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6 ways to keep kids thinking this summer

Have fun and keep your kids sharp at the same time this summer with the terrific learning activities. PS: These are so much fun, the kids won't even realize they are learning!
Becky Rickman, FamilyShare Modified: May 31, 2014 at 12:02 am •  Published: June 6, 2014

Kids lose a lot of what they have learned over the course of summer vacation. It just happens. They get busy and focus on fun and have to refresh and re-learn a bit when they go back to school in the fall.

Here are some great ideas for keeping your kids sharp during summer vacation. It is a lot more fun that workbooks or essays.


No matter what level of math kids have achieved, their knowledge is put to good use in things like working on family or personal budget, cooking, creating and shopping. Have them set up a budget for their allowance or earnings and stick with it over the summer. Encourage them to add to savings and even give a little to charity.

Take their favorite recipe and have them multiply it by 1.5 or double, depending on how skilled they are with measurements. Allow them to design and build something three-dimensional out of wood, paper, fabric, or some other craft material, but have them make up a blueprint or pattern first, complete with measurements, utilizing their geometry skills.

Let them do some of the grocery shopping, estimating how much things will cost before the excursion and then seeing how close they come to their estimate. Play Monopoly or Life or some other board games that require financial decisions. Play a game like Uno or Racko that lasts the whole summer. Have them keep a running total and see how high the scores go.


Let them plan a family virtual trip by using map sites on the Internet. Let them estimate mileage and hours driven each day. Help them create a trip budget, including gas, lodging, and food (throwing a little math in.) Teach them to plot out the route and decide what sites to stop and visit. If they are older, have them figure the shortest route to hit 49 or even all 50 states, stopping for a visit in each capital.

If they are really adventurous, have them visit Europe or the Middle East or South America and create a tour of the highlights of each continent. Have them find what languages they would need to know and what currency they would use to make purchases. Have them present a slide show of their trip to the family, one child each week. Let them cook a dish from their favorite "destination."


This one is oodles of fun—from kitchen science to biology to even astronomy, chemistry, or physics. Choose appropriate activities for their age and turn them loose. Here are some great kitchen science projects and YouTube is full of amazing videos of things to do in this course of study.

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