The “summer slide” sounds like something fun to do at a water park or playground, but it actually refers to the mental atrophy some kids - especially the ones who don’t read - deal with during summer vacation. You can’t just stick a book in your child’s hand and call it a day, but you can try these sneaky ways to keep their learning skills fresh and focused before they head back to the classroom next fall.
- Math with baseball - While watching a game on TV or at the ballpark, keep track of the stats and calculate averages, so it feels like fun instead of work.
- Measure twice, then multiply, divide, add or subtract - Get into a project that requires precise measurement, like building something with wood, sewing, baking, or making models so they get math practice and the chance to apply skills physically.
- Fill a terrarium — and a field guide - Use an old fish tank or even a glass jar to create a terrarium with rocks, sticks, insects, and plants. Have kids use their science skills to identify environments and habitats and create a field guide to document their discoveries.
- Look to the stars - Check out a local planetarium like Fernbank or the Tellus Museum. You can also teach little ones about the constellations in the night sky or with glow-in-the-dark removable stars inside.
- Living history - Visit your library or nearby historical treasures to learn the history of the area.
- Interview an expert close to home - Have your child talk to an older loved one about a specific time in their life to find out what life was like for them.
- Graffiti poetry - Read some poetry geared for kids, like Shel Silverstein’s, and pick some favorites to write out or illustrate with sidewalk chalk.
Source: She Knows