Don't Succumb to the Summer Slide: 5 Tips to Keep Brains Sharp

Discovery Place Science

Summer Slide1

Brrriiinnnngggg. With the sweet sound of the school year's final bell echoing throughout the halls of schools across the country three, long, glorious months of summer have begun. Kids everywhere have started to hatch plans for how they will savor every minute of their highly anticipated break from school. From beach trips to riding bikes, hanging out with friends and movie marathons, kids are rejoicing at not being in class all day and more importantly, having no homework.

For parents, that final ring of the school bell invokes a much different set of emotions and thoughts. From finding childcare to planning entertaining activities, summer break isn’t the relaxing haven for parents that it is for kids. On top of the stress of having the kids home for three months, parents feel added pressure to ensure their kids don’t succumb to the dreaded summer slide.

What is the summer slide?

The summer slide, also called summer set-back or summer learning loss, is a phenomenon that strikes many children during their break from school. The phenomenon is best summarized as kids’ coming back to school with lower achievement levels than they had before summer break. Essentially, they “slide” back during their break from school and lose educational ground. In many cases, the effects of the summer slide can be lasting and detrimental to a child’s success in school.

Luckily, you can combat the summer slide 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 school year with these exciting and enriching activities.

Read Everywhere

Taking a break from reading over summer can have detrimental effects for kids in the new school year. 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 wordsmith game.
  • Monopoly Junior- The kid’s version of this classic board game is great for practicing basic math, making decisions and handling money.

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 pretty 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!

Summer Camps

When kids are passionate about and interested in a subject, it’s easier to get them excited about learning. Letting your kids choose an educational summer camp to attend is a great way to get their brain juices flowing, keep them in a school-like routine over break and let them socialize with other kids their age.

At Discovery Place, we offer a range of enriching half-day and full-day Summer Camps for kids ages Pre-K to Grade 8. Through hands-on activities and educational experiences, our camps bring learning to life, inspire creativity and instill a sense of adventure.

Discovery Place Science camps gets kids fired up about science, technology, engineering and art.

Discovery Place Nature camps let kids go wild in the great outdoors, explore the natural world and meet live animals.

Discovery Place Kids camps keeps little minds growing by building confidence and creativity through imaginative play.

With over 100 camps to choose from, there’s something to spark every imagination. Book your Summer Camp today by calling 704.372.6261 x300 or by visiting us online.

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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