As we embark upon the summer months, many children are already on their much-awaited summer vacation while many other children will soon be exiting schools and entering Summer! As this happens, I’m reminded of the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” During the school year, the “village,” i.e. schools, are definitely in full effect, but during the summer, not so much. Parents still need the help of the “village” during the summer, too. Even if it’s just babysitting for a friend or family member. Every little bit helps.
What we must also do as a village is make sure our children have fun during the summer months but still learn a little. As an educator, I know that brains definitely need a break, but they don’t need to totally vacate, wouldn't you agree? Also, you don’t want to hear the phrase, “Mom, or Dad, I’m bored,” a million times either, right? So, I’ve compiled a list of ideas and resources that may be of interest to you if you’re a parent or caregiver of children and young adults and want them to stay engaged, and learn a little this summer. I also have some great spiritual resources on the list to help your little, or not so little, loved one grow closer to God this summer! We have to remember to not only fill their minds, but also their souls.
The first resource on the list is a site called Education World. This site offers twenty-five activities that will keep children actively engaged while teaching them to explore the world around them and be creative. If you and your child like visiting or learning about National Parks, there is even a site on Education World that will help your child become a “Web Ranger.” How fun! There are other great activities on this site from building paper airplanes to making ice cream in a Ziplock bag. What would be great is if you find a local U-Pick farm and pick your own fresh berries to top your ice cream. Yum! Your child is sure to be filled with many days of boredom beating entertainment with this site.
Another great site that I recommend is, Edutopia. Edutopia offers forty-eight activities on its site, and students may participate in various fun, but thought-provoking activities such as the “Magic Tree House,” based on the Magic Tree House book series. Your child will go on great adventures and missions that challenge them to think. Edutopia also links to an amazing site where children can play a “Virtual Piano.” Talk about being well-rounded at the end of the summer!
PBS Kids offers loads of games and learning activities. One in particular that struck my fancy because it teaches young students so many skills was the Electric Company. Since it's summertime, and the electric bills are looking more interesting, I think many of us adults are going to be interested in the electric company. Hehe!
The Master's in Data Science website is a great resource for STEM from the elementary to high school levels. The links from this site that I can recommend are: Science Games & Apps, Cool STEM websites, and PBS kids links for your child's grade level. For high and middle schoolers, the DC STEM Network, also offers many awesome resources and tools to help them explore their STEM curiosities.
A fun activity that many children could easily engage in, but think it’s only for adults is writing and publishing a book. Amazon Kindle Direct makes it really simple to publish, sell, and promote your child's book online, and Fiverr is a great place to find an editor and someone to create a cover and illustrations. Fiverr is not a free service, but your child is worth the small investment it takes to publish their first book!
Freerice.com is a fun vocabulary game with a wonderful humanitarian cause. For every correct answer, Freerice.com donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme to help end hunger. I’ve been playing this game for many years, and I teach as many students as I can about it because it’s a great learning opportunity that helps people. You just can’t beat that!
If you have a bookworm at your house this summer, I highly suggest finding out who the book award nominees are in your state, and checking out or purchasing those books from your public library. Because I’m in Georgia, I will provide you with the Georgia Book Award Nominee list. Even if you don't live in Georgia, these are just some really spectacular books to read anyway. I think you’ll enjoy them just as much as your kiddo.
I mentioned going to the public library to check out books, but you also want to find out what programs the public libraries in your area offer during the summer. Sometimes, partners of the public library will also offer some awesome programs and activities at various locations away from the library. Just ask!
My online store on Teachers Pay Teachers.com, Laplum Books, offers some FREE and inexpensive educational and character education activities. One FREEBIE that I will offer you today that that is not free in my store is my Confidence Cards: Daily Encouragement for Students. (Click here to see them.) These cards are only free to my blog subscribers, so if you subscribe to my blog, you will receive the Confidence Cards for FREE! My students who need a boost of confidence and daily reminders of their greatness, love these cards and I think your child will too.
Last, but definitely not least on the list, is making sure your child learns more about God this summer. They have plenty of time, so they have no excuse about sports or homework, right? Having a strengthened relationship with God is what I believe makes children truly successful in school and life. One activity that can be fun for you and your child of any age to do together is find gospel songs on YouTube and create a playlist for you all to listen to in the car and around the house. We must program or reprogram children to feed their brains enriching music, television shows, and movies because we know that what goes in must also come out. We want our children to live out the best possible lives, so we must feed them the best possible spiritual food.
I highly recommend the books below written by Joyce Meyer. You can even purchase them from the links below! I’m sure there are some other great books on the market, so if there are others that you’d like to share, please leave them in the Comments section below. Also, be sure to look out for my eBook for teens and preeteens that will be published this Summer entitled, You are Amazing, remember that!
Spiritual Resources for Children & Teens:
Welp, that’s all I have for now. I’m sure I’ll think more great resources in the middle of the night, and if I do, I’ll update you at the bottom of this post, so please check back. Don’t forget to Subscribe to my blog to receive the FREE Confidence Cards for your child!
I hope everyone has a blessed and fun-filled summer, and if you enjoyed this post, please share it!
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