No, I’m not trying to overheat the kiddos lol. But I am trying to stay proactive to make sure my kids continue to learn during their Summer break. Two ways that I’ve been filling in the gap is by encouraging more reading and STEAM play. *This post may contain affiliate links to some of my favorite retailers. While it doesn’t cost you anything to click, this blog could earn a small fee when you use one of my links to buy. So, thank you!
One of the ways I like to encourage reading in our home is by making regular trips to the library to load up on books and pre-loaded tablets. This is something I try to do weekly.
For my preschooler, checking out 4-5 books at a time seems to be working well. She still receives free books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library each month. But library trips give her a chance to handpick her books and have a little fun with ABC Mouse on the library computers.
Now, my 11-year-old is a different story. I try to encourage him to take out at least 7 at a time. Because I already know a few of his choices will probably end up being superhero comic books. Taking out at least 7 will ensure that he’s getting in enough chapter books to get him through the summer.
What Are STEM and STEAM?
If you’re not familiar with the acronyms STEM or STEAM, simply put, these are any play or educational activities that support the following disciplines.
- Arts or
Some of the ways we’ve been keeping STEAM alive in our playtimes is with things like sidewalk chalk art shows, tablet games & puzzles. We’ve been playing with mechanical building kits, playdoh structures and learning how to animate paper drawings with projector sketching/mobile app animation.
Fun Summer STEAM Activities
Sidewalk Chalk Art Shows (Art)
Lately, the kids have been outside making creations on the sidewalk with their chalk. Once they’re done with their pictures, I snap pics of them so I can use them later for another cool project or summer memories album. I was able to find this 20 piece chalk set at DollarTree for $1.
Tablet Games & Puzzles (Tech)
When we’re out and about and the kids start with the “I’m bored’s” I like to let them have their devices to keep them busy. As long as they’re preloaded with things that aren’t just mindless, we’re cool. I like to make sure they have plenty of brainteasers, puzzles and educational shows to watch.
Mechanical Building Kits (Engineering)
I’m not sure if he ever got this thing to walk up the windows but it actually does walk and get around. Took a little time and effort to build but my son seemed satisfied when it was done. You can build 7 different projects with this one kit. Geckobot retails for $49.95
Outdoor Exploring & Play (Science)
I try to use everyday opportunities as a chance to learn. On this occasion, the kid’s noticed a tree with some odd-looking “seeds” on it. My daughter found these scattered all over the ground. So I showed them how we could hop on Google Images to find out what they are.
We snapped a quick pic and uploaded it to Google images search. We found out that these hold Black Walnuts inside. During harvest, you crack these open and take out the black walnuts still in the shells. Then you dry them out for a period before they are ready for eating.
Playdoh Structures (Math/Engineering)
Playdoh is another fun way of introducing math concepts to my daughter. We talk about shapes, do simple fractions and build structures. Plus, she gets to squish and mold things with her hands.
Projector Sketching/Mobile App Animation (Art/Tech)
This is a new toy we’ve been playing with lately. It’s called the Smart Sketcher Projector. This one kit has over 50+ STEAM activities. It also has a free mobile app. Smart Sketcher retails for $59.95
There are so many activities out there to help fill our kids’ Summer, school breaks and free time with fun and learning. I hope these ideas inspired you to try some of these out with your kids or little ones in your family.
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What are some of your favorite STEM or STEAM activities?