• Keeping Kids Motivated Ideas

    Parent involvement during the summer months is crucial to student success. According to the National Education Association, “Parents who are actively involved in their children’s learning at home help their children become more successful learners in and out of school.” 

    Reading ideas:

    Set aside time each day to read. Track the books your child reads and reward him or her with a special activity or treat when he or she reaches certain milestones (for example, every 10th book). Do art projects based on favorite titles, such as drawing a favorite scene, or making paper bag puppets.

    Sign up for the summer reading program at Multnomah County Library


    More literacy ideas:


    Be sure to write a letter to your teacher- address above

    Includes some fun things that you have done this summer or questions about what your teacher likes to do in the summer.

    Math ideas:

    Monthly Calendar:  Keep the habit going.  Create a calendar with your child for the months of July and August. Start with an art project for the top part of the calendar, then have your child write the numbers on a monthly grid for the dates. Include special events or birthdays that they can cut and paste on the appropriate day. You can look up interesting events online like national donut day.

    Here is a video with 3 simple ideas for summer crafts to use as the art work for your calendar.


    This link has other ideas for summer crafts:


    Card games: Here is a link to 12 card games to play with your child


    A list of some fun and simple math activities:


    Science ideas:

    Summer is the perfect time for children to explore their extracurricular interests, like science. Here are some activities that will have children hypothesizing all the way to September.

    Map the weather: Keep a running log of the weather. Include temperature, humidity, clouds, precipitation, wind, air pressure. Can you predict what the weather will be tomorrow?

    Invent a recipe for a summer drink and share it with your friends. For example, the Citrus Sizzler: 1/2 cup Sprite, 1/2 cup pineapple juice, 1 spritz lime juice.

    Museum gallery: Collect pinecones, rocks, shells, or other natural objects to organize, categorize, and label. Present your own natural history museum.

    Hot-weather inventor: Design an invention that you can use during summer. Some ideas: sunglasses that change color from red to yellow to blue, or a new beach toy.

    Answer a question: How long does it take an ice cube to melt outside in the summer heat? In the refrigerator? In an air conditioned room?

    Float or sink: In a pool or the bathtub, hypothesize which items (soap, dry sock, bottle of shampoo, rock, etc.) will float or sink. Test your hypotheses.

    Other ideas:

    For kids on the bus or families on vacation, put those long rides to good use with activities that keep the kids busy and build reading and math skills.

    For grades K–3:

    Car bingo: Create a car bingo card with words, shapes, colors, and items that children will likely see during a trip (stop signs, billboards, railroad signs, etc.) to reinforce reading skills, math, and sight words.

    The number game: Look out the window and call out when you see one, two, three, or four of something, and so on.

    The alphabet game: One person chooses the right side of the road, and the other chooses the left. Call out objects that you see in alphabetical order (you can use a sign only for one letter). The first person to get to the letter "z" wins.

    Create a summer scrapbook. Save postcards and movie tickets, record family stories or interesting events from each day, whether you’re going on vacation or just going to your neighborhood park.

    Drawing: this site has step by step videos of many things to draw


    Family Fun Days

    We draw on personal experiences for learning in the classroom. So go out and have fun!

    • Oregon zoo
    • Plant a garden
    • Hike
    • Mural hunt
    • Bike ride
    • Try out different city parks
    • Swimming
    • Trip to the river or ocean
    • Outdoor adventures
    • Make up a neighborhood scavenger hunt
    • Build, create, design



    Make every day educational. Children learn problem-solving, math, science, and vocabulary as they help with groceries, laundry, and cooking. Make your real life relatable and tie it to learning we do at school.

    Here are additional resources that I found that may be helpful to generate more ideas:

    Most of these will need some support from an older person but they are some fun ideas in this list






    Remember, learning can happen anywhere. It does not need to happen at a table with written materials. Go out and have fun.