- Create a routine of daily learning activities such as reading, math problems, and spelling games.
- Make learning fun and engaging by incorporating it into outdoor activities, storytelling, and games.
- Consider summer camps or classes that focus on STEM, writing, music, or other areas of interest.

Mom and daughter playing outside in summer

It’s SUMMER! Time for children to enjoy a break from school, go to camp, and just enjoy the great outdoors!

Have you heard of the “summer melt”? That’s a name for the learning loss that occurs when children don’t engage with what they’ve learned in the previous school year, and the information “melts” away. It’s important to help make sure what they learned over the previous year isn’t forgotten!

Explore these summer learning activities for kids to stop the “summer melt” and make learning fun!

Create a routine.

Making learning a part of your daily routine will help make this an expected part of your child’s day! You can do this in any way that works for your family, but some suggestions are:

  • Morning math problems! Ask your child a math question at breakfast or try to use math while they play with their toys.
  • Car ride spelling bee. Every time you’re in the car, quiz your child with words to spell.
  • A bedtime story. This can be a great way to calm your little one before bed and reinforce reading skills.

Read every day.

Reading is one of the most important skills that pertains to every part of life. So have your child work on reading skills by:

  • Read every night before bed. Depending on your child’s age, have them try to read to you.
  • Go to the library. Reward your child with a weekly library trip!
  • Create a book club with your child’s friends! They’ll love reading with their friends and getting together to discuss the book.
  • Find more reading activities here!

Work on your child’s math skills.

Math skills are particularly easy to forget over the summer. Try some of these ways to reinforce the math your child has learned:

Extended family playing board games to teach children basic math skills

Get outside.

This is so easy to do during the summer, and there’s so much learning that can happen outdoors!

  • Go on a nature walk. Use math skills by counting leaves or animals, or use language skills by asking your child to tell you what they’re seeing.
  • Create a garden. Research what you want to grow with your child and calculate how long it will take for something to grow.
  • Check out these outdoor activities.

Make it a game.

Topics like math and spelling might seem really boring— unless they’re a part of a competition! With siblings or friends, challenge children to:

  • A spelling bee! Spell words out loud or write them in sidewalk chalk.
  • A counting competition. Try something like blowing bubbles and see who can count the bubbles first.
  • A reading challenge. See how many minutes a week your child can read, and who can read the most!

Tell a story.

Storytelling is more than just stringing a few words together. It helps children with communication skills, and reinforces problem solving and working memory, 2 important executive function skills. Even if your child can’t read yet, they can tell a story by drawing or telling it to you! Some simple story prompts:

  • Ask them to tell you about their day.
  • If you’ve finished a book together, ask them to tell you what they think happens next.
  • Ask they to tell you about a time they felt happy.
  • Ask them to tell you what their perfect day would be.

Go to a museum.

Learning is all around in a museum! This can be a fun way to get out of the house and engage in learning topics. Look to see if your local museum has discount days for kids or families. If you’re going on a summer vacation, see if there’s a children’s museum to explore there.

Consider learning-based summer camps or classes.

This is all dependent on the cost, availability, and your family’s schedule, but camps and classes can be a more direct way to help children learn.

Kids playing tug of war in summer

  • STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) camps
  • Writing camps or classes
  • Music camps or classes

Do meaningful screen time.

During the summer months, there’s a lot of downtime. Screen time may be unavoidable! Follow these tips to engage in meaningful screen time with your little one, so it can be a learning experience for them.

Encourage their interests.

Children will be more open to learning about something they’re interested in— and it doesn’t have to be a school-related topic. Whether they love dinosaurs, astronauts, animals, music, or just anything sparkly, there are ways to incorporate what they love into learning! Some ideas to do this:

  • Find books about a topic they love.
  • Look for learning toys related to their interests.
  • If their interest is an activity (like playing music or cooking), have them engage in this topic directly! Many of these naturally involve math, reading, or language skills.
  • Learn more about careers that use these jobs. For example, if they love dinosaurs, learn more about the people who study dinosaurs! This may help them understand more about what they need to learn to do that job.

Learning doesn’t have to be boring.

By doing summer learning activities with your kids, learning can become a part of their daily routine while on break.

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