Summer and slides go together like peanut butter and jelly. Slides at the water park. Slip’n slides in the backyard. The trusty ol’ slide at the local park. Kids love slides! It’s known as the Summer Slide and it refers to kids losing academic skills and knowledge over the summer break when they are out of school and not engaged in educational activities.
After a long school year, kids have earned some well-deserved downtime, however, parents may want to provide some additional fun activities that will keep kids' brains busy and active so they can stay off the summer slide!
With summer in full swing, here’s a quick list of some fun ideas to help kids prevent a summer slide.
Read, Read & Read Some More!
The benefits of reading are widely recognized and acknowledged. Reading not only enhances language skills but also improves critical thinking, vocabulary, and overall cognitive abilities. It is crucial to maintain a reading habit even during the summer break when children are out of school. Encouraging your kids to read regularly during this time can help them avoid the detrimental effects of the Summer Slide.
Reading is often regarded as the most recommended activity to prevent the Summer Slide. It offers a wide range of benefits beyond academic skills, such as promoting empathy, fostering creativity, and nurturing a lifelong love for learning. Check out Reading Rocket Summer Reading Booklists for a curated selection of age-appropriate and engaging books that cater to various interests and reading levels.
Visit Local Museums
Exploring museums during the summer break can be an enriching and enjoyable experience for children. There is a wide array of captivating museums waiting to be discovered, and you can easily find several options near your location. In addition to the well-known and popular museums, there are numerous quirky and unique museums that offer a delightful and engaging experience for kids of all ages.
Each museum presents a unique environment that encourages hands-on exploration and discovery, allowing children to engage with history, culture, science, and art in an immersive and interactive manner. Here’s Wikipedia’s list of museums in the United States by state, choose yours to see a complete list of all of the available options.
Play Brain-Boosting Board Games
Extensive research has demonstrated that engaging in board games can have a significant positive impact on the cognitive abilities of elementary school children. Studies have shown that if elementary school kids play board games just twice a week, they will have an increase in brain speed scores of 27-32%.
The summer break is a perfect time to explore a variety of board games that not only provide entertainment but also stimulate the brain. By choosing games that engage critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic decision-making, children can have a blast while keeping their minds sharp.
Our award-winning board game, Brain Freeze, uses strategic thinking, memory, deduction, and logic as kids race to correctly guess their opponent’s secret frosty sweet treat. In addition, consider visiting The Toy Insider for more excellent board game suggestions.
Start a Journal and Write
Starting a journal during the summer months is not only a neat way to maintain kids' writing skills but also a fantastic opportunity for them to create lasting memories of their summer activities and adventures. Encouraging children to keep a journal empowers them with a healthy writing habit that they can continue to benefit from long after the summer break ends. For 32 sensational summer writing prompts visit Journal Buddies.
Go Camping & Connect with Nature
Camping, even if it's limited to the backyard, can provide children with a valuable opportunity to connect with the great outdoors during the summer. While the backyard may not seem like a traditional camping destination, it still offers a chance to immerse kids in nature and create meaningful experiences. Whether it's setting up a tent, roasting marshmallows over a fire pit, or stargazing in the night sky, backyard camping can spark a sense of adventure and exploration. The folks at REI have some helpful tips for camping with kids.
Adding a few engaging activities such as regular reading, museum visits, brain-boosting board games, journaling, and camping is a great way to prevent the Summer Slide.
In nutshell, the best way to prevent the Summer Slide is to incorporate a few engaging activities such as regular reading, museum visits, brain-boosting board games, journaling, and camping into your summer routine. These activities not only help prevent the loss of academic progress but also promote creativity, critical thinking, and a love for lifelong learning.