Tried and True Ways to Keep Your Kids Learning this Summer

School is out! 

Summertime for children is a magical time filled with swimming, cookouts, vacations, playing with friends, and no school.

With one of the weirdest school years we’ve experienced in the books, I know my children are looking forward to a nice long summer. The break from school flies by for children, but that is a long time to give your brain a rest.

That I’m why I’m going to give you a few ideas on how to keep your children engaged in learning during their break.

Need to get out of the house?

There are a lot of things going on around the corridor this summer that parents can use as a learning experience.

The City of Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department has a program guide that lists several day camps for kids. Kids can learn about art, historical skills, nature, and so much more.

The Indian Creek Nature Center offers day camps as well. Children can go and learn about nature and animals in a hands-on and fun environment.

If you need to get out of the house, but the weather is an issue, the Iowa Children’s Museum is another option that offers a lot of fun, hands-on learning experiences. See their website for hours and pricing.

Some other outside learning ideas:

  • Create a scavenger hunt around your neighborhood with clues to get their minds working,
  • Visit a zoo and take the time to read every fact about the animals,
  • Head outside at night with a blanket and a stargazing app

Stuck at home?

Make things fun

My kids and I created an interactive board game with construction paper as the game spaces.  Each of my kids has their own path and they use a number spinner to walk around their game path. Each space has a learning activity.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Read a book to your sister
  • Complete a page of your summer workbook
  • Put together a shape puzzle
  • Complete the pattern using mini colorful bears

I’ve found my children are more engaged when we make learning into fun. They can set up their own path, help put together their activities, and can focus on the way they want to learn.

Make learning part of their daily habit

I’ve seen a number of to-do lists for kids for those long summer days at home. Before a kid can go to a friend’s house or play a video game, they must complete their list.

Some options are:

  • Read a book
  • Do something creative
  • Do a learning sheet

Chores can also be added to this list. This is a good idea for older children who have more independence during the summer.


If your children are like mine, they probably like YouTube more than they should. I’ve found a few educational channels that I don’t have to feel guilty about letting them watch over their daily limit.

Here are just a few channels we enjoy:

My kids don’t always want to learn from a book. These channels let them pick a subject they are interested in and expand their knowledge. My son is interested in history and science and these channels offer a variety of topics to pick from.

Some other ways to learn inside this summer:

  • Make a meal or bake something together. There are a lot of ways to learn while cooking.
  • Create letters with playdough
  • Find some fun science experiments to do together
As I’m planning our summer, I would love to hear any other ideas you have to keep kids learning.

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