A Family Summer Bucket List Full of Fun and Learning
Summer tutoring can be a great idea, particularly if your child is preparing for exams or you want to prevent summer regression, as covered in a previous blog. But in addition to tutoring, there’s a huge choice of enjoyable summer activities that can maintain and boost learning. Here’s a selection of ideas for your family’s summer bucket list…
Create a large poster or collage showing your family’s bucket list choices, involving all the family in deciding what to include.
Grow something. Indoors or outdoors. Flowers, wildflowers, succulents, fruit or vegetables. Children really benefit from the experience of nurturing plants so that they thrive and grow – and they love eating any produce they grow. Growing plants teaches children about the natural world, the biology of plants, about both responsibility, and cause and effect; if you don’t water the plants, they will die.
Eat dinner together as a family. Why not make it a tradition? Focus on conversation with no screens, share funny stories and memories; you’ll find it will boost children’s vocabulary and self-esteem.
Make and sell lemonade or cupcakes on your street. There will be lots of maths involved in both the making and the selling, as well as developing people skills and raising money, for pocket money or for charity.
Start composting at home, if you have space for a compost bin in your garden. Learn with your child about the benefits to the environment.
Get creative as a family. For something different on rainy days, try some origami – even if it’s only paper aeroplanes. On sunny days, cover the path or patio outside your home in chalk drawings. See who can draw the best portrait of your pet.
Close to Home
Join your local library and visit it together throughout the summer. Sign up your child to the 2022 Summer Reading Challenge which has just been launched with the theme of The Gadgeteers and is a great way to encourage reading.
Encourage your children to create their own treasure hunt, which will boost their planning skills, harness their imagination and practise their writing skills. Remember to provide them with some treasure to hide!
Do your children love to run, climb and swing? Make use of your local park, and if they’d like it, set them some challenges that involve counting or measuring their physical activities. If you have a Go Ape or a similar adventure venue close to you, why not see if you are as brave as your children? You could even talk about the heights, the angles and the engineering involved, if you’re not too scared once you are wearing the harness and climbing the ladder!
Historical Days Out
Many museums are free to visit, although you may need to book ahead. Most museums are too big to see everything in one visit, so make a plan before you go, and involve your children in the decisions about what you want to see.
If you live in or can visit London, the Natural History Museum and Science Museum are wonderful days out with free admission if you book in advance. (And Dippy the dinosaur is back at the Natural History Museum until January 2023!)
On a smaller scale, the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill is a lovely experience.
Out and About
Try Geocaching, a ready-made form of treasure hunt available across the UK. A geocache is a small waterproof treasure box hidden outdoors. Geocachers seek out these hidden goodies using a GPS enabled device which uses coordinates, or ‘waypoints’ downloaded from the geocaching.com website or a free geocaching app. This hobby provides fresh air and exercise and develops map skills and teamwork.
Go pond-dipping or, if you’re lucky enough to be by the sea, go rock-pooling. It’s amazing what you can see at low tide. Use an online guide or a guidebook to identify what you find and encourage your children to write about or draw what they see.
Visit a castle or a stately home. Who lived there? What was their life like? Can your children write some stories about what it must have been like to live then?
At the End of the Summer
Why not create a collage of all the summer’s souvenirs and display it in the kitchen or playroom? This will allow you all to enjoy the memories long after the days get shorter, when everyone is back at school.
We’ve suggested ways in which these activities can be learning opportunities, but don’t feel you have to draw attention to the maths, English, history or science involved. Spending time with your children during a variety of activities provides valuable learning time in its own right – exposing them to new things, talking to them, asking them questions and encouraging them to do the same. We hope you try some of our ideas and have a fabulous summer of learning and fun.