We were always doing things to promote creativity and learning. Not just during the summer. It just did not seem like learning and teaching at the time.
While in the car, while playing outside at meal times.. It just felt like fun and our daughter did not realize what we were doing.
We LOVED the "Brain Quest" cards.. Kept them in the car as a treat.. I noticed they also have the work books available now.
We would go to the teacher supply store and she would pick up math games, writing journals.. all sorts of fun things. She loved "workbooks".. She is still geeky..
We had a huge collection of dress up.. She made up stories and plays. She had a camera where so that she could take photos of her Barbie Fashion shows. (promotes, fine motor skills to dress and undress those dolls.)
We also gave her a 60 drawer organizer form the hardware store. Usually used for screws, nuts, bolts, ect.. She kept it organized for Barbie and Kens casual shoes, high heels, sandals, crowns.. casual hand bags.. Sports access etc..
We could point to any drawer and she could tell you what was in it , without looking inside.
Sidewalk chalk, to use for writing, hopscotch or for making "Streets", traffic signs, on our drive way.. We would park the car across the bottom of the driveway and the kids would bring all of their driving toys. Trikes, cars, wagons, strollers and play traffic.
Of course our daughter favorite place was the local book store. We purchased arm loads of books for her to read and for us to read to her. Books on CD were always in the car.
Our daughter loved activity books, Word search, connect the dots, mazes..
We purchased the "10 minute mystery books". So we could try to solve the mysteries. Jokes and riddle books.
We played restaurant. She would come up with a menus based on what we had to eat. .. then be the waitress and take our order, then be the chef and prepare our plates.. The give us a bill..
We played store. Setting up foods from the kitchen. She had a cash register.. and a calculator. She made play money and check books.
Lots of these things could be done outside with giant Boxes from the appliance store. We let them paint them, we would cut holes in them to be houses, boats, airplanes..
We would go to tag sales or garage sales. She would take her own money to purchase things.
She made up her own stationary for Birthday cards to friends and relatives.
Look on Pinterest for fun children's activities or children's projects.
I loved what one of our neighbors had her boys do.. During the summer, they would come up with "science Projects".. Then they would document them, just like school (ask a teacher for the Science Project requirements).. Then they would place these in a Folder and during the school year, when it was time for Science Fair.. The kids had an idea of what they wanted to do and had 2 versions to show! Or I guess they could just turn in the one from summer.
My only regret? I did not take photos of lots of these things. I truly regret not having video of some of these events. She does not remember all of these amazing things she did while so young.. But we were having so much fun.. I just did not want to stop and take the time.. Now with cameras on phones and ipads.. I think I would have been more likely, to grab these moments.