School's Out for Summer! Purposeful Summer Activities


School's out! The end of the school year signals joy and excitement for kids and often, a thought process for parents that teeters between feeling thankful for the break but also worried that skills learned during the school year will soon be forgotten. 

Children thrive on structure and routine and going to school every day provides this. Summer vacation is a welcome change in routine but can still include some camouflaged structure. Most children don't want to do schoolwork during the summer. This is understandable, it's their break.

I've outlined a couple of fun and thought provoking summer activities that your children will enjoy doing and exercise their executive functioning skills. 

Kid's Choice: Planning an Outing

Put your kids in the driver's seat. Let them plan an outing or weekend trip. Depending on your child's age this can be something as a simple as going to the zoo or a weekend adventure away for older children, who can think a little more complexly. Planning any type of excursion, big or small utilizes skills such as budgeting, organization, prioritizing, planning ahead and managing one's time. 

Check out these guidelines and questions that you can discuss with your kids to get them thinking and using their skills (these are just a handful to get you started):

  • Time:
    • How long will it take to get to your destination?
    • What time will you need to leave home in order to arrive on time?
  • Transportation:
    • How will you get there?
    • What do you need to do to set up transportation?
  • Cost:
    • Will there be one activity or multiple activities?
    • Will you need lodging if you are staying over night? Have your kids create a budget.
  • Activity Planning:
    • Kids might consider the interests of each family member involved.
      • What will the activities be? What will you need to pack?
      •  When will the activities happen and how will your family need to prepare ahead of time?

Kids can create a brochure for their trip that includes all necessary information. The brochure might even include pictures and a map. What a great guide and memento for the family. 

Keep a Travel Journal

Keeping a travel journal while on vacation is a useful way for kids to practice writing, think critically, reflect on they day's events and maintain routine. Take a look at the wide variety of travel journals made just for kids.

Below are journal prompts to get their creative writing juices flowing. These prompts could be reflected in your child's travel journal.

  • What was the best moment of the entire trip?
  • What are two interesting things about [the place you are visiting] that the average person doesn’t know?
  • What was the hardest or most frustrating part of the trip?
  •  Now that you’ve been there yourself, when you think of [the place you are visiting], what’s the first image that comes to mind?
  • If you could go back, would you do anything differently?

Remember to keep this fun and mistakes downplayed. The goal is not perfection. It is the enjoyable process of planning an event and writing about it, a keepsake and a shared experience. 

*Now coordinating summer scheduling. Please reach out to schedule your child's summer sessions.*

Every student has a different learning style. For an individualized plan customized to your child's needs, please contact Dana Aussenberg at or email