A Free Summer Learning Resource Guide

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It’s hard to believe that summer is finally here! It brings more sunlight, a slower pace, and the kids are home from school. That last one is a gift, but can also be stressful. How do I keep these kids busy and engaged?! Most children have about ten weeks off from school during the summer. While that break is welcomed and well-deserved, it can also create learning loss. In a recent study published in the American Educational Research Journal, the average student loses 17–34% of the prior year’s learning gains during summer break. I’ve scoured to find some amazing ways to keep kids having fun AND learning, And the greatest part?! Each summer resource is FREE!

Busy Toddler’s Summer Camp at Home

Susie, the founder of Busy Toddler, is all about bringing play and hands-on learning back into childhood. She is a phenomenal resource for incredibly fun activities for kids starting at one-year-old all the way up to big kids. She created a six-week-long Summer Camp at Home. This is a free summer resource you need! It’s full of family fun! Each week is a different theme. 

During the summer camp, each week has a handout with the activities and supplies listed. One of my favorite parts of the one-page handout are a couple of extra activities. Some of them are art, writing, etc. Everything you need is right on the page! These create an entry point for more learning, experimenting, and fun together. As a bonus, they are adaptable to any age!

Local Passport Family

Preethi is the woman behind the Local Passport Family. Her family travels locally and globally and she seeks to provide families with resources on adventure and culture. I have used her website, Instagram, and blog for many things. However, the A-Z Global Children’s Bookclub was one of my favorite things I’ve used with my boys. It’s a perfect summer resource. 

Twenty-six countries are part of this amazing free resource (one for each alphabet letter). Each country has picture book resources, virtual field trips, and an art or STEM activity. My family participated in the Global Children’s Bookclub and took it slowly by only doing one country a week. We all, myself included, learned so much! I checked out books about Brazil, Ethiopia, Morocco, and Wales from the library as well. As a result, we’ve added a few countries from the book club to our travel bucket list. 

Days with Grey Summer Activities 

kids doing art together

Days with Grey is run by Beth as she showcases amazing experiences for toddlers and beyond. She is famous on Instagram for her “Breakfast Invitations” which are quick and easy activities to have children explore when they first wake up so you can enjoy a calm breakfast or morning cup of coffee. As a former teacher, Beth knows age-appropriate fun things to do that will keep kids engaged and also learning. 

She rounded up a wonderful summer list with 30 Activities! In these are practice with fine-motor skills, cooperative play, counting, sorting, and great practice with art supplies. A favorite is using a spray bottle filled with diluted paint or water colors to make beautiful art on paper, canvas, or linen out on the grass. She has several ideas of how to use ice in play. There are many games including using chalk to make an outdoor maze. 

Khan Academy/Khan Academy Kids

It’s wonderful to have a screen time choice that is full of learning; Khan Academy and Khan Academy Kids is such a good fit! Khan Academy Kids is a free app for younger children (preschool through second grade) or use their website for older children. The app has cute characters and many choices to practice skills in phonics, spelling, reading, counting, and logic. There are even books to read! Khan Academy kids is great anytime, but it seems especially useful as a summer resource. 

The Khan Academy website has courses in all subjects. I was especially interested in their courses in life skills, social/emotional learning, and computer programming. One of the things I loved the most was their “get ready” math courses which are set up to get you ready for your next grade of school. Even a few minutes a day on this program will help supplement your child’s learning loss tremendously during the summer months. 

Simply On Purpose Magic Summer Question

Kids cooking eggs together

Ralphie at Simply On Purpose sets out to enrich children’s lives through positive parenting techniques. She teaches parenting courses and workshops that help bring more calm, safety, and fun into your home. Ralphie shared he would use workbooks and learning activities that were parent-driven because she was afraid of her kids losing their gains from the school year. Frustration set in when her girls ultimately weren’t engaged. 

Instead, she began asking her kids a big question as they started their summer, “What do YOU want to learn?” Maybe the answer was baking bread or tying shoes, or about frogs that live in the rainforest. Ralphie then supported her children in learning the things they were curious about. Ralphie found that was much more enriching and learning-filled than any of the math facts sheets she was making her kids do before. This is a kid-centered approach to learning and sounds so inspiring! Read more in a blog she wrote about 3 Best Secrets to Planning an Easy Intentional Summer.

Each of these free resources helps learning to happen this summer! In addition, they each allow for more play, more fun, and more family time. Being able to squeeze in special moments with our children is one of the biggest gifts of summer.

For more local summer fun, check these out:

How do you keep your kids from losing the things they learned during the school year? Be sure to check out Tips for Adjusting to Summer Break to have the best summer ever!

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