10 Ways to Stop the "Summer Slide"

Help Keep Kids Engaged with Learning

By Sara Yaniga June 8, 2024
Whether you believe in the "Summer Slide" or not there is no harm in planning some simple ways to keep those brains engaged when school is not in session! My years of homeschooling during COVID allowed me to realize that a little intentionality and planning can go a long way in helping you and your kids get more out of many summer activities!

Read, Read and Read - Sure, everyone may know this one, but it's still so important to read every day that we want to mention it. Aim for 15-30 minutes a day and mix it up by finding new spots to relax & read around the city! I also encourage reading aloud together at any age. It allows everyone to take turns practicing their reading and listening skills and when everyone is invested in the same story conversation is bound to happen.  Add a visit to your local library branch or the American Writer's Museum to explore books and authors further!

Cook with your kids - Seriously, how many times have you had to google measurement conversions to double or half a recipe? GREAT lessons for kids, plus just simply following directions step-by-step is an important skill. You can even sign up for a cooking class together at Sur La Table or Oui Chef to learn new skills or recipes together.

Plant a garden. The planting process is a great way to explore science concepts. Maybe do this one and then use what you grow to cook something delish! Click here for some family gardening activities.

Build Your Vocabulary with a Word Wall - Post-it Notes, index cards or plain paper cut into smaller pieces, a dictionary or online resource for new words, tape, and a marker is all you need to build everyone's vocabulary skills this summer! Claim a section of wall, or door, and put up a new word every day for your kids. If you have different ages then be sure to mix them up to be challenging, but not too challenging, for the younger kids.

Find a Pen Pal - This is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family that don't live nearby. Younger kids who aren't writing can also draw pictures and tell mom or dad what to write.

Take pictures and create a digital scrapbook or slideshow to share - Browse Pinterest for some clever ideas to display your memories. 

Keep a Summer Journal - you can use a spare notebook, get creative, and make your own book, or download this free 14-page journal to help get you started! It has more ideas for summer fun and don't forget - Playing is Learning!

Go on field trips - Explore a great local museum or zoo. Explore a new neighborhood, or plan a short day trip to a neighboring city. Expand your boundaries by planning a train adventure for a new way to explore! Check the Macaroni KID Chicago calendar for ideas.

Involve kids in everyday activities like going to the grocery store - Have your kids help plan some meals, create a shopping list, determine a budget, and help them calculate their total. Sneaking in a trip to the store, some responsibility and cooking together is almost enough to make them forget they are doing math and exercising those brains! Here are some other ideas to incorporate learning about money and math into your kids lives.

Explore learning websites - We can't fight technology so let's embrace it. There are a ton of great learning websites and apps out there. Your kids think they are playing while you can feel confident in knowing that there is some learning going on, too. Here's a list of a few favorites, but most schools and teachers can share sites that they find appropriate for your student: