School is out for summer! While that’s a great thing, and kids definitely need a little break, it can also lead to what is known as the summer slide. While the summer slide or summer brain drain is a very real thing, the good news is that there are several fun ways to stop the summer slide from happening at all!
Summer learning can be fun, rewarding, and exciting for students of all ages! There are a multitude of ways to keep students’ brains engaged through those summer months. Virtual field trips, writing journals, road trips, hobby exploration, and reading challenges are just a few.
Here are 8 ways to stop the summer slide:
1. Virtual Field Trips
There’s no doubt that students love to explore. There’s also no mistaking their love for the virtual world. By combining those two worlds, you have the all-powerful virtual field trip. Not only are they fun, but students can learn a ton without the cost of travel and admission fees. Why not have your kids explore a new place each week? They can go on an arctic adventure, explore Hershey’s Factory, or even take panoramic tour of the Louvre! Check out this collection of ten of the best virtual field trips. Here’s a great place to visit virtually too!
2. Explore a Hobby:
If your child has expressed an interest in a new area, such as making videos, collecting rocks, or learning about dinosaurs, this is a great opportunity to help him develop important research skills. Have him check out a book on the topic from the library or do some online research and then create a project around the new hobby. Stop the summer slide in its tracks with fun activities like this!
3. Complete a Reading Challenge:
Kids love a good challenge! A reading challenge is no exception, especially if there is some sort of reward, like a night at the movies, in place. Print out this FREE Summer Reading Challenge Sheet and get started today!
4. Plan a Road Trip:
While children sometimes have the opportunity to go on a road trip, they rarely get to be in on the planning of the adventures. By allowing your child to do some research on a destination spot and help plan out the details, she will become more invested and interested in the trip. Have her read online reviews such as which hotel to stay at, which museum to visit, or where to have the best burger on the road and weigh in on those decisions.
5. Cook a Weekly Meal:
Food is one way to your child’s heart. Ask your child to decide on a menu for one meal each week. Then, have them do the shopping for the ingredients, staying within a predetermined budget. Depending on your child’s level of independence, allow them to prepare and serve the meal. There are a multitude of skills that are developed with meal planning. This is a great way to help stop the summer slide!
6. Set up a Makerspace:
If you’re not familiar with Makerspaces, you are missing out! In a nutshell, a Makerspace is a place where students create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials. They are a HUGE opportunity for creative exploration and problem-solving. Why not set one up in your home? Gather cardboard, gadgets, old appliances, tools, and any other supplies you may have on hand, and let your child’s imagination get to work! Here is a great article on 4 Easy, Budget Friendly Makerspace Projects. Trust me, kids love this kind of thing.
7. Make a Movie:
Let’s face it. Kids today are quite tech-savvy. They love taking selfies and videos. Why not turn that love into something productive? Encourage your child to create a movie based on his favorite book? Then, your family can have a viewing night, complete with delicious, buttery popcorn!
8. Ten Minutes of Review:
While I would never advise a parent to have their child sit for hours working on math problems or reading questions, I do think that just 10 minutes a day is more than reasonable. A little bit of review each day can go a very long way in helping to stop the summer slide. I’ve created Summer Slide Packets for students leaving 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade. They are perfect for 10 minutes of review each day. Just print, add to a folder, and you’re set for the summer!
Summer is a fun, magical time! It doesn’t have to lead to a summer slide. Give one of these ideas a try, or if you have your own activity that helps to stop the summer slide, please share in the comments!
Have a truly wonderful summer!