The following is a list of summer activities to help your child continue to build and strengthen their academic skills:
1. RING AROUND THE WORLD
Look for an old tree stump with rings. Count them (use a magnifying glass if necessary), then calculate back to when the tree was the age of your child. Look up what was happening in the world at that time.
Builds: Science, History
2. FAMILY AFFAIRS
Interview relatives about family history, then plot dates on a timeline of world history printed from the Internet. What was happening when your relatives first came to the U.S., got married, had kids, and so forth?
Builds: History, Language Arts
3. MOONLIGHT MAGIC
Head outside on different nights to determine how much you can see by the light of the moon. Draw a chart of its different shapes, from full to a tiny crescent, and note what you can see without the need for a flashlight.
Builds: Math, Science
4. GET IN SHAPE
Create a “shape-scape.” Draw a picture of nature or a neighborhood, then incorporate shapes into it—a tree’s overarching shape may be a triangle, a lake an oval, a building a rectangle.
5. THE PLAY’S THE THING
An important reading-comprehension skill is being able to retell a story. To this end, after your child finishes a book he’s read with you or alone, encourage him to put on a play that tells the story. Volunteer to take a part, and let your child direct.
Builds: Language Arts
6. EVAPORATION DETECTIVES
Circle puddles on the cement with chalk after a storm, then check them throughout the day. Your child will see the puddles shrink before his eyes—a vivid image of how the water cycle works.
7. BOWLING FOR FRACTIONS
Draw a line with chalk on the sidewalk. Measure out 1/4, 1/2, 1/6, and so forth—whatever fractions your child might reasonably know. Now place boxes or plastic bottles (whatever you can come up with that is easily knocked over) on the marks. The players name the fraction they are going to hit and then roll their ball for the pin they think sits on that fraction. Players get points for the correct fraction—and the hit.
8. BIRD’S-EYE VIEWING
Head out on a hunt for birds’ nests in your neighborhood. Besides trees, look up near the roofs and corners of buildings, or below porches or decks. What kind of materials did the birds use? Look for twigs, paper towels, newspaper, string, mud.
9. OBSERVATION SCAVENGER HUNT
Before your next trip to the park or walk around the block, plan a scavenger hunt that requires specific observations. For example: Find a leaf that has been nibbled by an insect, a plant that has seeds you can pick, a flower that makes it easy for a bee to get the nectar (a flat face) or one that makes it more difficult (a tulip-shaped bloom).
Builds: Science, Language Arts
10. MEASURE UP!
Get out a set (or two) of measuring cups and spoons and bake a cake or some cookies to give your kids a clear picture of how many thirds make one cup, how many tablespoons fit in a quarter cup, and so on. Have a contest to see which spoon or measuring tool will fill a cup faster—but not make it overflow.
11. SPEED COUNTING
Dump out a jar of colorful beads, buttons, or candies, then race to sort and count them. This activity introduces the concept of multiplication (for instance, four groups of five things is the same as 4 × 5).
12. INCH BY INCH
Bring a measuring tape on a walk and see who can find the tree with the biggest circumference, the sunflower with the largest face, the most impressive rock.
Article from Parenting.com