Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s a few weeks of fun in the sun before school starts up again. If you want to make sure your child has a fun summer that is filled with learning opportunities, there are plenty of things you can do. Here are some awesome ideas for encouraging your child’s love of learning through summer activities.

Check Out a Children’s Museum

Depending on where you live, you might have a children’s museum nearby. Even if it’s a bit of a drive, it’s often worth it for preschoolers and older kids, alike. These museums provide a wealth of hands-on activities designed for kids of all ages. They will spark your child’s sense of wonder and imagination, and they may even lead to a lifelong curiosity. Children’s museums are some of the best learning experiences out there, so check out what’s available near you and try to fit it into your summer agenda.

Create a Nature Scavenger Hunt

Preschoolers are often intrigued by nature, and they’ll spend several minutes staring at a neat bug or checking out a colorful plant. To help reinforce this love of all living things, consider putting together a scavenger hunt that you and your little one can complete together. Be sure to include things like colors and textures, too. Your list might include things like a “brown and green leaf”, a “purple flower”, and even a “bumpy twig”. These get your child’s senses firing and help him or her learn more about the world.

Encourage Your Child’s Artistic Side

Getting kids to express themselves through art is a wonderful way to encourage learning, and during the summer months, there are many opportunities to do it.

  • Draw on the sidewalk and driveway with sidewalk chalk. Later, give your child a big paintbrush and a bucket of water, and ask your child to “paint” away the drawings to clean up.
  • Buy some poster board or large sheets of paper and add some food coloring to your bubble mixture. Then, blow colorful bubbles and “catch” them with the paper for some neat effects.
  • Google easy recipes for homemade kinetic sand or silly putty, then have fun building things and tearing them apart.

Spend Time Reading

Of course, reading is a skill that you should always work on improving, even during the summer months. During rainy days or when it’s just too hot to enjoy the outdoors, choose some of your favorite books and read. A fun way to make reading time more exciting for preschoolers involves asking them to come up with alternate endings after finishing a story. Ask open-ended questions like, “What if Goldilocks liked Mama Bear’s porridge better?” or “What if Jack’s beans grew a giant bounce house instead of a beanstalk?” These give you a chance to help your child use his or her imagination, which is vital to his or her development.

Summer activities should be a mix of fun and education, and the good news here is that preschool kids are naturally curious. Think about things your child enjoys, then find fun ways to incorporate them into activities and playtime. When it’s time to go back to school, your little one is sure to be as enthusiastic as ever.