Strewing can be a great way to keep your kids busy this summer – or during any break from homeschooling. This post is packed full of summer strewing ideas for you!
Strewing is kind of a strange word, isn’t it? The act of strewing is quite simple though, you basically scattering educational things about for your children to discover and do. I used to call this practice in our homeschool “summer centers”, but it can also be called summer baskets, summer activity boxes, etc.
This post includes affiliate links.
Strewing can be themed or not. So let’s say your child loves horses. You can create a little center with horse-themed books, coloring books, stickers, craft kits, toys, games, etc. Here are some examples of what you could include:
Here’s another example of a patriotic themed learning center I created a few years back.
No themes are necessary, though! Simply gather a handful of educational things to place around the house. I like to use small tables, bookshelves, and/or baskets in the corner of a room. Anywhere the materials can be easily seen and accessed by bored kids, but relatively contained to keep the house tidy is good for me.
Summer Strewing Ideas
Not every single item you strew needs to be obviously educational. Honestly, just about anything you strew has educational value. Think about bubbles, for instance. Blowing bubbles isn’t necessarily educational, but the experience of watching bubbles grow and move and pop builds some basic scientific understanding.
So, think creatively! I’ve included a bunch of ideas for you below, but they are just a springboard to help you to scour your house for fun things to strew.
It’s a good idea to switch out strewing materials weekly or so. Even if you strew things that are already in your toy or game closets, bringing them out purposefully can often ignite a new passion to actually use them. I also love to check yard sales, used homeschool curriculum sales, and library sales to add inexpensive things to my stash.
There are so many fun and inexpensive science kits for sale these days! I’ve linked a handful of them for you, but remember, you don’t have to go out and spend a bunch of money. For example, check out a book of science experiments from the library. Place the book and supplies for a few of the experiments in a bin or basket.
My daughter loved working on handicrafts during the summer. These usually kept her occupied for a few hours, instead of mere minutes. My boys generally enjoyed them, too, but they didn’t tend to spend a great deal of time working on them.
Again, the possibilities are vast for crafts and handicrafts. Sewing, knitting, crocheting, fuse beading, and jewelry making are just a few additional ideas beyond the ones I’ve linked for you.
Arts & Crafts Supplies and Artist Study
Arts and crafts are incredibly easy to strew. I bet you already own a bunch of supplies like pencils, crayons, markers, paints, art journals, etc. I always like to include a drawing book and/ a book or two about significant artists or art styles to help inspire my children.
Music and Composer Study
Ahh music…this one may make your house a slightly louder place if you provide wonderful instruments. Summer is a great opportunity for children to learn a new instrument through formal lessons or to simply experience a variety of instruments.
I love providing books about composers and music theory, too. Of course, playing beautiful music around the house happens year-round!
Cooking is my youngest son’s favorite pastime. He loves to whip up fancy lunches and dinners for himself and the rest of the family. Summer is a great time for your children to gain cooking and baking experience with easy recipes, hard recipes, or even themed tea parties.
You know how much I love nature study! Nature study tools are great strewing options, too. Encourage your kids to explore and really dive deep into learning about what they find. If you are interested in other field guides, you can find my favorites here.
Independent games are those that can be played by one player. These particular independent games are all super fun and promote a lot of logical thinking. A few (like SET and Blink) can be played with multiple players, but they all have single-player options as well.
One of the points of strewing is to encourage kids to learn and play independently, and these games are great options for that.
Does your family love puzzles? We do! There are so many different types of puzzles: 3-D, traditional, crossword, word search, and other fun puzzle games. Again, these can be enjoyed independently or with siblings or friends.
Outdoor play is perhaps the most traditionally “summer” thing for your kids to do. There are so many options for playing outside that aren’t included in this list like bike riding, rollerblading, swing set play, picnics, sidewalk chalk, planting a garden, teaching the dog new tricks, etc.
I want to emphasize again that you do not have to go out and spend a bunch of money on new toys or activities. Sometimes kids just need to be reminded of what they have. Do you have forgotten outdoor toys in the garage or basement? You might have a badminton set that you haven’t used in years, or an almost-worn-out baseball glove that has a few catches left in it…put them to good use!
I hope these summer strewing ideas have your mind turning about how you can add sneaky learning into your home!
Remember, it’s a good idea to change out strewn materials every week or so to keep your kiddos engaged. But other than that, there are no rules!
You get to decide what to give your kids access to. It might even be a good idea to ask your children which things they would be most interested in learning about or doing over the summer and start there.
The summer is a great time to let interests develop and ambitions grow. If you have a budding scientist on your hands, a science center is a good option. Or if you have an animal lover, you may take the lead from the horse-themed section and compile fun animal activities and books.
No matter what, have fun with it!
Other summer strewing ideas you may like: