Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Looking for Educational Fun for the Summer?

Worried about brain drain setting in? Do something interesting this summer! You can have fun and exercise your brain at the same time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
  1. Create a nature walk bingo. Think of several items that you might find on a nature walk in your area. Possible items include animal tracks, oak trees, thorns, wild flowers, and mushrooms. Make up several "bingo" cards for you and a few friends. You get the idea.

  1. Make a box kite. Have you ever heard of a box kite? They don't look like they can fly, but looks are deceiving. This is a fun project!
  2. Direct a play. Find a short play script on the Internet (or write one) and get together with friends to create a show for your family members.
  3. Create a comic strip. Do you read the funny papers? Why not create your own comic characters and bring them to life? You might even find a career with this project.
  4. Stay up all night. Invite some friends to stay up all night-outside. See if you can spot some interesting wildlife, like a bat, moths, an owl, or even a fox. The wildlife potential will depend on your location.
  5. Write a story. Are you a budding writer? If so, you probably have a great story in mind but you never seem to have the time to put in on paper. Now is the time!
  6. Design a piece of clothing. This can be a simple item made from scratch or a DIY shirt decorating project.
  7. Find a foreign language email pal. If you have studied a foreign language in school, why not practice this summer with a friend from another country? Be sure to get parental involvement, just to be safe. Our Guide to German explains how to get started.

  1. Make a podcast. Is there a superstar inside of you, just waiting to break out? This is a good way to acknowledge your inner celebrity.
  2. Interview someone. Visit your grandparents or a retirement community to interview someone about his/her life. You'll discover some great stories!
  3. Research a college. Go to Peterson's and find a college of your dreams. Who knows-sometimes dreams do come true.
  4. Build a rocket. Okay-you definitely need parental guidance for this one. But it's really cool!
  5. Read at least one classic book. There is a reason that classic books have staying power. They're really interesting, and they are good for college prep, too.
  6. Record a song. You don't have to buy expensive equipment. Just get a karaoke tape and make a recording. If it sounds good, go up from there.
  7. Volunteer. Volunteer to walk your neighbor's dog, read to neighborhood kids, plant some trees-there are lots of opportunities out there. You'll gain valuable experience for your life and your college application!
  8. Create a blog. Anybody can blog these days. It's fun and educational. Just get permission from your parents first.
  9. Review your finals. No, seriously. It's a great idea to hold on to your finals and then review them at the end of the summer. It gives you a great head start to the next grade level.
  10. Keep a travel journal. If you travel with parents this summer, avoid back seat boredom with a travel journal. Keep track of all the things you see and hear on the trip. Journals are good for your brain and they're great for honing your writing skills.
  11. Learn photography. Find a cheap camera and learn basic photography by taking pictures of everyday objects.
  12. Start a business. This can by anything from a lemonade stand to a small publishing company. Learn business basics and start making some money!
  13. Create an obstacle course. Collect old clothes to put on and take off, old tractor tires to crawl through, hoola hoops to twirl--get createive! Put together a course and challenge your friends and neighbors.
  14. Design a coloring book. The great thing about coloring book design is that it doesn't require great talent. Experiment a little with outlines of buildings, animals, and people, and you'll soon be putting together your own coloring book for younger siblings and friends. It's a great way to get creative.
  15. Paint a masterpiece. Have you ever looked at abstract art and thought: "I could do that!" Why not give it a try? Buy a canvas and some paint, or use any paint left over from home projects. Put your canvas in the grass and start creating! You can use anything--including old buttons, glue, spray paint, cloth from old clothing, gum wrappers...get the idea? You'll be amazed what you can come up with--on a very minimal budget.
  16. Make ice cream. With a few basic ingredients and a zip-lock baggie, you can make your own ice cream at home. Why not create a new flavor?
  17. Make soap. You really can make your own soap at home, but the quality can range from a basic, smelly, ball of primitive stuff to really great-smelling luxury stuff. Just have a little fun or start a new and lucrative hobby!

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