How To Keep Your Child Engaged Over the Summer

Activities to exercise the mind while having fun.

How To Keep Your Child Engaged Over the Summer

In a world that continues to be increasingly fast-paced, it’s important for students to find time for constructive rest. Fortunately, summer is just around the corner. And while your children deserve some real R & R, spending the whole summer on the couch is not a great option—they’ll go into the next academic year disengaged and at a disadvantage. That’s why it’s important to offer them opportunities to stimulate their minds in entertaining, low-pressure ways. Here are some of our favorite suggestions for summer activities:

  • Crunch Some Numbers: Getting children involved in the family’s finances can be a great way to teach a necessary life skill while also stimulating the math brain. Try involving your children in the family budgeting—have them clip coupons and calculate savings. Maybe they can use the savings for an end of summer reward? Or give them a summer-fun budget to manage for real. If real money is out of the question, dream shop without spending: how would you spend $100? Encourage them to compare prices and get comfortable being strategic about purchases.
  • Get Lost: Orienteering can be a great way to get outside, get active, and work on spatial reasoning. You can also have the kids plan the route for a summer road trip and calculate mileage and expected travel time (no google maps).
  • Make Something: Break out easy and fun projects for kids to get their hands dirty, minds busy, and creative juices flowing. Fun DIY projects—like making soap or building a wooden clock—can be entertaining and stimulating. There are a lot of great activities available online at Michaels and Uncommon Goods.
  • Build Something: Plant a raised garden bed with your children. Depending on the size of the garden you want to plant, there are a number of layout options and vegetable varieties. Let your kids take part in planning which vegetables to plant (and how much of each one) and work together to cook some simple garden-to-table meals over the summer. Inspired to build more? Check out organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and locate a volunteer opportunity that works for your location.
  • Get Lost in a Book: Reading shouldn’t stop just because there are no school book assignments. Summer can be a great time to find books on topics that your kids love, articles from age-appropriate magazines, or exciting newspaper clippings that will interest even the most resistant readers. Games or competitions can also be a great way to get your kids consuming language. The Scholastic Read-a-Palooza Summer Reading Challenge (which runs from May to September) is a great option for students who like a challenge.
  • Solve Something: Inspire creative logic and problem-solving skills by completing number games like Sudoku. Or create some friendly competition by hosting a weekly estimation/calculation (balls in a jar, distance to a destination, etc.) and let any child that comes through your household play and earn a prize. The New York Times also offers some fantastic word games, in addition to their classic crossword puzzles. Games like Spelling Bee and Letter Boxed, are fun and competitive but can also stimulate your child’s vocabulary (though you will need an NYT subscription to access them).

We strongly believe that students should thrive in and out of the classroom, and summer is a great time to get out and enjoy quality time with your children. If you have any questions or need more educational or fun ideas, don’t hesitate to contact us.