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Preparing for summer learning and summer activities? These are some simple tools and tips to help plan a fun summer break!
Well, summer is officially starting…..and man it’s an interesting one this year. Since in all likelihood we’ll be home most of the time here in California…..I wanted to be sure to plan some learning activities and some fun activities we could do each day. My goal? Some online and some offline activities. Some reading, some math, some writing, some music, some art, some dance and some totally unplugged playtime.
Summer Learning and Fun: Tools and Plans
These are the materials, programs and tools we’ll be using this summer. I’ve spent some time perusing each of these, making sure that I felt they were high quality materials, and that they’re appropriate for Lydia’s age (she’s finishing kindergarten).
Summer Bridge Workbooks and Writing Tools:
Bridge Workbooks and Grade Level Review Workbooks are a great tool for summer learning. They’re a good way to facilitate a little independent learning time and for you to have a little down time. Our plan? To do about 30 minutes of workbook time a day and then a bit of writing in Lydia’s Story Notebook. That won’t be all in one sitting, it will be spread out throughout the day in smaller chunks.
Brain Quest Bridge Workbook: If you’re looking for a true Summer Bridge Workbook, the Brain Quest Workbook is a GREAT option. It’s specifically meant for being completed over one summer vacation, and has a really cute map where kids can track their progress. It’s created for the time between finishing one grade and starting another (aka summer break).
Story Notebook: One of my goals is to have Lydia write everyday. Something short. A summer journal of sorts. We ordered one of Erin Condren’s new Story Notebooks and I’m SUPER impressed with the quality. Lydia got to choose her own cover, we personalized it, and it has JUST the right amount of pages for a summer break.
Enter to win a gift card to buy your own Story Notebook here:
Materials: We are so so excited about our Summer Reading Chart and Summer Reading Club. It’s a fun set of coloring pages with the goal of helping kids keep track of how many books they read this summer (the goal is to read 100 books or 100 chapters for the chapter book readers). We have printable bookmarks and a super cute certificate for completion (you can get all the materials HERE).
Reading Eggs: I know, this is another repeat. I’ve been raving about Reading Eggs since we tried it out months ago (and you can read my full review of it in my online reading programs article). It’s a great program that kids can work through without a ton of guidance (they have a math component as well called Math Seeds). It will give your child an opening assessment so that all lessons are at their level, and I LOVE IT.
Revolution Math: Revolution Math is a new addition to our at home learning, and we are LOVING it so far. After a month of use, we’re definitely planning to continue with our weekly classes. We have a full review HERE….but to give a bit of info, these are virtual classes taught via Zoom with a live teacher. But it’s like no Zoom class I’ve ever seen. They are small, each class is for a specific age. There are cartoons, games, the kids interact with their teacher and classmates and it’s a TOTAL blast. There is an overarching story (sort of a comic bookish one) that continues week after week and the kids get to play characters. We even got you guys a CRAZY deal, you can do a month of classes (that’s four classes, one class a week) for $1. Yup, $1.
Outschool: Looking for more virtual classes? Outschool has TONS of online classes and camps for all ages that are taught via live video chat. They’ve got classes appropriate for ages 3 all the way up to 18. Everything from art classes to summer choir to coding classes (and they start at $10). We’re going to be doing a couple of art classes this summer!
World School: This app is created by a group of early childhood educators and is focused on STEAM.It’s super interactive and a great way to get some online learning in that is age appropriate (perfect for when you need to hop on a conference call or get a bit of work done yourself). I’d suggest this for preschool and kindergartners specifically!
Vooks: We’ve talked about Vooks a ton. This computer program allows kids to watch interactive read alouds of some of their favorite books.
Play Osmo: We love love love our Play Osmo. An Osmo is a device that attaches to an Amazon Fire Tablet or an Ipad. The device is an extension of the tablets camera and creates an interactive surface. Each Starter Kit (the Genius Kit for kids ages 5 and up or the Little Genius Kit for younger kids) comes with the reflector, pieces for a number of Osmo Games and a stand for the tablet. You can buy additional games to do even more with your game system or stick with the original ones. We’ll be doing some of the math games each and every day. You can see my full list of Play Osmo games and what ages they’re great for in our Play Osmo Guide.
Summer Learning Outside Activities and Hands On Activities:
It’s really important to us to have tons of outside time, craft time and time to unplug.
Sight Word Games: If you’ve got an entering Kindergarten or First Grade Student, then this is for you. Yup, the sight words. They need to learn them. I made a list of 17 sight word games that aren’t…..boring flash card practice.