15 Ideas for Summer Activities In The Classroom

Raise your hand if you’re an ESY teacher. If that’s you, know that you’re in a very special club! It’s is an exciting time where learning, growth, and magic continue to occur in the classroom. Yes. Even despite the heat. It can, however, be tricky to come up with ideas for summer activities that will keep your students excited about being in school. But don’t fret, my friend! I’ve come up with a list that will help.

Check out our roundup of summer crafts, science experiments, and recipes to keep your students engaged and enthusiastic.  

Summer Crafts for Kids

Incorporate some sea life into your plans with this Scrape Painted Jellyfish Windsock from our friends over at the Kids Craft room. Anytime process art is involved in a craft, we are all in! And this adorable creature doubles as whimsical classroom decor. For some lesson extensions, check out our variety of ocean-themed adapted readers here.

Battle the heat with this simple Summer Fan Craft. Grab some paint, a paper plate, and a few popsicle sticks for this functional craft that will keep students cool all summer long! 

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that kids love s’mores (and so do teachers)! Create an adorable s’mores craft using supplies you likely already have in your classroom. This sweet craft is bound to make your students smile. If you want to turn this sweet snack into more than just a quick craft, read “123 Make a S’more With Me” by Elizabeth Gauthier and grab our book companion set

Put pattern-making skills to the test with these melted bead suncatchers. While the perfect pattern isn’t necessary for a beautiful end-product, it’s always great to practice the skill! Note: You do need access to an oven for this craft, so keep that in mind while planning. 

This easy Magic Wand Reading Pointer doubles as a craft and a tool for small group instruction! Students can create their very own reading pointer using just popsicle sticks and stick-on gems! 

Summer Science Experiments

Sunscreen is a staple during the summer months. Teach your students about the importance of SPF safety with this Sunscreen Painting experiment from Team Cartwright. Then, add to the fun with our All About Sunscreen Adapted Reader

We love a good chemical reaction experiment. Help students predict and observe one firsthand with these DIY Lava Lamps. They’ll get the chance to create their own dancing lava lamps using Alka-seltzer, vegetable oil, food coloring, and a few other ingredients. 

If you were on Tik Tok last year, you might recognize this Dry Erase Experiment! Your students will be blown away as they watch their dry erase creations come to life after submerging them in water. Allow students to make predictions before doing this experiment. How many of them do you think will guess correctly?! I know I wouldn’t! 

Students can marvel at the effects of hot air versus cold air with this Hot and Cold Balloon Experiment. Create an anchor chart and fill it with students’ predictions for this exciting whole group experiment. 

Explore the mystery of ocean currents with this Ocean Currents Science Experiment from Life Over C’s. This one is quite hands-on, so I’d definitely recommend doing it in small groups! 

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Summer Visual Recipes 

Bring cooking fun to the classroom with some summery visual recipes! Visual recipes walk students through the cooking process step-by-step with REAL photos to help boost comprehension and sequencing skills. They also foster independence and help them improve those critical life skills. In short, I’d say they’re a must!  

Everyone loves a sweet treat in the summer! Chocolate bananas are easy to make and will certainly satisfy those sweet tooths. 

Students can put their creativity to use by creating an underwater scene with these fun Sea Crackers

Apple Cookies make the perfect picnic snack, so have your students make them and take them outdoors to enjoy!

Add some fruit to the mix with personal Fruit Pizzas that are sweet to look at but even sweeter to eat. 

And lastly, make sure your students can quench their thirst with a visual recipe for Ocean Water. Just tell them to look out for the seaweed! 

Do you teach ESY or at any type of summer camp? Tell us in the comments!




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