We all know and love the joy that sliding a slide can bring. Summer is a time for fun and much needed routine change; a time where we can hopefully enjoy some connections with our children and family without so many other obligations pulling at attention.
Unfortunately, there is another type of slide that does not instill this same type of joy. This “summer slide” is the loss of academic key skills that are not practiced by children throughout the summer. While not every child will experience this, it is an age-old principle that many of us can understand and appreciate. When we are not practicing skills, we tend to lose or forget them!
This does not mean that we should spend the summer pushing workbooks or practice pads on our children (unless that is the type of activity that helps them thrive)! It simply means that as parents, we should make a conscious effort to take advantage of teachable moments throughout the summer months. Read on to discover some of our suggestions on how to infuse science, math, and literacy into your daily lives this summer and help beat the summer slide!
Food and Fun
Something that still persists in summer months is the need to keep our bellies full! We can have our children participate in every aspect of this AND enrich the experience with so many academic and life skills!
- Meal Plan
- Make a grocery list
- Have them help at the grocery store selecting products, reading labels and prices
- Explore recipe books together
- Cook together
These activities will encourage literacy, problem solving, mathematics, life skills AND bring you together as a family. This is an easy and surefire way to make a daily activity a teachable moment.
Summertime lends itself to the outdoors. Whether you enjoy birdwatching, hiking, camping, gardening, fishing, cycling, visiting the beach, or anything else on your summer ‘to-do list’, there is a way to enrich the experience and engage young minds.
- Make a scavenger hunt
- Collect found items and then research them, make an art piece, or build something
- Create a habitat
- Make of list of what you saw and make a tally chart or graph
- Make an obstacle course and time it. Write is down and see who is the winner. Try again and make an average
- Create your own bubble mixture
There are so many ways to add academic skills into these fun summer activities! It doesn’t need to be a chore or to be completed at a desk.
Sometimes it isn’t about making a moment teachable. Sometimes, the activity itself is can be based in education but still be plain-old FUN! Science is one of the easiest ways to achieve this!
- Build bottle rockets
- Make Oobleck
- Rainbow rain
- Lego building challenges
- Soda Pop and Mentos
- Chemical reactions with baking soda and vinegar
Grab a book about science experiments and earmark your favourites to try out with your kiddos this summer!
Open a Book
Carving out just 20 minutes a day to read together is the perfect way to spend some calming quality time with your child. You can do this at home, visit your local library, or take some books and enjoy reading together outdoors. Make sure to spark discussions about the titles you read together, make connections to your daily life, and help build their vocabulary.
Putting these ideas into practice will help your child beat the summer slide and will also bring you together as a family. Spending quality time together while putting these teachable moments into practice is such a wonderful way to connect with the ones you love.
Let us know if you have tried any of these activities with your kiddos or what YOU do to help beat the Summer Slide!