Summer break gives children a chance to explore their world and learn outside the classroom, so take the time to plan fun, engaging activities and make this summer memorable. Here are some fun summer learning activities:
1. The Public Library Summer Reading Program
Ahh…there’s nothing like curling up with some new books to make summer learning fun and diverse. Take your child to the library early in the summer and sign up for the reading program. The library challenges kids to read a number of books during the summer, and they even give prizes along the way as kids work toward their reading goal. It’s hard to beat the variety of books available in the library, and free is always a great perk. So, plan to visit the library every other week during the summer, and allow your child to expand his or her vocabulary, reading skills, and knowledge while reading this summer.
2. Water activities
With the heat of Tulsa summers comes plenty of opportunities for fun learning—spontaneously—in the water.
a. A Simple Garden Hose—Children learn by doing, and simply allowing your kids to use the garden hose as part of their outdoor summer play can spark creativity and bring loads of smiles in the process. Sprinklers are fun to run through in the summer, and kids can enjoy hours of enjoyment with creative water games and activities in your own backyard!
b. Community Pools—Broken Arrow’s Nienhuis Aquatic Facility and Main Street Family Aquatic Center offer great swimming opportunities for the whole family. With its adjacent skate park, Nienhuis is a family favorite for Broken Arrow residents. Pool options abound in Tulsa, Bixby, and Jenks as well.
c. Splash Pads—Other fun water activities include the splash pads located throughout the city of Tulsa and in its surrounding areas. Some popular splash pads include: The Gathering Place, Guthrie Green, 41st and Riverside, and Jackson Park.
d. Safari Joe’s H2O—provides Tulsa families fun with its wave pool, kiddie pool, slides, and lazy river to enjoy.
3. Fun in the Community
There are lots of fun learning activities available in Tulsa, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Jenks, and the surrounding areas. Here are a few favorites to enjoy some learning and have fun in the process:
a. The Gathering Place—With the most beautiful playground in the city, the Gathering Place offers hours of summer fun for children and parents alike. They host a 20-minute Story Time to promote learning through picture books and stories. The program builds listening skills, language, and literacy while boosting a child’s love for books. It’s open to children and caregivers and takes place outside at the Reading Tree.
The Gathering Place Boathouse also offers a variety of indoor “Drop in Play Activities” from art to literacy, engineering, and more! Their Reading Corner, toys, board games and activities are all free, and super refreshing ways for kids to enjoy learning this summer.
b. Tulsa Zoo—Nothing beats a day at the Tulsa Zoo, where smiles abound and learning occurs naturally as children enjoy the variety of animals. The Zoo also offers yoga for adults and children 12 and up, and Kids Yoga at the Zoo for ages 3-8. Storytime yoga is a combination of yoga and play with song and dance added into the adventure. And the class is early in the morning—giving you the whole day to enjoy the zoo after class!
c. Philbrook Museum of Art-For inspiration and learning, make it a habit to gather the family and go to the Philbrook on the second Saturday of each month when admission is free, and there are kid’s activities and outstanding exhibits to enjoy throughout the museum. The Philbrook gardens are teeming with color during the summer, and provide the perfect backdrop for a walk and a picnic. Art Camp is offered each summer at the Philbrook with various start dates for your convenience. And movies on the lawn provide great family fun nights under the stars.
4. Inspire creativity
In the comfort of your own home, inspire creativity in your kids this summer by providing the materials they need to create. Legos, Lincoln Logs, art supplies, chalk for outdoor sidewalk art, empty boxes to create forts, and coloring books are some great starting places. You’ll be amazed at what they come up with as they discover, learn, and express the creativity within them in tangible ways.