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Welcome to Simply Summer School—weekly activities and tips to keep your child learning and engaged over the summer vacation gap! Try out this week’s tips and activities to get your child motivated to keep learning!

Weekly Activity: Boat activities!

Get some creative juices flowing–or should we say, floating–this week with building boats and having competitions with them! If you have a baby pool, that would be perfect for this activity! I don’t have one, but that’s OK because the bath tub or kitchen sink will work just as well!

It’s fun to start out by getting a variety of things from around the house and testing them to see if they’ll float or sink. Sometimes things will surprise children—especially if it’s something big that ends up floating!

For the boat building you can use either tin foil or clay. Give everyone (even if it’s just you and one child) the same size piece of tin foil to build a boat with. After you build your boats, test them out to see if they float. Here comes the ultimate test—add pennies to your boat one at a time until it sinks. See whose boat can hold more pennies! Does your boat sink right away? Rebuild and try again! I’ve done this activity with children where they built and rebuilt boats for a long time. They love to test out their handy-work!

Another fun activity to do with your boats is to have a sailing race. Grab a couple straws from your kitchen and you’re set! Sit at one end of the baby pool or bath tub with your boats. On the count of three, you and your child start blowing through the straw to see which boat makes it to the other end first! Boat races always result in a lot of giggles—it is harder than you think!

Weekly Tip: Get Moving!

Make sure you’re keeping bodies active every day! Breaking up your day with trips to the playground or pool are fun ways to make sure everyone is staying active in the summer. If you can’t get outside, try putting on some music and having a dance party! Kids love to play dance freeze games.

Another big hit for getting everyone moving is building obstacle courses. No need for fancy equipment! Anything works for going over, under or through. And once you make one obstacle course, your children will come up with some creative ones on their own—I guarantee it!