Extending Students Learning Through Family Fun this Summer!

As summer approaches, many families are wondering how they will keep their children engaged and learning. This year especially, families are concerned that their children will fall behind in school. But, on the other hand parents know that kids need a break from the structure and stress of school this year more than ever!  So let’s make it fun! Here are some free things to do in or around Cincinnati this summer to help keep kids engaged in learning!


It is critical that kids keep reading this summer. Try reading as a family outside at a park or around the campfire. Dedicate time everyday to reading, keep the practices they did at school going! Take your child to the library to explore new genres or topics. If you are going on a road trip listen to an audio book that the whole family will like.  It’s a bonus if the book has a movie you can watch after. The local library has lots of audio books or browse an online library.  Most libraries have summer reading programs that can encourage students to read all summer long. Here are some local library systems with reading programs. 


Mid pointe library 


Cincinnati Library


Lebanon Library 

Lebanon Public Library | Lebanon, Ohio (lebanonlibrary.org)

Clermont County Library 

Clermont County Public Library (clermontlibrary.org)

Franklin Springboro Public Library

Home | Franklin-Springboro Public Library (fspl.org)


Explore Outside:

Get your children outside as much as possible this summer! Cincinnati has many great parks to explore and learn. As you explore the park take a second to look closely at the different trees and flowers that you see.  What are some ways that they differ? Can you hear birds? Does one bird sound different from another? Consider talking a walk through Spring Grove cemetery. They have all the trees labeled. Try and find two trees from the same family, the scientific name will help!


Check out the great parks in the Cincinnati area or find one close to your house!  

Cincinnati Parks https://www.cincinnatiparks.com/calendar/

Metro Parks (Butler County) https://www.yourmetroparks.net/parks

Clermont County Parks https://clermontparks.org/

Warren County Parks Warren County Park District

Hamilton County Parks Great Parks of Hamilton County


Explore a Museum

Museums are full of great things to explore. They allow a curious mind to explore the world without traveling far. Check out a local  museum or Cincinnati has several great museums that are free! The Contemporary Art Museum and Cincinnati Art Museum are always free and the Taft museum of arts has free admission on Sundays. Explore the museum as a family.  Play a friendly game of I spy with the pictures or ask your child questions to help them think about what they are seeing. This will help build their critical thinking skills and appreciate art! 

Try asking:

  • What do you like about this picture?
  • What do you see in the picture?
  • What materials do you think they used to make this?
  • When looking at paintings or pieces with small children, ask them what they notice that is different from their childhood? Do the kids look happy, sad?
  • What is happening in the scene?
  • What do you think happened before the action in the painting?
  • What will happen after the action in the painting?
  • What might you see, hear, taste, smell, or feel if you were inside an artwork?

Here is the website for more information:

Taft Art Museum https://www.taftmuseum.org/tickets

Contemporary Art Museum https://www.contemporaryartscenter.org/visit

Cincinnati Art Museum https://cincinnatiartmuseum.org/


Need more ideas? Check out the Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center for more ideas on Reading, math, internet use, and learning to type!



Question: Contact Megan Horstmeier @ megan.horstmeier@hcesc.org

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