The school year is coming to an end. Kids and teachers alike are ready for their well-deserved holiday. Even though students are out of school, there’s still plenty of opportunities to do creative, educational projects. Here’s some fun ideas for students to stay creative over the summer.
1. Paint fireworks
Fireworks can be an amazing show, especially seeing the bright colors fill up the summer sky. Before the school year ends, talk to your students about how fireworks are made — or send your students home with a worksheet or website to look at with their parents. Then, ask them to make their own painted fireworks for the summer holidays!
All they’ll need is some pipe cleaners, paint colors of their choice and a bit of glitter for sparkly fireworks. Fold four pipe cleaners in half and twist them together. Then fan them out to make a star.
Then, paint each of the stars “leg” a different color, add glitter and press down onto paper. You might want to mix a bit of glue in to make the glitter stick. Now, your students have created their own fireworks display!
2. Make craft stick airplanes
Have your students ever heard of the Wright Brothers? Here’s a fun little activity they can do with their parents to learn about Wilbur and Orville Wright. Afterwards, they can make their own airplanes with craft sticks, glue and non-toxic acrylic paint. Here’s how you do it:
3. Have a holiday scavenger hunt
Whether or not your students are traveling this summer, the days off from school are prime time for scavenger hunts. Teachers can decide on a new topic or choose a topic that resonated well with your students over the year. Do your students have a favorite historical lesson? Were they awestruck about space?
Once you have decided on the topic, make a list of items that your students can “scavage” over the summer. If your topic is biological habitats, for example, items on your list can include bird’s nests, burrows, ponds, etc. Then, ask your students to take a photo of the item they find over the summer, sketch it or build a model of their own. They should include a brief description of where they found it and what type of animal lives there.
4. Create a discovery jar
Teachers can ask their students to bring an empty jar with them to class. Jars can be old pickle or mayonnaise jars — whatever is available in the house. Teachers can also check their school’s recycling bins for old jars to wash out. Then, ask your students questions that they are curious about. For example, students might want to know why the leaves turn green, or why the sun sets later in the summer than the winter. Write these questions on small sheets of paper to fill the jars. Once school is out, parents can pull a question from the jar each day (or week) to teach and discover with their kids. Once parents have explored a question, kids can make a physical replica. Using the examples above, students can paint the different layers of leaves or make a model of the Earth’s axis.
5. Have a bit of online fun
It’s summertime and children should run and around and enjoy the fresh air. But, that doesn’t mean students have to fully ignore the creative, educational possibilities of apps and websites. There are tons of website dedicated to math, science, history and art that encourages students to have outside time. For example, Monarch Watch is a great, interactive site about Monarch butterflies. It has information about Monarch biology, how to grow your own Milkweed, Butterfly gardening, classroom projects, a multimedia section with drawing and photos, and more!
After learning about Monarchs on the site, students and parents can go to their local butterfly rainforest (if available) or botanical gardens to find their own butterflies. Students can paint, sketch, create sculptors or make their own digital renderings of butterflies!
Thinking of having your own students do any of these creative summer projects? Be sure to share their final outcomes on Creatubbles. Or, share any fresh ideas you might have for other teachers around the world to be inspired by.
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