This post was written by Beth Gorden of 123Homeschool4Me. Originally published July 2013.
Even if your family schools year round, like we do, you can still squeeze in a LOT of fun during a short 2-4 week break! =)
There are a lot of fun things to do during the summer – camping, swimming, grilling, fishing, and so much more. But you already know about those activities…. these are 12 fun, creative, and educational activities you may not have done!
#1 – Marshmallow Shooter
First off, marshmallow shooters are easy to make with things you have laying around the house anyway! 123 Homeschool 4 Me got them to go over 30 feet! So how are these educational? Besides being FUN, they help kids learn about angles and velocity in a practical hands-on way, and they can measure the distance they got their marshmallow to go. Time for a friendly family competition!
#2 – Summer Twister
Make an outdoor version of summer twister to get your kids up and moving in the fresh air! If you have littles you can always add sight words to your twister game!
#3 – Obstacle Course
Another activity to get your kids up and exercising is this fun pool noodle obstacle course like Train up a Child. You could also make obstacles courses with sprinklers, a slip ‘n slide and small pool, or you could drawn one on the driveway with chalk.
#4 – Solar Oven
Summertime is a great time for hands-on science experiments. Help your kids explore some basic science principles in a fun, practical way by making a solar oven. Hot dogs or marshmallows are always a big hit!
#5 – Lava Lamp
When your kids realize how cool science can be they will be begging [a mom can hope, right] for another great science experiment. Making a Lava Lamp like Come Together Kids will help your kids learn about density.
#6 – Homemade Ice Cream
Hey, cooking is a class too! Besides being a home economics class, your kids can see some scientific principles at work as they witness first hand expanding as they freeze delicious homemade ice cream. 123 Homeschool 4 Me shows how they make ice cream for $0.42 a serving!
#7 – Backyard Movie Night
Okay, this isn’t necessarily educational…. but it is a great tool to reach out to neighbors. Why not watch a movie under the stars like Housing a Forest? Take a large white sheet outside and create a precious memory. You can even show a movie like Prince of Egypt or Veggies Tales and invite some neighborhood kids to come by! It will be a tradition your kids will look forward to year after year!
#8 – Ice Boats
Learn more about the different states of matter and buoyancy with these playful Ice Boats from Reading Confetti. No special supplies needed!
#9 – Volunteer as a Family
Take the opportunity to make your time this summer really count! Volunteer with your children like 52 Brand New. Kids are way more likely to take things to heart that they see you do rather than just things you tell them they should do!
#10 – Bubble fun
Learn how colors mix with colorful bubble snakes like Housing a Forest. Then make some colorful bubble prints art like Art is Basic. Both are great ways to play, create, and intentionally enjoy your summer!
#11 – Bottle Rocket
This great science experiment is a hands-on way to help your kids understand more about pressure and how things fly. This simple-to-make DIY Bottle Rocket from Science Sparks is a blast and will engage your homeschooler’s mind during the summer!
#12 – Kid Wash
Besides being loads of fun, your child will learn to follow directions and how things fit together as they build this Kid Wash themselves. My 7-year-old built it with his Dad in an afternoon. Turn your backyard into the place to be this summer! This simple to make cooling station is a huge hit with preschool and elementary kids. There are lots of wonderful examples of these. Here are just a few to get you started: Kid Wash from Familylicious or DIY Kid Wash by 123 Homeschool 4 Me