Minnesota Council for the Gifted & Talented

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Summer Choices for Elementary School Kids

Compiled by Martha Palm, Edina Public Schools

  1.  Math is always best played with to help the kids become flexible with mathematical thinking.  There are a couple of really good sites that have some fantastic ideas for activities
    • nRich Primary Math – is a British based site with just about everything but the kitchen sink.  There are interactive links, and ideas to do things outside.  Take a look!
    • Illuminations Interactive for K-2 – this site is from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  There are many free interactive games here that are for free, but also there will be things only members have access to.  Still, it is worth a look.  
    • YouCubed is a website supported by Stanford University in California.  I have linked the activities slotted for grade one learners.  This site is fantastic about helping kids learn how to think mathematically.  
    • Happy Numbers –  Free until the end of June.  This is a site that will help the kids learn any skills they might be missing by playing games.  Most kids think it is pretty fun. 
  2. Reading and Language Arts Activities for the summer.  
    • YouTube – Child Read Aloud  I really like going to YouTube and search up the title of a book, and then “Read Aloud”  I get all sorts of people reading, from teachers to grandparents, to kids.  I am still waiting to see a famous person reading; I know they are there, but I just haven’t found any yet.  
    • Create an art/writing journal recording what this summer of social distancing is like for them.  What do they do?  What wildlife do they see/hear? What food do they eat?  How is this different from other summers?  How do they help?  What are they grateful for?
  3. Science – summer is all about exploring in nature.  It is so great for the kids.  Here are some resources to help you. 
    • One of my favorite things to do is to take a 1 foot field trip.  Get a string to mark where they will explore (1 foot).  Get a magnifying glass.  Then make sure they have a journal for them to record what they saw.  Insects, vegetation, evidence of animal activity, etc. 
    • My next favorite thing to do is play on the beach.  There are so many interesting questions about sand.  What is it made of? How do you build with it?  Here is a site that has some good questions and experiments with sand.  Have some sand fun!
    • How can I have so many favorite activities in science?  Don’t know the answer to that, but bubbles have to be another top contender.  Steve Spangler is always a great one to help you with science experiments at home.  He has lots and lots of ideas for kids.   
    • National Geographic Kids often has really cool science videos for kids
    • Often the public TV station PBS has good ideas for activities.