Get Inspired: Five Ideas for Summer Activities

Get started on that reading backlog!

Now that summer is here, you might find yourself with a lot more free time on your hands. Should you sleep in every day and binge all the shows you missed during the school year? While there’s certainly something to be said for vegging out and catching up on your R&R, summer is also a great time to branch out and try new things. If you’re looking for some inspiration about how to spend your summer months, check out these five ideas for productive summer fun.

Start learning a new language

We’ve all thought about it, so why not seize this opportunity and finally learn a new language? Whether it’s boning up on that middle school Spanish or learning Mandarin for the first time, learning a language can open up whole new worlds and career opportunities. Not only that, but studies have shown that learning a new language has a plethora of other benefits: Multilingual people have shown improved concentration, problem-solving, multitasking, memory and listening skills. There are a number of options for learning a new language, from taking classes at your local library or community center to apps and online courses such as Duolingo and Babbel. ¡Andale!

Take up gardening

If you’re looking for something a little less demanding in the brain power department but still productive, try starting a garden! It’s fun, it’s healthy, and you’ll get a great farmer’s tan. Plus, if you plant fruits and veggies, you’ll even get some tasty snacks out of the deal. For those with limited outdoor space, a container garden – with plants in pots, buckets and baskets – can be a good option. Or, if you have a yard and you’re feeling ambitious, you could build raised beds in which to plant your flowers and veggies. You can even look into getting a plot in a community garden! Gardening reduces stress and connects us with our environment, and it can lead to new friends and a sense of community – once you pick it up, you’ll be able to swap tips and stories with other gardeners. The weather’s fine, so get out there and start working on that green thumb!

Put on your chef’s hat

Gardening is great, but when it comes to skills that will reap tasty treats, cooking is king. Now that the school year is over, it’s time to put down the ramen and put on your chef’s hat. Trust us: This is one skill you’ll be grateful to have, and you can use it every day! Since you’ll be the one wearing the apron, you’ll have control over the ingredients, meaning you’ll end up eating a healthier diet – not to mention all the money you’ll save. Whether you’re a beginner who wants to stop burning your scrambled eggs or a veteran who wants to finally perfect your souffle, there are tons of options for improving your cooking skills. You can sign up for a cooking class or use cookbooks or online guides to teach yourself – hello, YouTube! It’s also a fun activity to do with friends, and the most surefire way to impress a date. Now that you finally have some free time, bust out that whisk and get cooking!

Volunteer your time

Building skills and working on yourself is awesome – trust us, that’s like our whole thing – but it’s also important to give back to our communities. This summer, pick a cause or organization that’s meaningful to you and volunteer your time. If you love puppies (who doesn’t?), try volunteering at the animal shelter. If you’re passionate about the environment, take part in a park cleanup or donate your time to an environmental or climate organization. There are infinite volunteering opportunities, and you’ll be amazed at the gratitude you receive. Plus, it’s a great way to meet new people, gain confidence and learn more about the world we live in. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to volunteer, sites like VolunteerMatch and United Way are great resources. If volunteering sounds like something you’d like to try, do some research and start getting involved today!

Get ahead with a free Summer Bootcamp

If you want to use the summer months to further your STEM education and get ahead of the curve in school, sign up for one of Numerade’s free Summer Bootcamps. We’re currently offering 18 online bootcamps in core STEM subjects and standardized test prep. The bootcamps are made up of short video lessons created by professors and teachers, so you can learn at your own pace and choose videos to focus on the topics that are relevant to you. Unlike tutors or other summer classes, our bootcamps are free to use and give you 24/7 access to video lessons, allowing you to learn STEM concepts quickly and on your own schedule, rather than committing to long-term camps or classes. The content of each bootcamp is the equivalent of a semester-long class, and you can learn STEM concepts by spending only 20 minutes a day with our short video lessons. It’s the best way to take charge of your learning – and it’s completely free. Sign up for a bootcamp today!