BlogTeaching Resources50+ Best Summer School Teaching Ideas Students Would Love

50+ Best Summer School Teaching Ideas Students Would Love

Summer school is an exciting time for kids to continue learning and exploring while enjoying their break from the walls of their classroom. It is a perfect way to bring smile on students’ faces with equal learning and equal fun. A study conducted at Annenberg Brown University examined the effects of summer learning programs on students’ mathematic achievements. The findings revealed that students who participated in high-quality summer programs experienced positive gains in not just math skills but also reading skills, as well as improvements in social-emotional development and overall engagement in learning.

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We bring to you some really exciting and creative curriculum ideas that you can implement for your class this summer. This treasure trove of fun summer school activities for kids will keep them engaged, entertained, and intellectually stimulated, and see them smiling ear to ear when you mention summer school next year. With a focus on interactive and hands-on experiences, these activities ignite curiosity, foster creativity, and make learning an enjoyable adventure. So let’s dive in and discover a world of captivating and educational summer school activities for kids.

50+ Fun Summer School Activities

Two little girls riding bikes together

Fun summer school activities provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to explore new interests and expand their knowledge in an engaging and enjoyable way. Not only do these activities offer a break from the traditional classroom setting, but they also contribute to preventing learning loss during the summer break.

According to a study conducted by the RAND Corporation, participating in summer school programs can help prevent learning loss and promote academic growth, especially in reading and math skills. The study found that students who engaged in summer school programs made significant gains compared to their peers who did not participate. With this in mind, let’s dive into a range of exciting and educational summer school activities that will inspire young minds and encourage them to keep learning.

“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein

Related Reading: Best Teaching Strategies for 2023

1. Building a Campfire

Building a campfire is not only a fun summer school activity for kids but also a fantastic opportunity for them to learn about fire safety and teamwork. Gather the students together, teach them to light campfire, roast marshmallows, and share stories. This hands-on experience will create lasting memories and teach them important survival skills.

2. Making Slime

What could be more exciting for kids than getting their hands messy while making slime? This sensory activity is not only a fun summer school activity for kids but also an educational one. They can explore different colors, textures, and add-ins as they mix and mold their unique slime creations. It’s a guaranteed way to keep them engaged and entertained during summer school.

3. Hiking

Kids going on a hike with an adult

Hiking is an excellent way to combine physical activity and exploration during summer school. Take the kids on exciting hikes through nature trails or local parks. They can observe and appreciate the flora and fauna around them while getting some exercise. Hiking is a fun summer school activity for kids that promotes a love for the outdoors and environmental awareness.

4. Scavenger Hunt

Organizing a scavenger hunt is a classic and engaging summer school activity for kids. Divide them into teams and provide them with lists of items or tasks to find or complete. This interactive and fun-filled activity keeps kids entertained and enhances problem-solving skills, teamwork, and critical thinking abilities. A scavenger hunt is a must-try summer school activity for kids!

5. Outdoor Math Games

Transform math learning into an interactive adventure with fun outdoor math games. From hopscotch to number line races, these activities combine physical movement with numerical skills. Fun summer school activities for kids such as outdoor math games make learning enjoyable and help them develop a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.

6. Numbers and Counting

Set up a number and counting activity station where kids can engage in hands-on learning. Fun summer school activities for kids involving counting beads, arranging number cards, and exploring different materials enhance their numeracy skills. These activities make learning numbers and counting an exciting experience.

7. DIY Lava Lamp

Create an unforgettable summer school activity by making DIY lava lamps. Kids can witness mesmerizing bubbling colors while learning about science and chemical reactions. Fun summer school activities for kids like making lava lamps spark their curiosity, encourage hands-on exploration, and foster a love for scientific discovery.

8. Planting a Garden

A child planting seeds

Engage kids in the wonders of nature by involving them in a summer school garden project. Planting and nurturing a seed teaches them responsibility, patience, and environmental awareness. Fun summer school activities for kids like gardening allow them to witness the beauty of growth and gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

9. Museum Tours

A simple but memorable summer school idea is to take kids on engaging virtual or in-person museum tours where they can explore art, history, and science exhibits. These fun summer school activities for kids open their minds to new knowledge and inspiration. Museum tours broaden their horizons, ignite curiosity, and offer unique educational experiences outside the traditional classroom.

10. Learning to Play a Musical Instrument

Introduce kids to the joy of music by offering summer school lessons on playing a musical instrument. This fun summer school activity for kids allows them to explore different instruments and discover their musical talents. Learning to play an instrument enhances cognitive abilities, fosters creativity, and provides a lifelong appreciation for music.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin

11. Volcano Science Experiment

Engage kids in an explosive science experiment by creating a volcano. They can witness a fascinating chemical reaction with the help of baking soda, vinegar, and a volcano model. This hands-on activity teaches scientific principles and sparks curiosity and excitement. Fun summer school activities for kids like this make learning a blast!

12. DIY Solar Oven

Teach kids about renewable energy while having a delicious summer school activity. Build a DIY solar oven using a cardboard box and aluminum foil, and let them bake cookies or melt s’mores using the power of the sun. Fun summer school activities for kids like this combine science with tasty treats, making learning an enjoyable experience.

13. Baking

Kids baking together

Introduce kids to the joys of baking during summer school. From measuring ingredients to following recipes, this activity enhances their math and reading skills while creating delicious treats. Fun summer school activities for kids like baking promote creativity, teamwork, and confidence in the kitchen. Let them explore their culinary talents!

14. Car Race Counting Game

Turn math into an exciting summer school class idea for elementary students with a car race counting game. Set up a race track and use toy cars as a fun way to practice counting, addition, and subtraction. This interactive activity reinforces math skills while keeping kids engaged and entertained.

Related Reading: Best Car Games for Kids for Hours of Exciting Fun

15. Real World Tally Marks

Introduce kids to the concept of tally marks through interactive activities. Use real-life examples like counting the number of birds or cars passing by. Fun summer school activities for kids that involve tally marks enhance their counting skills and data representation. Make learning fun with this hands-on approach.

16. Geocaching

Go on a treasure hunt with geocaching, a modern-day outdoor adventure that combines navigation and exploration. Using a GPS device or smartphone app, kids can search for hidden caches in their surroundings. This activity encourages critical thinking, problem-solving, and outdoor appreciation. Fun summer school activities for kids like geocaching promote teamwork and a sense of adventure.

17. Pool Noodle Olympics

Host a pool noodle Olympics where kids can participate in various fun-filled games and challenges using pool noodles. From balancing activities to relay races, this summer school activity encourages physical activity, teamwork, and friendly competition. Summer class activities like this promote sportsmanship and laughter.

18. Marshmallow 3D Shapes

Introduce kids to geometry by building 3D shapes using marshmallows and toothpicks. This hands-on activity allows them to visualize and construct shapes like cubes, pyramids, and prisms. Fun summer school activities for kids involving 3D shapes enhance spatial awareness and critical thinking skills.

19. Building a Birdhouse

Combine woodworking skills with nature appreciation by building birdhouses. Kids can learn basic carpentry while creating a safe haven for birds. Fun summer school activities for kids like building a birdhouse foster creativity, problem-solving, and an understanding of wildlife conservation.

20. DIY Friendship Bracelets

Encourage creativity and friendship-building with DIY friendship bracelets. Provide colorful threads and teach them various bracelet-making techniques. Summer classes ideas for kids like this promote fine motor skills, self-expression, and social connections. Let them showcase their handmade bracelets and cherish the bonds they create.

21. Summer Sketching

A kid sketching on A4 paper

Encourage your child’s artistic abilities with summer sketching classes. Provide them with sketchbooks, pencils, and colored markers to capture the beauty of the season. Summer sketching not only enhances their creativity but also fosters observation skills and self-expression. Incorporating fun summer school class ideas for elementary and above, like summer sketching, will inspire your child’s artistic growth.

22. Crossword Challenge

Challenge your child’s vocabulary and problem-solving skills with a summer crossword challenge. Create age-appropriate puzzles using summer-related themes and words. This activity promotes language development, critical thinking, and spelling accuracy. Integrating crossword challenges into summer school class ideas keeps learning enjoyable and engaging.

23. Summer Sports

A swimming pool

Get your child moving and active with summer sports classes. Offer a variety of outdoor games such as soccer, basketball, or swimming. These activities promote teamwork, physical fitness, and sportsmanship. Summer school class ideas that include sports help your child develop essential motor skills and a healthy lifestyle.

24. Wordplay

Stimulate your child’s language skills with wordplay activities. Explore puns, riddles, and word games that spark creativity and linguistic understanding. This summer school class idea encourages vocabulary expansion, critical thinking, and verbal expression. Incorporating wordplay into the curriculum adds a playful and interactive element to learning.

25. Reading

Promote the joy of reading through summer school classes dedicated to literature. Select age-appropriate books and encourage independent reading or group discussions. This activity improves reading comprehension, vocabulary, and imagination. Including reading sessions in summer school class ideas cultivates a lifelong love for books.

26. Planning a Dream Vacation

Little girl jumping in a lake from a wooden dock

Fuel your child’s imagination by inviting them to plan their dream vacation. Guide them to research destinations, create itineraries, and learn about different cultures. This summer school class idea enhances geography knowledge, research skills, and budgeting. Allowing children to plan their dream vacation within summer school class ideas encourages exploration and broadens their worldview.

27. Water Balloon Ring Toss

Beat the summer heat with a thrilling water balloon ring toss game. Set up targets and challenge children to aim and throw water balloons through the rings. This outdoor activity improves hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and teamwork. Summer school class ideas that include water balloon ring toss bring laughter and excitement to the learning environment.

28. Indoor Sports

On days when outdoor activities are not possible, engage your child with indoor sports classes. Options may include indoor soccer, basketball, or yoga. These activities promote physical fitness, concentration, and balance. Integrating indoor sports into summer school class ideas ensures that learning continues even on rainy days.

Related Reading: Best Rainy Day Activities for Kids to Have Indoor Fun

29. Board Game Championship

Organize a board game championship where children can compete in various strategy-based games. From chess to Scrabble, this activity enhances critical thinking, problem-solving, and sportsmanship. Summer school class ideas that involve board game championships create a friendly competitive atmosphere while fostering cognitive skills.

30. Outdoor Science Experiments

Little boys playing outdoors

Ignite your child’s curiosity with outdoor science experiments. Explore hands-on activities like creating volcanoes or launching rockets. This summer school class idea promotes scientific thinking, observation skills, and creativity. Outdoor science experiments make learning fun and memorable.

31. Popsicle Stick Catapult

Let the children unleash their creativity by building their own popsicle stick catapults. They can experiment with different designs and launch small objects, learning about physics and engineering in a hands-on way. This activity not only stimulates their problem-solving skills but also provides endless fun and excitement. Popsicle stick catapults are a perfect addition to fun summer school classes.

32. Yarn Bracelets

Engage the students in a fun and crafty activity by teaching them how to make colorful yarn bracelets. They can learn different knotting techniques and create personalized accessories. This activity not only enhances their fine motor skills but also encourages creativity and self-expression. Yarn bracelet making is one of the unique and free summer school activities.

33. Cooking

A chef helping kids with cooking

Introduce the students to the world of culinary arts by incorporating cooking into your summer school curriculum. Teach them simple and healthy recipes they can easily prepare. Cooking not only enhances their math and reading skills but also promotes teamwork and an appreciation for good food. Summer school fun activities like cooking foster independence and creativity in the kitchen.

34. Create Instruments

Let the children explore their musical side by creating their own instruments. They can use household items to make drums, shakers, or even guitars. This activity encourages imagination, fine motor skills, and an understanding of different sounds and rhythms. Creating instruments is a fantastic addition to fun summer school classes.

Related Reading: Best Music Games for Kids That Mix Learning With Sounds

35. Design A Water Filter

Teach children about environmental sustainability by challenging them to design a water filter. They can use simple materials like sand, gravel, and activated charcoal to create a filtration system. This activity introduces them to concepts of science, engineering, and water conservation. Designing a water filter is an educational and engaging summer school fun activity.

36. Obstacle Course

Little boy running in the park under sprinklers

Set up an exciting obstacle course for the children to navigate. They can crawl under ropes, jump over hurdles, and balance on beams. You can make this more fun by making them run through water or balloons. This activity promotes physical fitness, coordination, and problem-solving skills. Creating an obstacle course adds an element of adventure to your summer school program ideas.

37. Relay Race

Organize a thrilling relay race where children can compete in teams. This activity promotes teamwork, coordination, and sportsmanship. You can customize the relay race with different challenges like carrying objects or completing tasks. Relay races are a classic and energetic addition to fun summer classroom ideas.

Related Reading: Best Indoor and Outdoor Team Building Activities for Kids

38. Make a Solar Light

Introduce children to the wonders of solar energy by guiding them to create their own solar-powered lights. They can assemble simple circuits using solar panels, LEDs, and rechargeable batteries. This activity teaches them about renewable energy sources and encourages their interest in sustainable technology. Making a solar light combines creativity and science in summer school fun activities.

39. Water Balloon Experiment

Beat the summer heat with a water balloon experiment. Children can explore the concepts of water pressure, motion, and gravity by conducting various experiments using water balloons. They can measure the distance traveled, observe the impact of different factors, and have a splashing good time. Water balloon experiments are an exciting addition to fun summer school classes.

40. Color Changing Playdough

Let the students unleash their creativity while learning about chemical reactions with color-changing playdough. They can make their own playdough using simple ingredients and add color-changing substances like thermochromic pigment. This activity not only enhances their sensory and fine motor skills but also introduces them to basic chemistry concepts. Color-changing playdough is a mesmerizing addition to summer school fun activities.

“The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go” – Dr. Seuss

41. Homemade Bubble Solution

Bubbles releasing in air

Creating a homemade bubble solution is a delightful activity that sparks joy and wonder in children. To make the solution, mix water, dish soap, and a little bit of glycerin. Show the students how to make bubble wands using pipe cleaners or plastic straws. They’ll have a blast blowing bubbles and observing their colorful creations float in the air.

42. DIY Suncatcher

Let the students explore their artistic side by making their own suncatchers. Provide them with translucent plastic sheets or wax paper and a variety of materials like tissue paper, sequins, and beads. Show them how to cut shapes and arrange the materials on the plastic. Once finished, they can hang their suncatchers near a window and watch as the sunlight creates beautiful patterns.

43. Exploding Watermelon Science Experiment

Engage the students in a jaw-dropping science experiment by demonstrating the explosive power of rubber bands on a watermelon. Show them how to wrap rubber bands around the watermelon until it bursts open due to the pressure. This activity will leave them in awe and spark their curiosity about the forces of nature.

44. Bubble Painting

Combine the joy of bubbles with the creativity of painting by introducing bubble painting to your students. Prepare a mixture of liquid watercolors or food coloring and bubble solution. Show them how to blow bubbles onto paper and capture the colorful patterns. They can also experiment with different blowing techniques and create unique artwork.

45. Online Classes

Summer school is also an excellent opportunity for students to explore online learning platforms. Offer a variety of interactive online classes tailored to their interests, such as coding, art, or storytelling. Provide them with the necessary resources and guide them through the learning process, encouraging independent exploration and skill development.

Related Reading: Benefits of Online Learning for Kids

46. DIY Ice Cream

If you’re wondering how to make summer school fun, this right here is your answer. Beat the summer heat by teaching your students how to make their own delicious ice cream. Show them the “how to” of creating a simple ice cream base using milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. They can then personalize their creations by adding their favorite toppings and mix-ins. This hands-on activity is sure to delight their taste buds and introduce them to the science of freezing and mixing ingredients.

47. Flower Ice Cubes

Turn ordinary ice cubes into beautiful creations with the addition of colorful flowers. Show the students how to place small edible flowers or flower petals in ice cube trays and fill them with water. Once frozen, they can use the flower ice cubes to add a touch of elegance to their summer drinks. This activity combines creativity and a refreshing twist.

48. Knitting

A girl knitting with a stick

Introduce your students to the art of knitting by providing them with knitting needles and colorful yarn. Show them the basic knitting stitches and guide them as they create simple projects like scarves or coasters. Knitting helps develop their fine motor skills, concentration, and patience while fostering a sense of accomplishment.

49. Handprint Craft

Encourage creativity and personal expression with a handprint craft activity. Provide paint and paper, and show the students how to dip their hands in the paint and create handprint masterpieces. They can turn their handprints into animals, flowers, or any imaginative creation they desire. This activity celebrates individuality and leaves a lasting keepsake.

50. Pendulum Painting

Unleash the students’ inner artists with pendulum painting. Set up a large canvas or paper outdoors and hang a container filled with paint from a tree branch or support. Show them how to release the paint by swinging the container like a pendulum. As it swings, the paint will create unique patterns on the canvas. This activity combines art and science in a mesmerizing way.

51. Group ’em up:

Divide the students in groups for math quiz face offs. Each group prepares simple math questions to ask other groups, and the group with the maximum score wins. Such games, while helping students retain the concepts they were taught in the previous grade, also hone their analytical skills.

52. Tangram fun

Tangram for Kids

How about creating spatial awareness and a sense of geometry this summer? Tangrams build an intuitive sense for shapes and help improve math skills. Now, get your hands on big tangram pieces and introduce students to some geometry fun. Students would leave no stone unturned to create the final image of the tangram puzzle.

53. Soak up the sun

Have your students stand in a circle and give one of them a ball. Ask a simple question – is 15 even or odd? what is 3+5? name any three colors and the fruits of the same colors – to the student with the ball. Before the student answers, she should pass the ball to the student next to her. The other students pass the ball quickly among themselves, while the student who is asked the question aims to answer before the ball comes back to her. The student who has the ball when the correct answer is given can be asked the next question.

54. Digital classroom tools

Digital Classroom Tools

Use free and interactive digital tools for teaching new concepts to young students. Have a fun time working on Time, Measurement, Money, Geometry and several other tools. SplashLearn provides these classroom tools for free. Simply log in as a teacher at www.splashlearn.com to get access.

Related Reading: Best Teaching Tools to Use for Uplifting Classroom Standards

Conclusion

Summer school provides a great opportunity for students to engage in fun and educational activities and make the most out of their summers. By incorporating a diverse range of activities, we can ensure an enriching summer learning experience for them so that they can learn various skills and enjoy at the same time. This will fill up their summer school journey with the spirit of growth, imagination, and unforgettable adventures.

Related Reading: Amazingly Hilarious Summer Jokes for Kids

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can you make summer learning engaging?

  1. Explore different methods to teach a subject
  2. Involve students in sports
  3. Indulge them in art
  4. Explore different hobbies like instrumental music, different dance forms, craft ideas etc.
  5. Help students explore a new language
  6. Involve them in tech advancements
  7. Figure out what students like the most and help them explore that field
  8. Encourage collaborative learning with peers and parents

How long is summer break in the US?

In the US, the summer break is usually two and a half months long. The new school year typically starts between end of August and early September.

What are some practical tips for organizing a successful summer school program?

When organizing a summer school program, it’s essential to plan a well-rounded curriculum, create a supportive and inclusive learning environment, establish clear goals and objectives, provide ongoing assessment and feedback, and ensure effective communication with parents and guardians.

How can I encourage my child's enthusiasm and active participation in summer school?

Foster your child’s enthusiasm and engagement by involving them in the planning process, incorporating hands-on and interactive activities, promoting a positive and encouraging atmosphere, celebrating achievements, and providing opportunities for self-expression and choice within the curriculum.

Can these activities be implemented in a virtual summer school setting?

Absolutely! Many of the activities mentioned can be adapted for a virtual summer school environment. For instance, DIY crafts can be done using materials easily found at home, and online classes can be structured to include interactive elements like quizzes or virtual experiments.

AUTHOR
Jill Baker
Jill Baker has been teaching for 10 years and she loves sharing everything she has learned to help other teachers.