Bridge the Gap: Summer Activities to Prepare Your Students for Their Next School Year

Children of elementary school age are especially vulnerable to losing some of what they have learned during the previous year. Children that are low learners suffer most, and need to have stimulation and learning challenges during the summer months before they enter their new grade. The key for their success in the coming school year are summer activities that are fun and challenge them to continue to learn.

The number of fun summer activities and projects for kids is endless, but life will be a lot easier if you have projects and activities planned ahead of time. Not only should you determine what activities you are going to do but make sure you have all of the materials needed for each project or activity. If your plans include visiting a business that has limited hours, make sure you confirm their availability. That way you won't be met with locked doors and a 'closed' sign.

Learning and fun can go hand in hand. It just takes a little planning ahead and setting aside the right time, place and attitude. Activities need to be tailored to fit the child's interests as well as being age appropriate. You may have to put some thought into the planning if you have more than one child, and a variety of ages. We want to broaden the child's window to the world, but still consider what is of interest to them.

The key to make learning fun anytime, but especially in the summer, is for the parent or caregiver to have fun too. Kids know when an adult is just going through the motions and they will either act out or check out. If either of those happen, your efforts have been for nothing. With a little imagination (and a little courage) you can turn summer activities into memory making activities that will last a lifetime.

A few summer activities for children

  • Build a birdhouse out of popsicle sticks
  • Does your city have a college or university? Visit the campus.
  • Go ice blocking
  • Have a camp out in the yard
  • Have a lemonade stand
  • Have a yard sale
  • Is there an observatory in your city? Learn about the constellations.
  • Make a photo album or scrapbook
  • Make ice cream
  • Make totem poles out of paper towel rolls. Learn about Native Americans.
  • Plan a picnic
  • Plant a garden (if you don't have space, use a planter)
  • Visit the┬álibrary on a regular basis
  • Visit local attractions such as a fish hatchery, historical museum, arboretum

Summer Bridge Activities are summer workbooks that will help your child keep busy, have fun and stay on top of what he or she learned at school. The workbooks provide age appropriate learning activities and are aligned to Common Core State Standards. The workbooks are divided into three parts, one for each of the summer months. They include vocabulary, outdoor activities, science experiments and much more. Summer Bridge Activities will give you that added piece to make your summer activity planning complete.

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