Summer Activities for Pre-K and Elementary School Students by: Allison Becker

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Summer can be stressful when it comes to dealing with concerns about keeping kids busy while school is out. This summer, that’s probably going to be even more true. There’s lots of conversations about learning loss and how to make up after almost a year and a half of COVID education.

However, especially for young learners, making up for learning loss doesn’t look like what we might think. Below are a few great summer ideas that can build pre-Kindergarten and elementary school age kids up after a couple tough years of education.

  1. Get outside and get physical! At this age, children learn with their bodies and their senses. Exposing them to a variety of elements and places helps them practice observation. It also teaches about nature and science in practical ways. Encourage children to run around, explore using their bodies, and practice describing what they experience. Even a walk down the street is a great way to help young learners continue to develop skills and awareness!

  1. Be creative! Tapping into creativity is the best way to help children exercise their brain. Encourage a variety of ways of creating, especially ones that are hands-on. Drawing, painting, using clay, or making sculptures with household items are all great ideas. Stores like Dollar Tree or Five Below have tons of arts and crafts supplies for an accessible price. Search online for a monthly “doodle challenge” (like this one!), and spend a few minutes every day focusing on the prompt. Follow your child’s interests, especially with older elementary age kids, so they’re excited to create!

  1. Read read read! Time and time again, educators everywhere share that the most valuable thing for children’s education is reading. With pre-K and early elementary age kids, try to find a time each day where you or another older person can read aloud to them. For older elementary age kids, flip that—have them read to you! Encourage a variety of reading materials and topics. Take advantage of public library events like story times or other read-alouds. If you and your kids don’t have library cards, now is the perfect time to get them!

Summer is when kids have the most opportunity to just be kids, and these activities to help combat effects of the past school year aren’t meant to stop that! The goal is for pre-K and elementary school students to feel encouraged in a love of learning and discovery.