School’s Out for Summer . . . Now what?

Yeah!!! Yeah!!! This is the sound of students, parents, and teachers on the last day of school. Anticipating the fun ahead: travels, plans for sleeping in, vacations, get togethers with friends, sleepovers, baseball games, outdoor fun, swimming, camping, . . . and the list goes on!

In all this excitement, parents enjoy the upcoming lazy schedule: no homework, no morning and/or bed routines, no shuffling kids around to before/after school activities . . . just a relaxing time enjoying life and each other! Yes, parents enjoy summer, too!

summer solstice,

I don’t know about you, but about four maybe five weeks into summer, I would start hearing from my kiddos, “I’m bored!” or “There’s nothing to do!”

Yes, you know what I’m talking about. You check the calendar and see we are halfway through summer vacation.

But wait . . . what about enjoying summer and spending some time learning?

Can this be a happy marriage?

Summer Fun: Bridging Summer & Learning

Summer is the perfect time to get your kiddos involved in a variety of activities that continue to promote learning. As a classroom teacher, I wish I was able to take my students on field trips each month to experience first hand so many learning opportunities that just can’t be done in the classroom.  Unfortunately, monthly field trips isn’t possible; therefore, summer is the perfect opportunity for family field trips that build student knowledge and can be tapped into during the school year.

 This post may contain affiliate links, and I may earn compensation when you

click on the links at no additional cost to you.

Don’t worry about figuring out what to do for the next five to six weeks.  I’ve included a list of fun, learning opportunities that will keep your kiddo engaged and enjoying summer vacation, while not costing an arm and leg!

Summer Fun: My TOP 10 Activities

1. Take a hike along a local trail, to the neighborhood park, in the mountains or along the beach.  Make certain to bring some water in my favorite bottle, a trail mix snack, and wear comfortable shoes. Find a place along the way to stop and enjoy Mother Nature!

1 cup of raisins, 1 cup of almonds, 1 cup of pecans, 1 cups of walnuts, 1 cup of M&Ms. Mix in a bag. Enjoy!

Check out these starfish!! This local museum has a variety of hands on science and historical learning opportunities about Alaska. This is a touch display, perfect for kids!

2. Visit the local museum!  This is a great time to learn about history, science, and actually participate in the learning.  This is called experiential learning!! 

Oftentimes, towns have special events that kids can take part in over the summer. Whether it is a museum with artifacts, town parade, even a celebration. There seems to be some type of event (or several in my town) during the summer that are perfect for learning.

This is the small town museum. Most towns have some type of place where kids can learn about the local heritage or past events. In my town, there is a small museum that focuses on life as an early settler. Kids learn about the Mat-Su Pioneers’ life in the early 1900s, see some tools and view other artifacts relevant to their town.

3.  Check out the local sports scene!  Heading to a local park, ballpark, soccer field . . . you’ll see some great athletes play their heart out and enjoy a new sport! Whether it’s a youth soccer, baseball or adult softball league, there’s lots of fun at the ballpark.

Patrick and I enjoy taking in a local baseball game. I love when my students invite us to attend their game.

Summer Fun: Family Engagement Resource

Looking for a great resource to share with your families? This is an excellent resource I created for my families and it was a huge hit!

Therefore, I am sharing this tried and true resource with you! Get your resource today, edit it as needed, and share with your families!

~ Testimonial ~

I used this resource as a part of an education class assignment. It was the perfect fit for the lesson plan I created. Thank you!

— Sheryl S.

Rated 5 out of 5

4.  Enjoy a sunset, if you live in the lower 48, and catch some lightning bugs (fun childhood memory). In Alaska, the sun doesn’t set!  We enjoy 19 1/2 hours of daylight where I live.  The remaining time is a twilight which you can see in this picture taken on the longest day.  We celebrated the Summer Solstice on June 21 with a BBQ, gardening, and a baseball game.

5.  Grab that tech device and relax under a tree engaged in reading some new titles, reviewing some math skills, or researching a passion. It is important to keep those new academic skills growing to avoid the “summer slump”.  Don’t forget to get KindleUnlimited for all your reading and listening requirements.  Check the footer bar for a direct link. 

I’m not sure what our pup, Buckeye, is reading, but he sure enjoys the shade on these hot summer days.  

6.  Plant a garden!  Kids love playing in dirt, and what better way than to teach about sustainability food source, providing beauty in our environment!

Oftentimes students learn about planting in the spring. Encouraging students to continue this learning process at home can result in a better understanding of not only how to grow a plant

from a seed, but also leads into a fall harvest ~ which can tie in another social studies learning opportunity. Students can also keep a journal about their planting learnings and/or even hold an experiment testing different soil, light, and amount of light. There are so many options to investigate.

7.  Here’s another sustainability food source – fishing!  Each summer my family and I head down to the Kenai River to do some dip netting.  We love fresh Pacific Salmon and freeze it for our winter feast. There are lots of opportunities to learn about science, health, and social studies. Plus reading and writing are easily embedded into this learning experience. Fish on!!

8.  How about a backyard tent escape or a trip to the campground?  Spending time outdoors is such a relaxing way to relax and enjoy time away from the busy day to day activities!

Patrick and I enjoy spending time outdoors. Whether we are hiking or camping . . . getting some fresh are is a Win-Win!

Painting an Alaska summer scene with my daughters is a lot of fun. I have several paintings hanging in my classroom and home. Although I am an amature, my painting skills continue to improve with each class. Check out your local Art Guild for paint nights.

9.  Enjoy some time with the kiddos getting messy with art materials!!  Kids LOVE art!! Painting is always a fun medium to create with all types of pictures.    Whether kids paint rocks, scenery, self portraits, or finger paint . . . it’s a lot of fun! Try other art ideas like watercolors, playdough, or stenciling. Get creative with building a structure using recyclable materials. Yes, this is also art. Think outside of the box. Create, color, and have fun!

I always enjoy making cards for others. My students and I make thank you cards throughout the year. This is such a great way for kids to show others they care with a homemade card. Check out my IditaCard Design Etsy shop for all occasion handmade and printable cards.

10.  When you are ready to take a break, whether after a day of fun in the woods or your backyard, a great bonfire is a sure fire way to end a hard, exploring day! Why not have dinner on the grill? Roast some marshmallows, make some s’mores, or serve up a foil dinner.

Besides learning how to cook on a fire, campfires are also great opportunities to teach fire safety skills, proper ways to start a fire, as well as fire safety.

Campfires are perfect times to share stories, read books, even write in a journal. Keep the technology away and enjoy this time together in conversation creating beautiful memories.

Summer Fun: Related Resources

Encouraging parents to locate local resources that provide learning opportunities are great ideas. Perhaps developing a list of community and summer events in a BINGO or Tic-Tac-Toe game board will provide a fun “game” for families to play AND learn throughout the summer. There are lots of ideas, and I have a few more to share below.

Celebrate Independence Day

Summer Solstice Fun!

Summer Learning & Fun on a Budget

Summer Fun: Final Thoughts

So . . . what are your summer plans?  Are you taking a “Staycation” or going to vacate to another “Vacation” destination? Whatever you decide, enjoy you summer!! If you have children (encourage your students’ parents), get the kids outside, engage in art, visit the museum, play games . . . and you’ll never hear, “I’m bored” again! 

Share your summer fun in the comments!

Follow and Share on Social Media!

Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for more than 30 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, K-12 multi-language learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kyndall Bennett

    Every now and then, my fiance and I like to find random flea/farmer markets! It’s amazing what treasures can be found there at super affordable prices!

    1. User Avatar
      Annette Durbin

      What a fabulous summer idea!! It is always fun to see what can become a new treasure.

Leave a Reply