By Amy Vickrey, MSE
With summer comes thoughts of outdoor activities and fun. For those that live in states where there is snow and ice for many months out of the year, it is a time that allows for nature and exploring that is otherwise unavailable. For those in the south, some of these activities could be enjoyed year round. Whatever your timeframe or location, here are some activities to consider as you start planning out your summer.
- Stargazing – This can either be done as part of a unit study or as just a night or two to lay under the stars and look at the sky.
- Camping – This may go along with stargazing or just on its own. There are a lot of life skills, science, and history lessons that can go with camping.
- Fishing – Learn about the types of fish that live in your area, catch and release, or learn to cook and clean as part of life skills!
- Nature walks – There are an abundance of local, state, and national parks in many areas that allow for nature walks and exploring. Some offer campsites and other amenities.
- Play hide-and-go-seek – Do this either during the day and at night!! Talk about how different animals use different techniques to “hide.”
- Watermelon seed spitting contest – (Okay, this may not be totally educational, but you can measure the distance!!)
- Feed the ducks at the local pond.
- Fly kites – There are several different online tutorials if you decide to make one instead of buy one.
- Write or stage your own play.
- Create your own “movie” – There are lots of editing software out there for free or that are inexpensive.
- Bicycle ride – Whether you go around the neighborhood or at a local park this can be a lot of fun.
- Plant things – Grow a garden (you can use various containers), plant trees, flowers, etc.
- Study different birds, butterflies, etc. for your area – You can even plant specific plants to attract them!
- Camp inside (the cousins do this at our house regularly) – Put out the sleeping bags, make some snacks, and watch some movies!!
- Eat popsicles outside! Talk about why they melt so quickly (if they don’t eat them first).
- Sidewalk chalk to draw, do math, write spelling words, etc.
- Have a picnic at the local park or in your yard.
- Play sports and simple games outside.
- Pick summer wildflowers, press them, and make art with them (make sure they are not protected – in Texas it is illegal to pick bluebonnets, for example).
- Create (you can even have the kids design it on graph paper) an obstacle course or mini golf course.
- Listen to a book on tape or have a read-aloud outdoors.
- Visit the farmers market in your area.
- Take writing outside! Use a notebook or clipboard for convenience.
Enjoy the time outside this summer! Taking the learning outside creates a wonderful, fresh approach to the many skills we work on year round! Enjoy the warm weather!