Ah, summer! School’s out! The routine is more relaxed. Kids are likely to increase their passive screen time and pool time. Maybe they will participate in summer learning programs until summer’s end. Summer is a welcome break for everybody, but if kids aren’t engaged in stimulating activities and learning, they can be affected by the summer slide that causes delays in catching up at the start of the following school year.

Many classroom teachers try to provide ideas to keep students active and learning over the summer break. What activities can be sent home for the summer? Where can parents find resources? What information would be helpful during the summer months away from the structure of school? To help answer these questions, we’ve gathered some ideas here that you can share with parents, caregivers and educational team members. Students can do some of these activities on their own, but others require adult supervision depending on individual need.

News‑2‑You Monthly Summer Editions

News‑2‑You®, n2y’s online newspaper, is delivered once a month in June, July, and August. Subscribers can access each month’s edition and download the dozens of interactive and print pages that coordinate with each monthly summer topic. Readers can enjoy their familiar classroom favorites including puzzles, jokes, games, Sudoku, recipes and more all summer long!

Tell Summer Stories in a Keepsake Journal

Have students keep a journal using an inexpensive spiral notebook or bound book of their creation. On the front, give it a title, like Adventure 2018. Inside, each page should have different action words and the experience related to each one. Tell the story of this summer on pages filled with verbs like cook, dance, walk, run, jump, skip, hop, watch, hide, cover, swim, stir, bake, eat, drink, type, point, find, search, chase, share, take, tour, cheer, sit, stand, stare, listen, speak, cut, dig, splash, build, ride, buy, sleep, camp, swing, go, read, write, count, paint and draw. Add a photo or sentence on each page. No rules, just fun! The keepsake journal can be a nice memory book as well as an engaging activity until school starts again.

Cooks in the Kitchen

Perfect a recipe. If you’re a busy parent with limited time to cook—even in summer—consider spending some time with the kids either experimenting or perfecting variations of a recipe. After choosing a dish, make a list, shop for ingredients and prepare the original version together. Then, create new variations all summer long. Does your family like nachos? Try versions such as: vegetarian, chicken, beef, pork, barbecue or even dessert nachos!

Pop It Up!

If your family loves popcorn, make it a dozen different ways and let the kids help add the toppings!

Try popcorn topped with:

  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon and sugar
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate drizzle
  • Packet of dry Italian dressing mix

Pizza Pie, Oh My!

Does your family adore pizza? Consider pizzas with traditional pizza dough, bagels, English muffins, French bread or halved zucchini with seeds removed! Discuss the tastes and the differences.

Consider trying a few of these toppings:

  • White sauce
  • Red sauce
  • Olive oil, rosemary and salt
  • Arugula and Parmesan
  • Potato, cheese and bacon
  • Pineapple and ham
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Mini meatballs
  • Taco toppings
  • Green apple and ham

After a busy and active summer day, gathering to taste a variation of a favorite treat can be memorable and fun. Does it start conversations at your house? Will it start new traditions? Will you share your discoveries? We hope so. We’ll look for your shared adventures, activities, and tasty treats online.

Tag us with #n2yNation on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to connect all summer long.

news-2-you newspaper for autism and special needs classrooms

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About the Author
Anne Johnson‑Oliss has spent more than 20 years in the special education field as a teacher, program supervisor, sales and marketing professional, consultant and business leader. In addition to teaching at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, Anne is an experienced presenter at national and international forums who has authored five books and two CDs. Anne holds several certifications in education and business, and earned a Master of Education degree from Wright State University.