Keeping Kids Mentally Engaged Over the Summer
Summer learning loss is real. While numbers vary depending on the study, it’s proven that over each summer, children lose a substantial portion of what they have learned in reading and math during the previous school year. Perhaps more importantly, these losses accumulate over time, setting some students back significantly as they age.
The loss and impact is more pronounced at younger ages when children are in critical development stages, however, keeping youth mentally engaged over the summer is important no matter what grade they are in.
Below are a few thought starters and ideas of how you can keep youth mentally engaged and stimulated during the summer months.
Read, read, and read some more.
Reading is one of the best brain activities out there – student or non-student. Read your own books to set an example for your children or dedicate time to read together. Pull book ideas from a school reading list or work to find books that will challenge them, but no matter what they choose to read, keeping a book in their hands to stay in the habit is vital.
For some ideas and inspiration, visit: https://mythreereaders.com/summer-reading-challenge-ideas/
Are there any local programs, camps or even libraries that offer educational programs over the summer? Whether it’s STEM, languages, chess, or another focus, they can be a great option to work in educational time alongside fun.
For some ideas and inspiration, visit: https://www.abcya.com/blog/ckrmccwoa686622mgat7ysbhg
This doesn’t have to be the standard 1000-piece puzzle for rainy days. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Wordle and other similar games all accomplish the same stimulation you’re looking for with children in these off months.
For some ideas and inspiration, visit: https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html
Make Math Fun
Think about ways you can incorporate numbers into your activities so kids are adding and subtracting without even realizing. Daily errands and projects could include budgets, prices, measurements, and more that kids can help with.
For some ideas and inspiration, visit: https://www.mathplayground.com/math-games.html
Start a Journal
Whether they write about their summer adventures, books they’re reading, stories or poetry, keeping a journal is a great way to keep kids engaged and actively practicing their reading and writing skills.
For some ideas and inspiration, visit: https://www.educationalappstore.com/app/idiary-for-kids-journaling-platform-for-writing-drawing
The pool is great, but throw in a few field trips over the summer that include learning opportunities. Visit historical sites, museums, go see a documentary. The summer is also the perfect time to take advantage of outdoor learning activities that they might not get to explore during the school year. Adding in adventures like this can make it more enticing to kids to want to learn and get them excited about the prospect.
For some ideas and inspiration, visit: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalhistoriclandmarks/list-of-nhls-by-state.htm