10 Ways to Keep Kids Learning This Summer

Avoid the summer slide with these educational activities and fun ideas for how to keep your kid learning over the summer.

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According to the National Summer Learning Association, students can lose just over two months' worth of smarts during the summer break. The good news is, this doesn't have to happen! These ten tips make it easier than you think to find time for plenty of fun and freedom as well as learning opportunities for your kids.

Get Outdoors!

Nice days are made for a science experiment in the backyard, or a challenging obstacle course in the pool that works body and brain muscles. All out of craft supplies? No pool in sight? Try an activity that needs only items found in nature, like building a bird's nest.

Make Change

Summertime affords myriad opportunities for helping kids understand the value of allowance money and employ math skills needed to get through life more profitably. Starting a small business, such as a lemonade stand, lawn mowing, or dog walking, can teach kids how to manage a budget and communicate with customers.

Explore Your Community

Getting out of the house can inspire all sorts of ways to learn new things. Check out a nearby museum to learn about artwork, browse books at your neighborhood library, or head to your local park or beach for a number hunt. Leaving home can open the door for ample opportunity to explore culture, history, nature and art.

Update to Apps

Technology can provide great learning tools and inspiration outside of the classroom, and can be a boon when it's raining or too hot to play outside.Reading apps offer a nice change from turning pages, while search-and-find games help kids work on critical thinking skills and coordination. As with everything, remind your child to use technology in moderation—especially when it's nice out!

Host a Family Game Night

Game night is a fun, engaging way to bring your family together and get little minds learning. From following instructions to strategic planning to adding up earnings or moves, both the classics and printable games teach kids real-world skills they can use for years to come.

Give a Little!

Tying volunteerism to a child's interests also affords a chance to learn new and valuable skills, not to mention it will keep her active and productive over the summer. Organizations devoted to causes such as animals, our natural environment, faith, and art are often happy to have young people willing to help out.

Sign Up for Summer Camp

Summer camps provide a great opportunity for kids of all ages to build new skills and friendships in a diverse range of subjects, activities, and environments. Camp options vary from overnight adventures to daytime excursions to weekly classes, and may be as close as your local park or library.

Cook Together

During the school year, kids can become too busy to develop important life skills, such as cooking family meals. This activity can become a fun and challenging series of math lessons. From establishing a shopping budget to measuring ingredients and using multiplication for recipes, kids will learn the importance of correct calculations and take another step closer to independence.

Start a Book Club

Whether it's within your family or among your child's friends, a book club can be a great motivator for reading and discussion during the summer months. Mixing a few required summer reading books into the list can jump-start back-to-school prep, while tracking and rewarding progress will keep your kid coming back for more.

Don't Dismiss Summer School

If your child needs more structure, summer school courses can offer the chance to catch up, get ahead, try a new language, or explore exciting electives so that she can start the next school year strong. Online courses, which may offer a larger selection of classes, can be a valuable option in addition to or instead of traditional summer school.

Remember, summer is your child’s chance to rest and rejuvenate, so it’s important to stay flexible when it comes to inspiring kids to continue learning. Look for educational opportunities everywhere, but remember to kick back and have fun, too. Happy learning!

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