So how is summer break going so far? Are the kids bored yet?

We’ve been keeping busy with bike camps, camping trips, and all sorts of drop in visits to the library and other Calgary day camps. And then there’s getting down to business at home to keep learning over summer.

Zacharie has been teaching himself magic tricks in the basement this summer and he’s taken to making his own tutorial videos. This is what summer is about: not lounging with an iPad or TV or video games, but getting out and exploring different avenues of expression and learning.

I helped Z with a video explaining part of the Hot Wheels FUNdamentals kit we’ve been working through this summer:

I didn’t coach him on anything, and now we’re talking about turning our spare basement bedroom into a YouTubing studio. Oh noes.

Keeping your kids entertained and learning is easy over the summer, you just have to find tangential ways to do it. Zacharie learned public speaking, reading, and following instructions doing that video with me.

And when he and Charlie dig through the pieces of his Hot Wheels set to build wild tracks, they’re learning physics. And you can bring it in the backyard for extra awesomeness.

Hot Wheels In The Backyard

“Go outside and play!” just went to a whole new level. The pieces are big enough that they don’t get lost in the grass, and the boys have many more angles and options to build wild sets.

The Hot Wheels FUNdamentals Learning Project is rooted in the belief that play-based learning is a great benefit to kids and is a way to keep them stimulated when school’s out. Studies have shown that play improves memory, language skills and can help with academic focus.

You can also print off some fun projects (including the Hot Wheels shadow boxes Zacharie demonstrates above) at

hot wheels learning

Now it’s not just games for the boys this summer, there is some traditional learning going on too. We’ve got summer bridge books for them to work through a few pages at a time, and their teachers have given us a list of websites to visit as well to keep up their learning over summer.

Teacher Approved Websites For Summer Learning

AAA Math features a comprehensive set of of free interactive arithmetic lessons for Kindergarten through Grade 8.

Arcademics is an academics arcade that boosts kids’ learning via games for math through language arts.

Math Magician games work through all levels of elementary math disciplines.

Starfall is a popular tablet app to help children with their reading. This is the website that started the program.

Scholastic offers online books for you to read with your kids on screen and then play relevant comprehension games based on the text.

FunBrain is another online resources for digital books if you’re on the road or can’t make it to the library.

Mr Nussbaum is a favorite resource for teachers and homeschoolers. Tap in to the more than 5000 pages of language arts, science, and math.


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