School’s almost out for the summer! Kids need to be kids. They need summer and the endless fun that comes with it, from swimming and campfires to parks and slides. However, there is one slide you don’t want them getting on this summer: the learning slide.
When students are not engaging in learning activities over summer, they could lose almost two months of skills. This learning slide has been proven through multiple studies. Keeping the learning alive will set them up for continued success the following year. The best part is, these activities are so fun, your kids will forget that they’re learning, not what they learned!
Local Library Events
Book sales are just one of the many events libraries typically host during the summer. Keep an eye on your local library’s calendar to see all the activities for families that are equal parts fun and educational. From beginner art classes to group readings, libraries are masters at keeping kids engaged and learning throughout the summer months!
Free Museum Days
Did you know museums often offer free admission? It varies by location–some welcome guests for free on the first Thursday of the month, others do so to mark holidays or exhibit openings, and some have designated family days designed to get children in for free.
Virtual Field Trips
Zoo and Aquarium—Swim in a shark tank or swing with the monkeys.
5. Visit the animals at the San Diego Zoo
6. Swim in the tanks at Baltimore’s National Aquarium
Museums—Visit the dinosaurs and see what else you can find.
7. Explore the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
8. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Nature and farming—Explore a cave, watch a geyser, or go above a volcano.
15. Milk a cow
16. Pick a fruit and see how it ends up at the grocery store
17. Watch a geyser Yellowstone National Park
18. Fly above a volcano in Hawaii Webcams
Best overall virtual field trip source: Interactive Virtual Field Trips | Discovery Education
We took to Facebook to ask teachers what they recommend to prevent the summer slide. Here’s what they said:
Read, read, and then read some more!
This is the number one response we got from teachers. It’s required for a reason! Staying on top of summer reading is the surest way to make sure your child keeps learning over the summer. Teachers also recommend keeping a reading journal and asking your child in-depth questions about their books, so you know they’re taking it all in. Reading for just 30 minutes a day has major benefits!
Keep math skills sharp in daily life
Practicing math can (and should!) be more than just filling out a multiplications table. Whether you have your child help out at the supermarket or play math games online, it’s important to ensure they’re staying on top of their skills so they can easily transition to the next unit once school starts again.
There’s more to learning than academics. Encouraging your child to get outside and explore is a great way for them to interact with the world around them. While you’re at the beach, encourage them to collect seashells and ask what they like about the ones they picked–giving them the opportunity to look, feel, and articulate the world around them does wonders for their education, as well as keeping their natural curiosity alive. You could also buy them a book to help identify plants around your yard or on a local nature trail. A whole world awaits!
Finding a pen pal, writing letters to family members and friends, keeping a journal… writing doesn’t have to be academic to have real value. Encourage creativity and self-expression in their writing to keep things interesting!