Summertime is here!
It's a wonderful time to continue learning while enjoying summer activities.
Now someone reading this may say “It's summer! Just get out and play!”
And I totally agree with you, however, I believe family knows best – if you feel your child would greatly benefit from being actively involved in learning, these ideas are for you.
For students I worked with on my caseload, my focus areas are:
Screen-Free Ideas for Summer Literacy
Hands-down – my favorite summer literacy focus is incorporating environmental print.
Environmental print is all of the text we see in our everyday life – this could be labels on food packages, road signs, store logos, billboards… how fun to play an “I Spy” game!
- I Spy – words that have /s/, words that rhyme, words with three syllables…
Library Visits and Books! Rainy day keeping everyone inside? What a perfect time to dig into a new book or an old favorite. Here are some fantastic summer read aloud titles:
- Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
- Ian's Walk by Laurie Lears
- Bubble Trouble by Margaret Mahy
- The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
These read aloud books were chosen because the story settings are mostly outdoors in the warm weather. As I'm writing this, I thought of so many more favorites!
Other summer themes could include the beach, camping, ice cream and other cool treats, patriotic, and traveling.
Write your own book! Encourage young authors to keep a journal or write their own story.
Will it be a graphic novel? A book of riddles or poems? Or maybe an one-page memoir of their favorite summer pastime?
Writing activities are a wonderful way to celebrate creativity while keeping those literacy skills (handwriting, spelling, vocabulary, sight words) sharp.
Phonics Flipbooks (free!) – create an entire library of short vowel mini books!
- Click HERE to check out this activity.
Screen-Free Summer Math
My hope for my own students is to encourage mathematical thinking while reinforcing skills in number sense and basic operations (addition and subtraction). Who needs a screen for that when you have the great outdoors?
Farmer's Markets and Fruit Picking – How many berries will fit in a basket? Let's make a prediction, get to work, then count the results!
Creative in the Kitchen – Recipes and cooking offer multiple opportunities to use math! Measuring, comparing, and elapsed time are just a few skills our chefs will be using.
Deal the Cards – playing Uno, Go Fish, or other classic card games incorporate math (and social skills, language…)
A Little Help From Our Friends – if your superheroes need more subitizing, this printable packet is sure to catch their interest:
Screen-Free Summer Language
Language is a bit of a general term in the education world. For my students, this refers to any speech and language goals they may have been working on in the past year. My goal is to encourage opportunities to apply skills while speaking.
News Reporter – If you're a parent or early childhood educator, you probably already know this – children LOVE microphones! We have several “echo microphones” we love, like these.
Have your child interview family members by preparing and asking questions or simply report the “news” and current events from around the house.
Word Play Games – this is similar to the I Spy games, with a little twist: Play “yes or no” and have your child respond to the following questions verbally or by using a yes/no hand signal:
- Does frog and dog rhyme? No!
- Can an ant swim? No (actually, I don't even know!)
- Does a zebra have stripes? Yes
And so on… the sillier the better! When your child is ready, have them ask YOU the questions. What a fun way to practice language skills!
This blogpost could go on and on – there are so many fun screen-free learning ideas that require almost no preparation or expense. We didn't even cover all the opportunities to explore science, social students, and the arts.
Hope these ideas spark some fun in your household this summer!