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Summer Activities for Middle School Students

Emma Cummings

image of teen on slip and slide with text overlay 22 summer activitiesfor middle school students. Fun Summer activities for kids and teens.

Fun Summer Activities for Home School Kids & Teens

Summer has to mean quality family time, and hopefully outdoors. As we take our summer break and take time to relax and rest it is an essential time to create memories. From young children, to primary-age kids, middle school students, and high schoolers, summer is about family connection and time with friends. As our kids grow older, it can seem harder to find family activities and summer programs to keep everyone happy. It seems all too easy for our middle schoolers and teens to gravitate to screens, even in the summer months. However, we all know how detrimental screen time can be for all of us, therefore plan things to minimize the impact of screen time on family life by planning summer activities for middle school students your whole family will love.

End of School Year Activities

As we wind down for the year, mark the end of another year with summer activities for middle school students by doing a special research project, or going on field trips. The final weeks of school are also a great time to try classes you may be thinking about for next school year. Download sample lessons of curriculum and try different things out! Most course providers have free samples of their classes. It also allows you to try new subject areas without the outlay of an expensive class.

Mark the end of the year with fun summer school activities with friends, for example a homeschool picnic.  This brings kids of all ages together. Or go on a homeschool group hike together. You could allow older kids to lead their own hike. Have an end-of-year sports day for your homeschool group, with races for the kids; you could incorporate a scavenger hunt into the day as well.

Math & Art Activities

Do math games to consolidate learning and review key maths skills at the end of the year. Math games can be created cheaply by using natural materials like shells, pine cones, pebbles etc. Or do an end-of-year maths project to enhance mathematical thinking skills. These can be more challenging, but as a break from your usual curriculum bring variety and a new interest to make it a great way to end the year.

Do an end-of-the-school-year large art project. Choose an artist to look at their life and work. Even plan a visit to an art museum Use the artist to inspire your own creative project. The Impressionists are wonderful artists to study through the summer, for example Monet, Matisse, Cézanne all have great summery art.

Close the year with a summer poetry tea time. Have everyone choose a poem to read, and serve some yummy treats. This could be turned into a poetry picnic. Poetry tea time can be made more memorable by serving the tea in real china cups. Perhaps create a traditional afternoon tea party.

Have a day of STEM challenges. Do a project using the Crest Award to mark the end of the school year. Crest has a huge number of great science experiments for all ages, these hands-on learning experiences help build critical thinking, problem-solving and teach things like the scientific method.

Fun Summer Activities for Middle School Students

Summer Holiday Activities for Families

Most families want to limit video games and maximise quality time outdoors in the summer. To help achieve this goal, involve the children in the planning. Create a family summer bucket list of activities everyone wants to do over the summer. By creating this at the beginning of summer, you can look at your schedule and be intentional as to how you will do these things. Add them to your diary and budget them into your summer expenses. This does not have to be really expensive, explain the budget you have as a family. For middle school kids, this planning and budget can be a great activity in itself as it is teaching them life skills. Although the kids, and us home school mum’s need a break from formal learning, great learning happens all the time.

Do historical field trips. If you have been studying a particular period, look for historical days out that will tie in with this era of study. This may be castles, local museums, battlefields, churches, or monasteries. To make this more affordable look at getting a family membership for local heritage organisations in your region. This can give discounted or free access to their properties and events.

Do a summer-themed book club. Join with other families and meet once a week to discuss the books you have read. You could have a geography theme, where you read a book from a different continent every week, and join together to discuss it afterwards. To increase the fun, eat food for the country or region you have been reading about.

Summer Activities for Middle School Students To Get Your Family Outside

Spend time doing physical activities. Go on family hikes, or bike rides, this is great for everyone’s health and wellbeing as well as creating lasting memories. Challenge your teens to do something outdoors every day, before they turn to screens or video games. Challenge them to do an hour of sports, cycling, or skateboarding every day. There are often local sports classes through the summer holidays, check your local leisure centres to see if there is anything on offer. Teens can also create their own physical fitness routine at home.

Invest in outdoor games, or make your own. If you have friends for a BBQ, spend time playing outdoor games in the same way you would board games in the winter. Games are great fun and can be great for problem-solving, and fine motor skills. These are engaging ways to bring people together of all ages.

If the weather is hot, build a summer slide in the garden. This can be made with sheets of plastic, a soapy solution, and a water hose. A slippy slide is so much fun and a great way to cool off in the heat. Have a water fight at the same time! These are the things that stick in your child’s memory, and they will retell in years to come.

Science & Nature Activities

Do some summer-inspired science activities. Making your own ice cream in a bag with salt and ice cubes is a great activity, and tastes amazing, Doing homemade ice cream, in general, is fun, and you can control the ingredients that go in it. Another great science experiment is to make a solar oven using an old pizza box. Around the summer solstice, take part in the Schools Observatory’s Solstick experiment. This allows you to take your own measurements to calculate the circumference of the earth.

Take time on a summer hike for nature study. Visit different habitats, from woodland, hillside, moorland, and coastal, this way you experience the variety the natural world has to offer. Take art supplies and nature journals to sketch and write about what you see. Simple nature journaling is a good way to keep writing skills fresh through the summer weeks. If possible take a family camping trip, so you can sleep outdoors, under the night sky.

Learn campfire cookery! Marshmallows toasted on a fire is one thing, take time this summer to learn to cook a meal on an open fire, or make bread and bake it on a stick. Only ensure you light a fire responsibly, do not light a fire inside a forest. This is an important skill to master, and to teach your kids how to do so safely.

Summer activities also don’t need to be complicated, simple things like a regular visit to the local park or library; so keep your art supplies stocked up for a rainy day art day. Having days where you simply potter, where the kids have room to be bored and to make their own fun are all essential.

Practical Tips for Making Days Out Fun

Some of the best days will be those deliciously warm days of summer, where you go away for the day and, don’t find your way home until bedtime. To maximize such days, there are a few tips to help. Pack lots of snacks and drinks. The night before fill a large bottle with water and put it in the fridge, so you have a frozen bottle of water to take with you, to refill water bottles through the day. Pack the essentials: suncream, hats, waterproofs etc.

Invest in a rucksack for all the members of the family, so everyone carries their own food and water. That way you can go further. Take a small selection of toys, or books for younger children. Even if you do not intend to go in water, it is always wise to have a towel and change of clothes in the car. For longer days out, look beforehand where there are toilets located, so you can plan accordingly.

Summer Reading List

Summer can be a time to discover new books. Encouraging your children to read through the summer months helps maintain their reading grade level, it also encourages them to be readers, for the love of reading. As a family, read aloud together, and create a family culture around great books. Visit a local independent bookshop and allow each child to pick out a good book. If you have kids who are struggling readers, try graphic novels. Download audiobooks for longer road trips to enjoy as a family.

Great Summer Reading for All Ages

  • Ann of Green Gables by L M Montgomery. Ann of Green Gables is a true classic, the writing is exquisite! The beautiful, descriptive prose makes for a wonderful summer read.
  • A Girl of Limberlost by Gene Stratton. Another beautifully written story, rich in the natural world.
  • The Green Ember by S D Smith. If you love Narnia, then this is a great series. The Green Ember follows the adventures of Heather and Picket. Two rabbits who find their lives turned upside down as kingdoms rise and fall, the siblings find they are in the heart of the fight for freedom in the face of tyranny.
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. This is a stunning story about a boy who leaves home to live alone in the wild. Sam tames and trains a peregrine falcon chick, Frightful, to hunt for him. The story tells of their bond and the adventures Sam has as he learns to survive on the side of a mountain. It comes with a warning though: your child will want to learn to live off the land, build dens, and generally become wild and untamed!
  • The Wingeather Saga by Andrew Peterson. This is another series which will delight any lover of Tolkien or C.S. Lewis. The Wingfeather Saga is pure adventure, and has a growing fan base!

Families Can Enjoy Summer Activities for Middle School Students

As families, we understand the importance of being together, living life, loving well, and connecting with friends and family. Summer is key in doing all these things. This summer be intentional to invest in each child; choose activities which will delight their heart. Prioritise eating good food together, listening to inspiring stories, and soaking in beauty. Allow your children to see you delight in the world around you, and show them that they are the most awesome people you know. Also, take time to rest as a mother. Find things which bring you to a place of rest, and do something which delights your heart as well. By doing so, you will be filled with new wonder and joy to begin formal learning again at the end of summer. Seek to make summer a time to disconnect from screens, and connect in real life with each other.

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