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Summer Plans for Smart Kids

Summer break is the perfect time to do things you’ve always wanted to accomplish

May 23, 2018

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What are your summer plans this year? When you’re little, your parents plan your summer fun. Now that you’re older, you get to have a say in what you do during the summer break. You can go to camp where every moment is planned or stay home and have no plans at all, or you can do something in between. Enter the summer bucket list: where you create a list of things you’ve always wanted to do and then plan a summer filled with activities that check them off your summer bucket list.


If you’re interested in STEAM

If you’re passionate about science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) and the ways in which the fields interrelate, you have many passion-related options for summer activities. Such activities include a week of STEM or STEAM related camp, or a one-day class in robotics, programing, game design, 3D printing, app creation or Computer-Assisted Design (CAD).


If you’re interested in fashion

The fashion industry has been around for centuries and is unlikely to go anywhere. Fashion affects us all: thoughts of what we wear and what others wear cross our mind on a daily basis. As such, learning more about the fashion industry can be fun, important, and even lucrative. Local or chain stores – such as Michael’s or JoAnn’s – and local craft stores provide classes in sewing and design to teach you how to crochet, knit, use a sewing machine, quilt, or create your own patterns. Fashion masterpieces can also inspire designing creativity, and these can be found at a fashion museum near a fashion institute or in a costume exhibit. Beauty is a subset of the fashion world, and involves hair and makeup. Local department stores have makeup counters where professionals will help you find your best look and teach you how to properly apply makeup for an instant summer makeover. As for hair care, summer is a great time to experiment with a new hairstyles or cut. Change up your look all summer and return to school in the fall with a new look!


If you’re interested in music

Often, our music tastes define us. In teenage stereotypes, there is a dichotomy between those who listen to the likes of Panic! At the Disco and those who prefer Cardi B – and those in between. There are also generational differences: maybe your parents love The Beatles or Elvis, while their parents prefer jazz. In this way, music is an essential element of society, and contributing to that world can be very rewarding. Over the summer, learn an instrument by watching YouTube videos and borrowing books from the library. Once you feel confident enough in your instrument-playing abilities, perform locally – in a park or at the beach. Leave out a jar for tips, if you want. Or, perhaps, start a band: put out a flyer in local coffee shops calling for fellow instrument players. Not into performing? That’s okay. There are other sides of music: learn to compose or learn music theory with a great textbook or online lessons, or take a class in becoming a DJ!

If you’re interested in medicine

For those with a passion for helping people and an affinity for science, volunteering at a hospital or doctor’s office is a good option. Hospital and doctors’ office volunteers witness medical practices firsthand and get to help – anywhere from filing documents to speaking with patients. You can also get certified in CPR, Babysitting, and First Aid through The American Red Cross.


If you’re interested in animals

Animal lovers everywhere will rejoice upon discovering that it is possible to engage in a full-time dog petting summer activity. Such an activity can be found at a local animal shelter or daycare center, a pet shop, a dog groomer’s, at a veterinarian clinic, or at home where you can foster an animal for the summer and prepare it for its forever family. You can start a doggie day care, dog walking service, or offer to wash neighbor's pets to help them save time and money.


If you’re interested in sports

With most sports in their off-seasons and school teams not holding practice, for sports lovers, summer can be a dull time. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Warm weather makes for a great time to start an informal team with friends. This way, you can help each other stay in shape. Another sporty summer activity can be a form of charity work: along with some friends, help the neighborhood kids learn your favorite sport.

If you’re interested in writing or art

Challenge yourself to start and complete something and then publish it online on Wattpad, a blog, or in e-book form, or enter your work in a contest or a call for young contributors. You can try your hand at becoming a cartoonist or animator by taking an art class or learning about it online.


If you’re interested in cooking

Tour a local bakery or pizzeria to watch how things are made behind-the-scenes, learn how to cook an entire meal and cook for your friends or family. You can even invent a recipe and post a how-to on YouTube.

If you’re interested in astronomy

Download an astronomy calendar like the one from the New York Times which tells you what to look for and when. The Perseid Meteor Shower occurs in early August and can be seen across the entire United States on a clear night. You can also download an app like night sky so you can tell what you’re looking at. Plan a visit to a local observatory on a cloudless, moonless night and take a peek through a giant telescope. No stars, no problem. Create a poster or mural of your favorite view of the night sky using glow-in-the-dark paint and tack it to your ceiling so you can fall asleep under a starry sky every night.


If you’re interested in making money

If cash is what drives your passion, there are plenty of ways you can earn money. The old-fashioned lemonade stand can be a moneymaker in itself, but don’t forget to subtract the cost of your supplies like cups and ingredients before you start counting your profits. No-cost moneymakers include babysitting, doing odd jobs for family and friends like painting fences, gardening, and washing cars. If your neighborhood has decent foot traffic, you can clean out your room and playroom and make money at the same time at a yard sale where you can sell your old books, toys, sports equipment, or clothes. No foot traffic? No problem. Ask your parents for permission to drop your unwanted items at a local consignment shop. For a low-cost fun activity to do with friends, there are plenty of crafts you can make that people will pay money for, including beaded friendship bracelets and earrings, painted rocks, wind chimes made from items found at the beach or on a hike, or bookmarks made from pressed flowers. Sell them at a yard sale, online or at a local crafts store. If you’re visiting a beach this summer, you may consider collecting sea glass and seashells and use them as crafting materials.


Or, if you just want to have fun…

  • Take a class
  • Make an app, start a blog, join Wattpad, or start a website that relates to your passion
  • Start a team, band, or group that shares your interests
  • Teach a class or give lessons
  • Visit a museum, go to a concert, see a play, download an indie film
  • Visit a local college, university, courthouse, hospital
  • Collect donations to support a local organization that supports your interest
  • Write an e-book, play, or poems and submit it to a contest 
Have Your Say

What is something you’ve always wanted to do when you have the time? Make a commitment to do it by writing it in the comments below!