Your first grader made big leaps in reading and math this year! They’re probably looking forward to a break from the school routine. But don’t let your child take a complete break from learning — just make it fun!

## Learning activities for the summer before 2nd grade

1. ### I see a sight word!

These common words are all around you, and your child learned to recognize many of them this year. For practice, ask your child to call them out when you see them on billboards, at the store, in magazines, and in newspapers. Here’s a list of first grade and second grade sight words. Post them on the refrigerator and challenge your child to hunt for them all summer long.

Encourage your child to ask the librarian for help choosing new books, especially nonfiction books. Whether your child is excited about dancing, sports, insects, or dog breeds, the librarian will be able to suggest a biography or a book of facts that will interest your child. Your local library may also have summer activities, such as a summer reading program with prizes and story time. Make a point of visiting the library weekly, if you can.

4. ### Make math a special treat

You may not think of doing math problems as something to look forward to, but when they involve special time with a family member, they become a treat instead of a chore. Take the time to let your child count your change when you buy something. Ask questions like “There are 12 slices of pizza and four of us. How many slices does each person get?” Sort laundry together and match socks, count pairs, and determine how many individual socks and pairs of socks there are. If you need ideas for real-life math problems, Bedtime Math is a free app for fun, grade-appropriate math problems you can talk through with your child. For more practice, try a few first grade math worksheets for review and a few second grade math worksheets to get ahead.

5. ### Make a fun mess

Make play dough with your child (there are easy recipes online). Have your child measure out the ingredients and point out the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, a half cup and a cup. When the play dough is ready, help your child cut it into basic shapes: squares, triangles, rectangles, and circles. Have your child identify the different shapes and ask questions about what makes them different: How many sides does a triangle have? How do you know that’s a square, not a rectangle? How is a circle different from the other shapes? Then let your child squish all the shapes together into a blob and make their own creations.

6. ### How far can you kick the ball?

First graders love a good challenge, especially when you’re watching. Can your child run all the way across the park without stopping? Kick the ball all the way to the fence? Exercise is as important for the brain as it is for the body. Doing something active every day will help your child’s brain grow the connections they’ll need to become a strong learner. Check out these age-appropriate PE challenges for ideas.

Want more summer learning ideas? See our recommendations for summer learning for kids of any age and specifically for the summers before 1st grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.