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10 Ways to Make it Fun
Summer Splash

Wendy Hilton


ummer is the perfect time to take a break from formal learning. Even if you homeschool year-round, you still may have days or weeks for just-for-fun learning. No matter how or when you choose to homeschool, there are lots of great ways to add some educational activities to your summer!

1. Make Reading Fun
When my children were all young, we loved to participate in all kinds of summer reading programs. Be sure to check with your local library to see what they offer. Many have in-person meetings and activities. Some include prizes, educational presentations, art activities, read-aloud times, and more! Some restaurants still have summer reading programs too. Be sure to see what’s offered in your city or county.

If you’re looking for some creative ways to read aloud with your children this summer, try things like reading aloud during breakfast or lunch or listening to audiobooks while you drive. Or come up with your own summer reading program!

2. Travel
Travel, whether in your local area or across the country (or the globe!), is a great way to provide summer learning opportunities for your children and teens! You can even get some math done along the way.

Take a field trip to a local grocery store or government office. Enjoy a field trip to the beach and do some beach-related science experiments while you’re there.

Choose a vacation destination based on what you’ve studied over the past year or what you plan to study next year.

Travel is also a fantastic way to create bonds between family members and help your children develop social skills. As a matter of fact, homeschooling families and traveling go together like PB&J!

3. Play with Water
If you live where it gets super hot during the summer (like I do!), water play is a wonderful thing to incorporate into your summer learning! I don’t have small children anymore, but I have a new grandbaby, a 4-year-old niece, and a puppy who keep me busy and need fun outdoor things to do to burn off some energy! Even if you have older kids or teens, there are lots of ways to incorporate water play into your summer learning.

For older kids or teens who enjoy art, try creating watercolor seascapes. Include a trip to an aquarium, look up information about the sea or the ocean, and create your own watercolor masterpieces, collages, pastel drawings, or even finger paintings!

For younger kids, try “painting” with plain water on a hot sidewalk and watching the pictures evaporate. Or create water-related sensory bins, work on fine motor skills with a squeezing water activity, or make some frozen paint!

little girl smiling at waterpark

4. Learn at the Beach
Kids (and teens!) might enjoy doing STEM-related activities at the beach, studying sand, learning about seashells, and even doing unit studies about states (like Florida) that are associated with summer and the beach.

Don’t forget that a trip to the beach creates a great opportunity to learn about oceans and the fascinating animals that live there. Of course, you probably don’t want to see sharks on the beach, but you can use the beach as an excuse to study them! Your kids will love learning about sharks, dolphins, and all kinds of astonishing animals.

5. Explore Summer Topics
If it’s too hot to go outside but you want to keep things fun and easy for summer, do an easy summer unit study! The pressure is off, and your kids will think you’re doing something fun, but they’ll be learning and exploring new subjects without even realizing it.

Read books and do simple unit studies on all kinds of topics! For example, do a unit study on blue whales, sea life, ocean animals, tide pools, seabirds, or life in the pond.

I know these are more school-like activities, but some kids enjoy having a few more structured activities to do over the summer, and it’s perfectly fine to provide them!

6. Play with Weather
Every season gives kids a chance to study weather in a very hands-on way. It’s literally right outside the front door! Even young children can learn about weather as they keep a weather log or chart. But one of the best ways for them to learn is through play! (And your older kids may just want to join in the fun, too!) Create rain in a jar with shaving cream and blue food coloring or do some rain painting. Then watch a rainbow “walk” with this simple and fun activity.

Hot summer days are also a great time to go cloud watching. Pack a picnic lunch, grab a blanket, and relax while gazing up at the sky. You never know what kind of a show God will put on for you! (How many cloud types can your kids name?)

young child wearing red tshirt holding water balloon and laughing
7. Cook Together
Cooking is a life skill everyone needs to learn! Make it fun by doing a cooking challenge.

Experience geography in a whole new way by cooking (and eating) your way through the states or even around the world. Choose a specific type of cooking to learn about whether it’s grilling or baking cookies.

Cooking is also a great way to serve your community. Try baking some treats (everyone loves S’mores!) for local firefighters or take a meal to an elderly neighbor. Your kids will love making others smile with their culinary delights!

8. Try Some New Hobbies
Everyone needs a way to relax and hobbies are a great way to do that! Discover why hobbies are so important and get lots of creative ideas to try with your children in our Spring 2023 Issue.

Don’t give up if it takes a while to find the perfect fit for your kids. Just try different things until you hit on something they really enjoy. String art, writing, animation, origami, and beach volleyball are just a few ideas to get you started.

Hobbies that get kids out in nature are fun to try in the summer. Try identifying the birds, eggs, and nests you see around the neighborhood. Your kids will have such fun walking around on a nature scavenger hunt!

9. Experiment
Experiments are a good way to ramp up your summer fun! Best of all, they don’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time. This 3-ingredient density fireworks idea is one your kids will probably love. Or what about some salt-and-ice experiments?

As your kids are doing experiments, make sure you ask questions: Why did that freeze? Did you learn anything interesting? What went wrong?

If you need more ideas for experiments, here’s a list of fun summer projects. So many creative ideas can be done right in your backyard!

10. Do Arts and Crafts Together
Part of the fun of homeschooling is getting to do things together, but it’s easy to get into a rut. If you need some new ideas, check out these outdoor summer boredom busters.

If it’s a rainy day and you’d rather stay inside, toilet paper tube crafts are easy, inexpensive, and fun to make. These underwater 3D crafts are colorful and fun, too.

Or your kids could make some giraffe crafts following an afternoon at the zoo.

“Why did that freeze? Did you learn anything interesting? What went wrong?”
The next time your kids say they’re bored this summer, try some of these ideas! There are so many ways to keep them engaged during the summer months, and I have no doubt they’ll learn a little along the way, too.
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endy Hilton is an introverted extrovert who lives in the South. She’s been married to Scott, her high school sweetheart, for thirty years, and they have two adult children and one teenager who all homeschooled. She loves writing and editing, reading, and working out and teaching classes at her local gym. She also loves Jesus, her family, homeschooling, and her dog. To read more from Wendy, visit one of the websites she co-owns along with Trish Corlew. You’ll find her at Hip Homeschool Moms, Only Passionate Curiosity, and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.