Summer Fun and Educational: It’s Easier Than You Think

Making Summer Fun and Educational: It’s Easier Than You Think

Summers are difficult enough with having to schedule camps, activities, summer schools, lessons, and outings with the family into the barely three-month break. Often, it can feel like your child’s main priority for the summer is to just have fun and relax. While incorporating something educational sounds like a great idea to break up the lazy summer days, it can also sound like a daunting task to a parent with a reluctant child.

With that in mind, we wanted to help make parents’ lives easier by creating a list of different activities to encourage learning over the summer and show that it doesn’t need to be boring.

To help you incorporate summer learning into your summertime activities, we compiled a list of different activities to have fun and encourage learning over the summer. You can access some of those activities through this free downloadable bingo sheet, or check out our list of 20 things your child can do this summer to keep learning!


STEM-Related Activities

  1. Grow your own garden. Spend time researching which plant, vegetable, or flower flourishes best locally during the summer months.
  2. Become a WebRanger. This is the National Park Service's site for children of all ages, which gives them a chance to learn about America’s national parks from home!
  3. Do a STEM project that is both creative and fun, like these water play STEM projects for children.
  4. Make ice cream in a bag. Learn how room-temperature ingredients can be transformed into a delicious cold treat!
  5. The Apple Store hosts camps throughout the summer to teach children things from coding to music production.


Reading Activities

  1. Start or join a local book club. Check local bookstores or libraries for book clubs that go over age-appropriate books for your child.
  2. Watch a movie that was made from a book or vice versa. With so many movies inspired by books, find the book to a movie that you may have watched recently, or read a book in order to watch a movie! (Some recent books that have been made into movies are A Wrinkle in Time, Wonder, and Ferdinand.)
  3. Draw a comic book version of a book you’ve read.
  4. Participate in a summer reading challenge (for example, Barnes & Noble offers a free book to children in grades 1–6 for reading eight books).
  5. Finish reading the books on your age-specific summer reading lists. (Check out a list by the ALSC or by Common Sense Media.)


Social Studies Activities

  1. Make a recipe from a history cookbook and learn about the time period that recipe is from.
  2. Planning a family trip? Your child can be your travel agent! Have your child research the local area for its history and places to visit, and have him or her teach you about the area.
  3. Most museums have free admission days, so be sure to look up your local museums!
  4. Chronicle family history: create a family tree and locate where your family originated. Find out what other historical events were going on during the lifetimes of your distant relatives.
  5. Research about a time period in history, and watch a documentary or a historical film about it (for example, Glory and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)!


Community Service

  1. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank in your community.
  2. Create a shoebox care package for active duty troops.
  3. Collect toys for underprivileged children (for example, Toys for Tots)
  4. Visit residents at a nursing home. Bring flowers, or coordinate a simple and easy game with the residents there.
  5. Hold a neighborhood car wash, and donate any proceeds toward one of your favorite charities.


Signing up for an online program is also an easy and straightforward way to keep learning going this summer. Study Island for Home provides standardized practice for grades K–12. Just 30 minutes a week is proven to show growth for students. Parents can issue challenges to their children and offer fun custom rewards for finishing. Try a 10-day free trial subscription today!