Stop the Summer Slide: 5 Ways to Keep Young Minds Sharp

Stop the Summer Slide: 5 Ways to Keep Young Minds Sharp

Discovery Place Kids Rockingham

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Brrriiinnnngggg. The school year's final bell echoing throughout the halls of schools across the country signals the beginning of three splendid months of summer. Children of all ages begin planning how to celebrate their break from school. From riding bikes to going on beach trips, kids are celebrating being out of school and more importantly, having no homework.

However, summer may have a different meaning for parents. They must find childcare, plan entertaining activities and be sure to prevent the dreaded summer slide from happening to their kids.

What is the summer slide?

The summer slide, also known as the summer set-back or summer learning loss, is a phenomenon that strikes many children during their break from school. In short, kids return to school with lower achievement levels than they had before summer break began and essentially “slide” back during their break from school. They tend to lose educational ground and the impact can be long lasting and detrimental to a child’s success in school.

Luckily, you can prevent the summer slide from happening by keeping your kids’ brains active with educational and enriching activities. Start prepping for summer break and ensure your kids are ready for the new schoolyear with these exciting and enriching activities that will keep their young minds sharp.

Kitchen Concoctions

Pull a chair up to the kitchen counter, grab an extra apron and let your kids become little chefs. From science and math to art and reading, cooking is a great, fun way to mix in practicing important skills to summer break. While it may get a little messy for your kid to be alongside you in the kitchen, letting them do small things adds up in a big way. Have your child read the recipe aloud, let them stir ingredients together, have them measure ingredients and talk with them about the cool science involved with cooking.

Plant a Garden

From spending time in the natural world, kids can gain an appreciation of earth’s beauty and learn about some neat processes. Starting a family garden in your backyard is a great way to get your kids outside, learn the responsibility of caring for something living and learn about the environment.

Before they pick what to plant in their garden, have your kids research which plants are best suited to your climate and what they’ll need to do to take care of them. Help them dig holes, plant the plants in the soil and let your kids take ownership of tending to the garden. Then, watch your garden spring to life all summer long!

Read Everywhere

Taking a break from reading over summer can have detrimental effects for kids in the new schoolyear. Shockingly, kids can lose up to 3 months of reading development over summer break if they don’t practice. That’s a ton of progress lost and making up for it can be extremely difficult.

There are so many creative ways to get your kids to practice reading. While reading a few books over summer is great, don’t get discouraged if your kids aren’t voracious readers! Check out your local library to participate in fun reading challenges, encourage your kids to read labels at the grocery store, have your kids read menu items aloud at restaurants or watch your favorite shows with closed captioning turned on.

Play Games

Who says learning can’t be fun? Playing games as a family is a great way to bond, have fun and promote learning. Add in one of these educational games to your next family game night:

  • UNO- This colorful card game is great for practicing numbers, patterns and decision-making skills.
  • Battleship- From carefully concealing ships to making strategic guesses, this game is great for kids to practice their deductive reasoning, problem-solving and memory skills.
  • Scrabble- With just seven letters sitting in front of them, kids will put their vocabulary, spelling and creativity to the test in this wordsmithing game.
  • Monopoly Junior- The kid’s version of this classic board game is great for practicing basic math, making decisions and handling money.

Just because school takes a break every summer doesn’t mean your child’s learning has to. With a little bit of planning and a dash of creativity, the world can be your kid’s classroom. Beat the summer slide and give your kids a summer to brag about by adding a few of these enriching activities to your summer schedule.

What are your family’s favorite ways to prevent summer learning loss? Tag us in your ideas on Facebook or on Instagram.

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  • Discovery Place Kids