Summertime is finally here, which means it’s time for you to get some well-deserved rest and relaxation after a busy school year. While taking the time to recharge is essential, summer is also a great opportunity to pursue passion projects, learn a new skill, or finally finish those tasks you placed on the back burner during the school year. To help you make the most out of your summer, we’ve created a bucket list with some ideas for how to spend your days outside of the classroom.

Whether you check off all the activities on the list, pick and choose based on your interests, or create your own list entirely, we hope you have a fun, exciting, and relaxing summer!

1. Ditch technology for a day (or dare we say a week?)

There’s no doubt that technology plays a major role in our lives — whether we’re using it to catch up with friends, work, or just for entertainment. Using technology during the school year is often unavoidable, but disconnecting for a day or more can do wonders for your mental health. Ditching your tech gadgets gives you a chance to take a deep breath and slow down, getting you in the right mindset to kick off your summer!

2. Spend the day in the great outdoors

After being stuck inside for the majority of the day during the school year, clear your mind by spending time in the great outdoors. Whether you decide to challenge yourself to hike, head out on a camping trip, have a picnic in the park, or simply lay on the beach soaking up the sun, it should offer a nice change of pace and scenery after a long school year.

3. Expand your palette at a new restaurant

It’s easy to settle into a lunchtime routine during the school year, whether you bring your own or always order from a nearby sandwich shop. Lunch options are often limited to what’s nearby, convenient, and affordable. Venture out on your own or invite some friends and treat yourself to a delicious meal at a new restaurant — you deserve it!

4. Clean out your closets

Between supporting students throughout the school day, planning lessons, grading assignments, and attending special events, who has time to clean the house? Now’s your chance! Give yourself a fresh start to the summer and the upcoming school year by cleaning out your closets, clearing the cobwebs from the corners, and opening up your windows to let some fresh air flow in.

5. Reverse the roles and take a class

You’ve spent all year teaching students and supporting their success — why not reverse the roles for a little bit and pick up a new skill? If you don’t want to sit in a classroom (we don’t blame you), there are an endless number of courses available online. You can even look into outdoor classes in your area, like paddleboarding, yoga, or an outdoor art class. (And for a shameless self-plug, PLS Classes has a variety of courses for the K-12 educator that you can take this summer. Check out our catalog of courses to find something that interests you!)

6. Pick up a new hobby

Have you been meaning to get into hiking or explore your creative side? What about learning to crochet or planting a garden? Perhaps all you want to do is lay in the grass and cloud watch (yes, it’s a real hobby!). Either way, picking up a new hobby can be a great use of your summer holiday and help you get creative while saying goodbye to stress.

7. Explore the world

With months of time off from teaching, summer vacation is the perfect time to plan a trip. Whether you want to check out the national parks or head off on a European adventure, using your summer break to explore the beauty of our world can be an enriching and life-changing experience. Deciding to venture off alone can give you more flexibility while inviting friends along offers a potentially great social experience.

8. Read a book (or several)

While you’ve probably done your fair share of reading during the school year, it’s likely you haven’t had time to read books for enjoyment or personal interest. Why not pick up that romance novel or self-help book that’s been sitting on your bookshelf for the past year? Alternatively, make a day out of it and take a trip to a bookshop or local library to find something new and get out of the house (bonus points if you find a cozy reading nook in a local café). Need some recommendations? Check out our summer reading list brought to you by our PLS Classes Instructors.

9. Spend a day doing nothing

Pick a day on the calendar and mark it off as a “nothing day” – a day dedicated to doing absolutely nothing except what you want to do without feeling guilty. Feel like binge watching a new TV show? Go for it! In the mood to spend the day laying in your hammock? No judgment here!

10. Get creative

Creativity can be a complex beast — rarely, if ever, can you force it, and it often comes when you least expect it. Get inspired by jumping headfirst into a creative activity this summer. Sit outside and enjoy the weather while breaking out your painting set, writing some poetry, or creating nature crafts from items in your yard.

11. Spend time with loved ones

With all the ups and downs and busy-ness of the school year, finding time for loved ones can be a challenge. Take this opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family by setting up a weekly dinner or planning a get together.

However you decide to spend your summer break, remember that students aren’t the only ones on vacation this time of year! Resting, relaxing, and taking time for yourself is essential for creating balance and ensuring that you’re prepared and reset for the upcoming school year.

Looking for things to do with your kids this summer? Check out our free Summer Break Bucket List printable!

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