Want to keep your child’s brain buzzing whilst having fun? Try ‘accidentally’ learning with this guide to exploring fun things to learn in summer.

Christina in our Liverpool centre shares her thoughts on why the six-week holiday needn’t mean a break from your child making progress.

With so much time away from school, many children and parents have suffered from ‘home schooling fatigue’. Now more than ever, it can be tricky to keep everyone entertained, and cracking out that summer homework is the last thing many children want to do!

But research shows that by actively engaging in your child’s education, particularly over the holidays, you can actually have a bigger impact on your child’s attainment than school. An Explore Learning survey found that 74% of parents felt their children’s academic abilities drop by the time they return to school in September.

Fun things to learn over the summer break

In order to help every family seize the summer, we’ve collated our top tips to try ‘accidentally’ learning this summer whilst having fun together.

Learn on the road

On the way to a favourite day out? This can be an exciting opportunity to discover how to use a map to plan a route. If you need to take a long drive together, why not make the most of your surroundings as conversation starters? 

Think about making as many funny interpretations as you can of weird road signs. Turn other cars into counting games and make up sentence starters inspired by beautiful scenery.

Get outdoors

There’s so much that can be learned in the great outdoors for children! 

Try a scavenger hunt as a fun way to learn. Scavenger hunts aren’t just exciting, they put children’s literacy skills to the test by reading the instructions you’ve set for them, as well as learning about the world around them. 

You could even practice some maths at the park! Give your children a measuring tape so they can measure objects they find out and about. Get them to record the lengths of different objects, and see if they can name those objects too so they can work with both spelling and numbers.  

Head Indoors

While you probably want to make the most of the summer holidays outdoors while they last, there are going to be some rainy days here and there. Luckily, there are some great activities to do indoors.

Head to your local library and see if they have any reading programmes or reading challenges for children. Or you can create your own summer reading challenge and use a summer reading chart to keep track of your child’s reading over the summer. 

You could also try a museum visit. A lot of museums have summer activities set up for children, so why not see if any local museums have anything your child could take part in? If not, why not set up a museum challenge for your child – challenge them to find three things in the museum that they love. Give them a pad and pencils so they can write about or draw what they like.

Things to do in the summer holidays at home

Staying at home is also a great option. You can arrange a scavenger hunt at home, have a family drawing day or get children to write down various things around the house. There’s so much you can do just around the house to keep children happy and learning this summer.

A family that cooks together, reads books together

If you have any budding chefs or bakers in your house, why not get out a favourite recipe for some treats and spend an afternoon weighing, measuring and timing your bakes? You could even take this one step further and raise some money for a local charity by hosting a bake sale or coffee morning! Plenty of guidance can be found on charity webpages to help you get started. Take a look at Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity for some inspiration.

Make the most of lazy afternoons

Use quality family time during film nights as another chance to develop important skills. Particularly through asking questions, just as you would after finishing a book. Try practising their comprehension skills and challenge their imaginations by discussing alternative endings, why the film was made, the motives of main characters, etc.

Challenge reluctant readers/writers by discovering audiobooks

It’s easy to overlook the usefulness of tools like audiobooks in engaging children with literacy skills. Though children aren’t directly decoding words by reading the text themselves, audiobooks can make reluctant readers gain confidence in comprehending stories. Whilst also developing their memory, concentration and imagination. Why not make this a whole-family experience by listening and discussing the story together? 

Arts and Crafts

Children love drawing and making crafts, and this is a great activity for rainy days over the summer. Arts and crafts are a great way for children to practice their hand-eye coordination, improve their understanding of the world around them through drawing and just have fun creating. Art is a great way to turn boredom into something beautiful and creative.

New skills to learn over summer

The summer break is a great time for children to learn some new skills, and you can join in with them to make learning fun. A lot of new skills are also great ways to keep children active, ensuring they get enough exercise over summer too. Let’s take a look at some new skills to learn over summer.  

Improve vocabulary

Not necessarily a new skill, but improving vocabulary is definitely something worth working on over the summer, particularly for younger children. You can make this fun by playing word games, arranging scavenger hunts or just reading together.  

Try a new sport

There are plenty of sports out there for children to try out, they might even find one they really love. With the sun shining more regularly, the summer holidays are a perfect time for children to get outside and learn a new sport like cricket, football, tennis, baseball or many others. Sports are great to use up excess energy, keep children active and improve their coordination.  

Learn how to sew

Never underestimate how useful it is to know how to sew. Clothes are expensive and sometimes they need a button reattaching or a hole to be fixed. Teach your children the value in sewing buttons back on or being able to fix holes and rips themselves, rather than throwing away perfectly good clothing and feeding into the fast fashion industry, It goes without saying that you should always supervise their sewing, needles are sharp! But you can start off with some children’s sewing kits at first. 

Learn to cook 

A lot of children grow up never really learning how to make good meals for themselves. So get them involved in cooking meals as you’re making them. You can start simple at first, teaching them basics like making a sandwich or cracking an egg before moving on to things like baking desserts. By getting your children into cooking early, they’re more likely to be interested in trying new foods and eating healthy. 

Get into music

Has your child expressed any interest in learning music? A lot of children love the opportunity to learn how to play music. You could look at getting them a cheap pianist keyboard or children’s guitar to start. They could even learn to play outside while the weather is nice! 

Learn to dance

If the likes of TikTok have taught us anything it’s that children love to dance! Most of already knew that though, children have always loved to dance. TikTok does make a good source of inspiration for dance ideas for children though, and it’s something you can all learn together to make fun videos to remember the summer fun. 

Productive things to do during the holidays for students

As children get older, it’s worth being a little bit more productive with their summers. Of course, they can still enjoy their summer holidays but a little productivity never hurt anyone.  

Get some work experience

A summer job is a great way for teens to start understanding the value of money and getting some experience for their future careers. They’ll also need to learn how to write their CV in a way that entice potential employers, which is a very important to learn early on.  


There are plenty of charitable organisations that need extra hands over summer, and volunteering for those organisations looks great on a CV or for university applications. Why not ask your child to look into local charities that support causes they care about? They could reach out and see if there’s any volunteer work they could help with.  

Set learning goals for the next school year

While children will want to spend the summer relaxing after a tough school year, it’s worth thinking about how they can do their best in the next school year. This is particularly important for students about to go into their GCSEs. Of course, they don’t to revise too heavily over summer, but making a start by looking back on what they learned in the previous year for just a few minutes each day will help set them up for the next year.  

Should children study during the summer break?

It’s important that children keep up their learning over the summer break, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t enjoy the summer. There are plenty of ways to learn without going back into the classroom over the summer. 

Children may struggle to pick up where they left off when they go back to school in September. So, it’s important to do a little bit of learning every now and again, so they’re ready for going back to school. With online tutoring children can learn from the comfort of their own homes, and at times that work best for you and them.  

How can children study at home in summer?

Summer learning doesn’t have to mean worksheets. At Explore Learning, our tutors are passionate about inspiring curiosity and a love of learning. Book your free trial to see how we can help re-engage your child with their learning this summer.

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