Outdoor Summer Educational Game Ideas

With summer just around the corner, of course, kids (and parents) want to get outside and PLAY!  While playing outside and burning off some energy, why not make it educational, too?!  With these three simple games, any outdoor time can become a learning experience, and maybe, with just a few tricks, the kids won’t even realize it!

3 Outdoor Summer Educational Game Ideas

1. Educational Hopscotch – Turn an “oldie but goodie” into a fun learning game.  Make your hopscotch pattern however you want, and in each block write sight words, decodable text with patterns your child is working on, or maybe even basic addition, subtraction, multiplication or division facts in each square.  As your child hops from spot-to-spot, they have to read the words and/or answer the facts.  You can differentiate this for children of various ages by using different colors of sidewalk chalk for different words/facts in each space!  Keep tally marks, too, (in chalk, of course!), to keep track of how many facts you correctly answer or words you read!

2. Reading or Math Picnic –  Pack your child’s favorite lunch and head to different picnic spots.  But, instead of your traditional red/white checkered picnic blanket, make your own!  Grab a solid colored sheet from the Dollar store, an old sheet from home, or even a plain shower curtain liner.  Draw different spaces on the sheet/curtain like you would if you were making puzzle pieces.  Then, in each space, fill in letters, numbers, words or facts.  As you’re enjoying your picnic, each time you touch a space, you and your child need to read whatever is in that space! Or, while you’re at the store, grab a bean bag and take turns tossing it onto the “blanket” and read whatever is written in the space your bean bag landed on. You can also throw bean bags for each other and see who can read the fact/word your partner’s bag landed on first!

3. Beach Ball Reading or Math – Headed to the beach for the day? Grab a couple of beach balls from Walmart or the Dollar Store, blow them up, and write different skills you want to practice with your child on the ball.  For example, write sight words, math facts or even basic comprehension questions (“who are the characters,” What is the problem, how was it solved?” etc.) on each colored spot. When you catch the ball, where your right (or left) thumb lands, you have to read what is in that space!  You can even grab (or record your own) books and listen to stories while at the beach, or on the ride there, and use those to practice comprehension!
These fun, simple and engaging outside games will help you continue to promote learning over the summer, which, in turn, only helps when it’s time to start back in up August/September (Sort of like a mini ESY course)! And, as a bonus: they still keep things light and fun, because, after all, it is summer break!!

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As a parent or educator, what fun games have you used for summer learning? Please share in the comments below!

Diana Chase, M.S.

Diana Chase, M.S.

Diana Chase, M.S.

Diana Chase, M.S.

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