Catch Attention with Special Summertime Stations

Invite kids to dive into summertime learniing with vacation stations like Dolphin Cove.

Invite kids to dive into special summertime learning with vacation stations like Dolphin Cove at Beach Readers’ Island.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

How can you make learning fun for summertime instruction?
Set up Special Summertime Vacation Stations!

The name – Vacation Stations – may sound like all play and no work.

Not so. It’s learning and fun, fun, fun, in an indoor sun…

…perfect for year-round schools, summer camp programs and rainy days with K – 5 kids.

Who says learning can’t be fun; education and entertainment both begin with the letter “e” for a reason.

Check out these creative options:

Form Beach Readers’ Island – Bring in a beach umbrella and some beach towels.

Hang a cardboard cut-out sun above the umbrella and make a sign that reads “Beach Readers’ Island.”

Post it in your Reading Center or on a table in one corner of the room.

When you announce that it’s Vacation Station Time, invite students to choose a book and towel and find a spot to read for a while.

You may need to set a time limit on Beach Readers’ Island and have kids take turns there.  Play make-believe by telling students that it’s not good to be in the sun too long anyway!

Give this activity some extra science curriculum punch by selecting books that relate to the beach.  For example, fifth graders may study beach erosion while they stretch out on Beach Readers’ Island.

Prepare Poetry Paradise – Set out paper and pencils on a table labeled “Poetry Paradise” and make this center part of Vacation Station Time in your classroom.

Offer titles like “Summer Song” or “Summer Play” for students to use for personal wordplay.

Encourage your group to write Cinquain Poems about the summer season.


Sunny, hot

Kites fly high

Longer days please me


Find other nooks and crannies where you can set up more Special Summertime Vacation Stations…

Make Math Mountain – Some kids prefer higher altitude forested vacation destinations.

Stack different size cardboard boxes on top of a table with the largest box at the bottom and the smallest at the top.

Cover the boxes with a large piece of green fabric to create the effect of a mountain.

Place cards with math problems printed on them at the different “mountain” levels with the simplest math problems at the base and the hardest problems on top of the top box.

Encourage students to climb the mountain of math skills.

Cook Up a Cookie Counting Center – The expression, “Let’s Eat!” gets everybody’s attention! Kids will flock to a Vacation Station Cookie Counting Center when you

Ask young students to count the cookies you set out on a tray. Serve them up for "Math-time Dessert!"

Set up a Summertime Vacation Station that features a cookie counting center. Kids will enjoy munching after they “crunch the numbers!”

promise that after the counting the cookie munching can begin.

Line up a Foreign Language Luau – Hawaii here we come.

If you have access to a party store that stocks multi-colored leis, they are usually inexpensive to buy.

Leis can also be made by hand using colored tissue paper, weaving pieces together.

Place an open gift box full of leis on a table next to another open gift box of vocabulary cards in two languages such as English and Spanish.  Challenge students to pick a card in one language and find the corresponding word or phrase card in the second language.

Let students win a lei for a prize every time they get five correct matches.

You may need to rotate kids in and out of this activity just as you may need to do on Beach Readers’ Island, Poetry Paradise and Math Mountain.

You Choose Day at Discovery Place – Invite students to dive into Discovery Place by setting up a table covered with items, like small rocks and leaves, that kids can use with supplies like recycled cardboard, scissors and crayons to create their own mini science museums.

Ready, Set, Scavenger Hunt – Scavenger Hunts don’t need to just be outdoor fun. Set a time limit for an in-classroom Scavenger Hunt. Leave copies of a short “find” list on a table with a sign that reads Scavenger Hunt Central. Kids that want to participate can search for items on the list during your designated Vacation Station Time. Offer small prizes to students that scavenge best.

You may design other Special Summertime Vacation Stations that feature different areas of your curriculum.

K – 5 students are sure to enjoy this break from a regular day.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Please send comments about your favorite instructional centers.

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students are acting sluggish in class.

Solution: Show "The BIG E," for ENERGY, an enlarged letter E (or other first letter for the word energy in your alphabet), available in craft stores. Remind the class that energy is a must-have item to get good work done. Tell the class to show you "The BIG E!"

Related Posts: Show Off "The Big E"