How do you keep your children engaged while sheltering-in-place or over the summer? With a balance of activity books and hands-on activities, you can keep your kids mentally active and send them back to school ahead of the curve. These educational activity books and outdoor learning activities will provide a healthy learning balance for your children.
Hands-on Activity Ideas
Balance your workbook activities with some outdoor hands-on activities! For a fun science experiment, make a moving glacier and a mini glacier to understand how glaciers move and float in the world. (From the book Skill Sharpeners: Science grade 2)
Making a Moving Glacier
Across the world, glaciers move extremely slowly, and this experiment will help you understand how! You will need:
- Resealable plastic bag
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon white glue
- 2 tablespoons borax
- Drop of blue food coloring
- Mixing bowl
- Mix the water and glue in the plastic bag.
- Add the borax and close the bag. Knead the mixture until it comes together.
- Open the bag and add a drop of food coloring. Mix until it is blue.
- Set the bowl upside down. This is a mountain. Empty the mixture on the mountaintop, and watch as it creeps downhill, like a glacier would move.
Making a Mini Glacier
Do glaciers float on water? Follow the steps to this experiment and find out! You will need:
- Resealable plastic sandwich bag
- Jar with lid
- Clear bowl
- Fill the sandwich bag halfway with water.
- Hold the bag so all the water is in the corner. Seal the bag shut.
- Place the bag inside the jar. Let the end of the bag hang over the top of the jar.
- Screw the lid on the jar, trapping the end of the bag.
- Place the jar in the freezer overnight.
- The next day, remove the mini iceberg from the bag.
- Fill a bowl with water. Place the mini iceberg in the water.
- How much of the iceberg is above water? How much is below?
Homemade Lava Lamps
This project is fun and simple and will wow your kids! Making a homemade lava lamp is perfect for boredom prevention. You will need an empty water bottle (for each lava lamp), vegetable oil, water, food coloring, and Alka Seltzer tablets.
- Fill the water bottle a little more than halfway with vegetable oil.
- Fill the rest with water, leaving space about an inch from the top.
- Add 10 drops of food coloring (color of your choice).
- Break your Alka Seltzer tablet into four pieces.
- Drop them in one at a time, waiting for the first piece to stop bubbling before you drop in the next one (otherwise the mixture will become cloudy).
- Watch the magic happen!
Additional Activity Books for Learning at Home
Skill Sharpeners: Critical Thinking has students read a selection about animals, plants, and places in the world and then connects what they read to what they already know. Guided by the workbook, students will engage in critical thinking activities such as analyzing, application, and evaluation. Each unit also provides a hands-on or art activity to pair with the reading.
Find your students’ favorite subject in their grade level on the Teacher Direct website:
- Skill Sharpeners: Critical Thinking
- Skill Sharpeners: Reading
- Skill Sharpeners: Science
- Skill Sharpeners: Spell and Write
- Skill Sharpeners: Math
- Skill Sharpeners: Grammar and Punctuation
With these fun outdoor activities and workbooks, your children will never get tired of learning! Keeping your children engaged and learning at home will leave them a step ahead come fall.
About the Author: Christine Wooler has experience working with children as a youth soccer coach and summer camp counselor. She is currently studying English Literature and journalism in college. She enjoys exploring educational topics that help students have fun while learning.
Summer Boredom Busters and Learning Activities for Home