a father and daughter doing a crossword puzzleSchool year schedules keep students busy with a wide variety of educational and extra-mural activities. These include sports practices, classes, homework, club meetings and more. Summertime, on the other hand, is a time for fun, recreation and relaxation. Yet, it does not mean the period should be entirely a learning wasteland.

Children’s brains can be kept active with non-traditional educational experiences. From puppet theaters and backyard gardens to crafts and scrapbooks, there is a wide array of stimulating activities from which to choose.

It is often tempting for kids to spend hours playing video games or watching television. As a result, teachers spend a significant amount of time every fall reteaching topics that students have forgotten during the break. Our private tutors have told us that the most common subjects for students to struggle with when they get back to school are Math as well as reading and writing.

It has been reported that some children lose the equivalent of one to two months of educational skills during summertime. With innovative planning, summer can be turned into a time to engage in fun hobbies and build on basic skills learned during the school year. The effect is cumulative since kids who stay mentally active generally score well on standardized tests.

1. Get theatrical

Give the kids an opportunity to create their own puppet theater by either drawing faces on fingers or cutting off finger-ends of old gloves. Children can act out based on their own creative stories. It is also practical to use books containing scripts designed for kids.

2. Cooking lessons

Teach children how to cook using step-by-step lessons. A number of websites provide access to simple recipes and lessons that also incorporate safety tips, reminders and suggestions for working with kids. Libraries and bookstores are good sources of children’s cookbooks.

3. Make a cartoon flip book

Cartoon flip book projects are fun and stimulating for children of varying ages. You can use a notebook or staple together pieces of paper. Let your child draw a sequence of cartoons that help simulate motion.

4. Create musical instruments

Use a wide variety of musical instruments to create visually appealing musical instruments, such as a box guitar, rain stick, maraca and more.

5. Go on a Light Walk

Embarking on a Light Walk outing provides a superb opportunity for kids to learn about the properties of light, including the solar system. It can be done online or offline.

6. Visit a glassblowing studio or a jelly bean factory

Stimulate kids’ minds by visiting places where they can learn about how things are produced. Some good examples include a glassblowing studio and a teddy bear factory.

7. Go treasure hunting at the museum

Consider exploring a museum by either visiting one in your area or taking a virtual tour. To keep kids interested, try turning the trip into a treasure hunt to find fascinating exhibits.

8. Start a rock collection

Collecting rocks is a sure-fire way to teach children about different types of rocks. The U. S. Geological Survey has a website that provides useful guides on how to collect, identify and store a variety of rock specimens.

9. Catch a firefly

Find and catch a firefly and help kids learn more about different species. There are many books and online resources that provide detailed, accurate information about fireflies.