Creative and Fun Ways to Keep You Child Learning All Summer Long
Just because summer is here doesn’t mean your child needs to stop learning. Quite the contrary—opportunities for your student to engage his or her ‘noggin’ abound. Creativity and fun are the keys.
Why is this important? Because summer learning loss is real. Over the summer, the average student can lose 2 to 3 months’ worth of what he or she learned at school that year, especially when it comes to math. (See our previous article, How You Can Help Your Student Overcome Summer Brain Drain and Virtual Learning Loss With Summer Prep, for more information.)
Now, no one is suggesting children put their noses to the academic grindstone all summer long. Where’s the fun in that? Kids still need to be kids. What we’re suggesting is that parents engage their children in summertime reading, games, and activities related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Here are some simple but effective ideas:
Take an education themed trip
With travel on the uptick and most families planning one or more summer excursions (especially road trips), why not make one of your stops at a zoo, aquarium, museum or historical site? Not only will your family have fun, but your children will learn something in the process (and most likely you too!). You can also take it one step further by having your child attend a STEM-themed summer camp. Check out these recommendations from the Travel Channel (of course, you’ll want to check to see if there are any COVID-related closures or restrictions in place).
Cooking is a great learning and family activity
With all those ingredient measures, temperatures, and times, cooking is a mathematics bonanza. It also teaches planning and preparation skills, and can be a great communication and social skills builder, especially when it comes to cooperation, collaboration, and giving and taking direction. Check out these 10 Cooking Projects That Will Teach Your Kids Math, Science, and More!
When summer reading is left up to your child, chances are it won’t happen or, if it does, the material your child chooses will be below grade level. Instead, set up your own summer family reading program and read with your children. Think of it as a personal, family book club! You can discuss the book as you both progress through the material, asking such questions as “What did you like or dislike about the main characters?” and “What did you think of the setting? Do you think you’d ever want to go there?” and “If you were in the same situation, what would you have done?” Not only does summer reading help maintain student reading skills, it also builds communication and language skills, plus gives you and your children lots to talk about in the car or around the dinner table.
Board, card, and dice games are great ways to pass the time, spend quality family time together, and build math and strategy skills. A few of our favorites are Rummikub, Yahtzee, Phase 10, and Dominos.
Rummikub is an easy-to-learn tile game the whole family can enjoy. Players arrange their tiles in sets (same numbers) or runs (consecutive numbers). Wilds, substitution, and splitting rules add to the overall excitement and strategy.
The classic dice game, Yahtzee, teaches counting, addition, probability, and strategy skills—plus rolling dice is lots of fun for all ages.
Phase 10 is similar to the classic Rummy-style card game, "Frustration." As the name implies, players try to complete 10 phases or levels of differing card combinations. (Other card games, such as Rummy, Hearts, and Spades are also great teachers.)
Dominos is another game that's fun to play while reinforcing math skills. You can also use the tiles to play simple math games such as building large or small numbers, sequencing, matches, multiples, and more.
We Can Help
If you’re struggling with keeping your student on track this summer in preparation for the next school year, contact Spark Tutors today. We can help your child overcome summer brain drain so he or she starts the new school year off right.