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WOSU is here to help fight summer brain drain with fun and engaging educational activities to keep students excited to learn all summer long!

Brain drain, or summer learning loss, is a well-documented phenomenon that has plagued educators and caregivers for over 100 years. Luckily, in today’s digital age, it’s easier than ever to find ways to keep students engaged and learning throughout summer break. Learning opportunities are all around us, and keeping students on track in their learning can be as easy as reading with them daily, helping them practice math facts, and finding real-world applications for the things they’ve learned in school.

We’ve assembled a collection of fun, yet educational, activities families can do together to extend learning throughout the summer. All of the resources below are free, easy to use, and have been vetted by our educational team. For educational games, check out the PBS Kids website, and check out our newsletter for app recommendations

Learning Tip: Feel free to try activities outside your child’s grade band! Trying something a little advanced will help them grow, and revisiting something they’ve previously learned will help reinforce facts and skills.

Here are a few fun activities to engage and expand little minds. You can find even more fun educational activities in our newsletter archive.

Getting Started in Coding
This link leads to a series of free games from Tynker, which will help kids learn the fundamental problem-solving skills they need to begin computer coding. There are a variety of games for kids from Kindergarten through High School!

Do Try This at Home!: Make a Boat | The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
Will a toy car float? How about a tin pie plate? In this short video from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Nick and Sally test some objects in their backyard wading pool, to see what will float and what won't. 

Zora Neale Hurston | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
Join Xavier and his friends as they travel back in time to meet Zora Neale Hurston, a famous writer, to learn how she shared her stories.

Arthur’s Park Game
Practice taking action to improve your world by playing Arthur's Park, a digital game from the PBS KIDS series ARTHUR. In order to create a new park in an empty lot, Arthur has to make a speech to raise awareness, hold a bake sale to make money, and then equip the park. As children play each round, set in a board game format, they accumulate stars that they use to “buy” what they need for a new park. They also recognize the importance of making a plan to achieve one’s goals. 

Jumping Jack Challenge
Doing jumping jacks helps your child build muscles and get his or her body ready for the day, and counting the jumping jacks builds math skills!

What Does Recycle Mean? | Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
Teach kids what it means to recycle and help them understand the importance of cleaning up with their friend, Daniel Tiger!

Here are a few fun activities for engaging growing minds. You can find even more fun educational activities in our newsletter archive.

 

Measuring Length Precisely | Cyber Chase
The CyberSquad must figure out how long to make a piece of rope by using the figure out how long the rope must be by using what they know about other measurements and the relationships among them.

ReThink and ReUse Center Field Trip
At the ReThink & ReUse Center, Penny and the KidVision VPK Kids turn trash into learning treasures!  They build mazes from tubes, structures from discarded materials, create games from bottle caps, and a sink and float activity using found trinkets.

Storytelling with Words and Pictures
In this interactive lesson, students learn the basics of how stories are structured, gain vocabulary about storytelling elements, and explore how the arts, specifically drawing, can be a valuable way for students to tell stories.

NOVA | Dolphin Reading Test
We know dolphins are smart, but can they read ? In this NOVA video animal trainer Teri Bolton, from the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras, has trained Cedana the dolphin to perform specific actions when seeing certain two-dimensional symbols. It appears that Cedana has learned to read, another sign of intelligence.

Nature Cat | DIY | Sail Away with the Nature Cat Crew
Join the Nature Cat Crew and catch some wind! Gather items found in nature and make your own breezy sail boat! Using items found in nature (sticks, leaves etc), children will learn how to make their own sailboats!

Getting Started in Coding
This link leads to a series of free games from Tynker, which will help kids learn the fundamental problem-solving skills they need to begin computer coding. There are a variety of games for kids from Kindergarten through High School!

Here are a few fun activities for expanding your students' growing minds. You can find even more fun educational activities in our newsletter archive.

Coding with Minecraft
If your kids love Minecraft - this is the perfect one-stop-shop for engaging and effective tutorials. Not only will students gain a better understanding of how to modify their favorite game, but they’ll be building essential coding skills while they’re at it!

Dunk Tank!: Mean, Median, Mode & Range
In this interactive game, learners explore mean, median, mode, range, and how to recognize which central tendency best represents a set of data. 

The Belly Buster Pizza Puzzle
Doubling something isn't always easy! See if you can figure out why if Tito sells his new pizza for $19.99 he'll be in trouble. Use what you know about area, rates, and proportions to figure out how much Tito should charge or what the dimensions of the new pizza should be in this real world application of math.

Getting Started in Coding
This link leads to a series of free games from Tynker, which will help kids learn the fundamental problem-solving skills they need to begin computer coding. There are a variety of games for kids from Kindergarten through High School!

Grace Abbott | Unladylike2020
Examine the life and legacy of the health, labor, and immigrant rights reformer Grace Abbott in this resource from Unladylike2020. Born into a progressive family of abolitionists and suffragettes in Nebraska, Abbott made it her life’s work to help those in need—focusing on fighting for the rights of children, recent immigrants, and new mothers and their babies. 

Names of Quadrilaterals
Rectangles, parallelograms, rhombi, oh my! Learn the names of all the special quadrilaterals with this interactive video from the School Yourself Geometry series.

DIY Projects for Teens and Tweens
This collection of awesome activities is sure to pique your student’s interest! This collection features a wide variety of crafts that students can use to express themselves artistically, make fun and functional gifts, and build essential problem-solving and planning skills

Intro to App Lab
This intro to app coding will give you everything you need to know to build your own apps in no time!

Making Cents: Financial Literacy Skills
With this video series, teach teens and pre-teens how to manage their money and foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

Anna May Wong | Unladylike2020
In this resource from Unladylike2020, learn about actress Anna May Wong--the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star, producer and one of the most influential style icons of her time. Throughout Wong’s career, she encountered racism and stereotyping in the roles she was offered, but in the end she found a way to flourish as an actor on her own terms starring in 60 films. 

16 Genius Ways to Re-Purpose Trash From Around Your Home
The title says it all! These fun crafts will get you thinking about how to reuse common household items and help you become a more conscientious consumer.

Is There Life In Space
Discover how scientists find planets and other astronomical bodies through the wobble (also known as Doppler spectroscopy or radial-velocity) and transit methods. Then you will compare zones of habitability around different star types, discovering the zone of liquid water possibility around each star type. Finally, you will explore how scientists use spectroscopy to learn about atmospheres on distant planets. 

Playing with Shakespeare’s Language
Using video from Great Performances: Much Ado About Nothing, students will examine the use of language in Shakespeare’s play through analysis of a contemporary production. 

Getting Started in Coding
This link leads to a series of free games from Tynker, which will help kids learn the fundamental problem-solving skills they need to begin computer coding. There are a variety of games for kids from Kindergarten through High School!

 

You can find even more fun activities in our weekly newsletter! View past issues of the newsletter and sign up to receive it in your inbox!