This was a most unusual school year! The global pandemic created social distancing mandates and the desire to keep young learners safe moved us from the classroom to the living room. Home learning became the “new norm” and as we move into summer break, many children run the risk of losing the knowledge and academic skills that they developed throughout the year. In fact, it is estimated that children lose approximately two months of learning during summertime.
Summer learning loss is real—but preventable, even in the midst of this global pandemic. To help support the effort to eliminate the summer slide, we’ve gathered 10 fun ways to easily—and effectively—prevent summer learning loss and help children prepare for the school year ahead.
1. Local Resources
Take advantage of the free resources available at your local public library. Encourage a love for reading by connecting to the online and virtual resources that they have made available. Social distancing has been the catalyst for creative thought, and libraries are offering many opportunities to keep learning alive!
Introduce education into your daily tasks by creating real-life learning opportunities. Encouraging children to help with meal preparation, setting the table and deciding the number of utensils needed, making a grocery list, organizing toys, folding and sorting clothes, and writing notes are just a few examples of hands-on learning opportunities that strengthen problem solving skills. These kinds of activities also teach kids about responsibility, obligation, and commitment.
3. Go Outside
With many of the usual summer hot spots closed due to COVID-19, turn to a fun-filled outdoor experience. From swimming to camping, and everything in between, there are so many learning experiences that can be found in nature.
4. Food for Thought
Reinforce communication and math skills by simply preparing family meals together. In addition to learning how to cook, kids will also learn how to measure ingredients, read recipes, plan and problem solve to create culinary delights that the whole family can enjoy!
5. Local Summer Programs
Museums may be closed, but you can still beat the summer heat and learn something new by taking virtual tours. You don’t have to travel far to learn about science, art, music, history, and more! Many of these venues have created free virtual experiences that will educate and delight from the comfort of home.
6. Worldly Adventures
Investigate the world without leaving home! Virtual travel is a great way to learn about geography, as well as to develop a natural curiosity about different destinations, cultures, foods, and lifestyles.
7. Get zooing!
Trips to the zoo are always fun summer experiences, but until their gates reopen, many zoos are sharing live streams of animal exhibits. Kids of all ages love learning about animals—use this opportunity to incorporate fun lessons about animals’ needs, lifestyles, and habitats.
Browse through our large selection of free Printables, which provide fun, educational games, sample books, worksheets, and activities to use all summer long. We also have a variety of Printable Packets that are filled with engaging activities to keep kids’ minds active!
9. Smart Sweat
Promote family fitness by exercising together. This creates a great opportunity to discuss nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. You are your child’s first and best teacher, so modeling those healthy habits creates a win for you and your child!
10. Just 15 Minutes a Day
Make summer learning fun and fast with the best-selling Summer Bridge Activities® series. In just 15 minutes a day, each grade-specific book helps kids review the essential skills of their current grade level while preparing them for the grade ahead. Designed to prevent summer learning loss, this series keeps kids mentally and physically active with hands-on activities that can be done at home or on-the-go.