10 Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

Make learning fun and engaging for kids during the summer months to stop the summer slide! Here are 10 activities and ideas for parents that will help to keep your kids sharp over the summer. These activities will also help your child make the connection between what they learn in school and how it relates to the real world.

Here's how to stop the summer brain drain while making learning a fun part of your everyday routine.

1. Keep Them Writing
Have your child keep a personal journal. Often, writing in a journal about summer activities, outings and trips gives them a place to start and eliminates the "I have nothing to write about" complaint.

2. Use Technology for Learning Purposes
There are many fun academic and educational apps that you can download for kids to review skills over the summer.

‚Äč3. Grocery Shop
Read your grocery list to your child to help practice writing or keyboard skills. Take them shopping to talk about prices, sales, and healthy choices.

4. Cook Together
Involve your child in meal planning and preparation. Depending on your child’s age, you can even put them in charge of a meal once a week. Following a recipe helps your child practice fractions, measuring and reading.  

5. Keep Reading 
Summer  is the perfect time to help your child find books and magazines that match his or her interests. Read together or start an informal book club with your child and friends. Schedule an afternoon to discuss your book selection. During the summer, you can also register your child for library programs, which are often free.

6. Explore Nature
Nature provides multiple opportunities to ask questions and seek answers. Get your child to apply what they learned in life science to your backyard. Visit a park or conservation area and go on a nature scavenger hunt to help kids learn about life all around them. Catch and release bugs, and have your kids identify them. Check nature outreach centers that will often host inexpensive classes and weekend programs to further learning. Kids who spend time in nature-based activities show gains in science, language arts, maths, social interactions and social studies.

7. Cultivate Art and Creativity
Art enhances creative thinking, motor skills, and social and emotional development. Host a splatter paint party on canvas in your backyard. Watercolor on textured paper. Make collages out of old magazines. Explore the visual arts at an Art Gallery or Museum.

8. Expose them to Music
If your child expresses an interest or is passionate about music, attend local concert series in the park, which are often free. Encourage your child to learn about the history of the music they are interested in and read biographies of favourite composers.

9. Plan a Trip
Thanks to the internet, your child can easily research your family’s next vacation or a local day trip. Give them a list of questions to answer about travel to the location, cost, as well as attractions to see at the site they want to visit. The learning can also continue when you arrive at your destination.

10. Grow a Garden
Your child can learn more about their environment by growing your own fruits and vegetables. If you don't have the space, grow a container garden. Your child can take pictures or make notes in a daily gardening notebook detailing the life cycle of the plant.

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