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Top summer learning activities for elementary schoolers

Keep your fourth, fifth, or sixth grader sharp all summer with these fun brain boosters.

By Jacquie Goetz Bluethmann

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Game the numbers

Want to raise a math whiz? Then don’t let your child start next year behind. The National Summer Learning Association reports that, on average, students of all backgrounds lose about two months of math skills during summer break.

So when you're not romping in the sun, use indoor online time wisely with Math Playground, Funbrain, and Math Arcade, sites that turn math practice into pure entertainment. Coolmath4kids lets your number cruncher play games to learn times tables, decimals, and fractions. Visual learners can watch videos on teachertube that make learning fractions fun.

One, two, three strikes your out! America's favorite pastime is chock full of math. For inspiration, check out TeacherFirst on how to create lesson plans around baseball.

When life hands you lemon, make a young entrepreneur! The all-American lemonade stand not only teaches kids about money and sales (making change, tallying earnings), but hones communication (interacting with customers), writing (making signs), and planning skills (What else should we sell? Cookies, sno cones?) Not in a stand-friendly ‘hood? A computer-based game of Lemonade Stand allows your child to do all this virtually, too.


Jacquie Goetz Bluethmann is a freelance writer based in Detroit. She has written for  children's health and parenting magazines and blogs about both topics at Mom meets baby.

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