Summertime, and the living is easy. Well… maybe not always so easy. Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, planning activities for the summer months can feel daunting – and a bit exciting. There’s so much to do and explore. When planning summer activities, remember it’s not just about having fun, it can also be about learning! Here are some of our favorite things to do with kids this summer with tips on how to make these activities learning experiences too.
Go For a Bike Ride
The summer is a perfect time to go for a bike ride. Grab your helmets (safety first!) and go on a bike adventure. It’s a great way to be active and enjoy the outdoors. Pedal around your local neighborhood or in a nearby park. And we have the perfect storybook to pair with your excursion: “Amari’s Bike Adventure.” In this book, Amari is learning how to ride her bicycle without training wheels for the first time. How exciting!
Between your bike ride and the story you read alongside it, you’re bound to have opportunities for meaningful conversation. Not sure what to say? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Tell me, how do you feel on your bike?
- Why should we wear our helmets?
- Do you want to ride fast or slow?
Visit the Farmers Market
Fresh fruit and veggies for sale! Get your fruits and veggies! Going to the farmers market is another one of our favorite summertime activities. Explore the fresh local produce and enjoy the sights and sounds of a bustling marketplace. Before you hit the market, you could read “Sorting at the Market” to prepare your children for the adventure ahead. Plus, if you haven’t guessed already, it’s a wonderful place to start a meaningful conversation with your children! Ask questions about what you’re experiencing to spark a conversation:
- Tell me, what’s your favorite stand we’ve visited so far?
- Can you tell me about the vegetables in your basket?
- How is your fruit?
Give it a Try! – Make a Farmers Market in Dramatic Play
Transform your Home Living center to a marketplace full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other market goods.
Cook Dinner Together
Mmmmmmmm… smells delicious! Put on those aprons with your little ones and prepare a family meal together. May we suggest pizza night? Most children love pizza, and will have a great time picking their own pizza toppings. Pair this culinary masterpiece with one of our favorite books: “Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza.” This book will surely have your children ready to get cooking!
While preparing your meal, ask open ended questions to engage in meaningful conversation:
- What ingredients do we want on our pizza?
- How does it feel to cook your own dinner?
- Tell me, how does your pizza taste? I think it’s delicious!
Give it a Try! – Pizza for Snack Time
Make pizza with your children for a snack during the school day. Have children gather around a table, and give each child a very special cooking task. They will be very proud of their hard work and excited with the very delicious result!
There’s nothing quite like camping and looking up at the stars at night. Sharing stories around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, singing songs – it’s the perfect summertime activity! You don’t even have to venture to a campsite, your backyard works great too. And, if roughing it isn’t your style, you can always bring the camping fun indoors. We even have the perfect story to go along with your adventure –“TJs Discovery.”
Whether you’re setting up the tent or just enjoying the sounds of nature, you’re bound to have endless opportunities to engage in meaningful conversation. Try these questions to get you started:
- How would you feel sleeping in a tent outside in the dark?
- What are some things we should bring camping with us?
- What kinds of food can you cook over a fire?
Bonus Activity – Lights Out Letters!
“Magic light, magic light where will you go? Show me a letter that you know!”
Try this letter recognition activity with your students at school. It goes along perfectly with a camping theme!
Start a Lemonade Stand
Is there anything more quintessentially summer than kids running a lemonade stand? I would even turn my car around to go visit a child’s lemonade stand if I passed one while driving. All you need is some lemon juice, sugar, and water to have a fun-filled day.
Plus, I love celebrating a child’s entrepreneurial spirit – just like in one of my favorite books, “The Scarecrow’s Hat.” The Scarecrow really wants a talking stick to lean on, so he enlists a chicken to barter with others to help him get it. You could certainly use some of those creative business skills to get your lemonade stand up and running!
And, spoiler alert, this activity is a great conversation starting opportunity. You can engage in meaningful conversation with your children around the lemonade stand by asking questions such as:
- What will a customer need to exchange, or give, to buy a lemonade?
- Tell me the ingredients in your lemonade?
- Who do you think will be your customers?
Summer is the perfect time to get out and explore while building language! So remember, planning activities for the summer months isn’t just a way to pass the time, but you can also make that time a lot more impactful for your children by using these adventures to engage in meaningful conversation.
Recommended Resources for Summertime Activities
- Using Questions Effectively
- Amari’s Bike Adventure – Free Printable Book
- Amari’s Bike Adventure (Spanish Version) – Free Printable Book
- Sorting at the Market Story Guide
- The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza Story Guide
- The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza Extension Activities
- TJ’s Discovery – Free Printable Book
- Summer-themed Story Guides
- TALK Teaching Aid
- Let’s TALK!
- TALK Ladder Safety Nets
- Intro to Centers Cheat Sheet