While we all look forward to summer, parents are not alone when worrying about their kids’ education and the potential ‘summer slide’ caused by summer break. Summer Slide refers to the loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of summer vacation. The last thing any parent wants is to take away from their kids’ summer fun, but at the same time, doing well in school is important for a child’s future. Luckily, we have a list of tips to prevent the summer slide in fun and creative ways!

Read A New (or Old) Book

The number one thing that every kid, no matter the age, should do to help prevent summer slide is reading. It’s as simple as having your kids read for 20-30 minutes per day. This could be outside at the park, on a car trip, or inside on a rainy day. 

Make reading super fun by going to the library or your local toy store and letting your kid pick out a book they want to read. Too young to read on their own? Kids love being read to and you can ask for their help to read the book to work on sounding out words. If your kids are a little older, try a book club or summer reading challenges to get them engaged. Just make sure the reading material is interesting and a fit for their reading level. 

Whistle Stop’s book corner is full of unique books for kids ages 0-12 including fun books, educational books, or books that teach kindness. 

Keep A Summer Journal

Writing is another key skill for kids’ education and a great way to avoid the summer slide is to encourage writing daily. This can be something as simple as keeping a summer journal to document what adventures they went on throughout the summer break. Or you can get your kids to handwrite a letter to a friend or family member. Letters in the mail from friends and family are always a welcome surprise that can spread joy. 

If your kids are younger, pull out the chalk and play with them outside to write their ABCs. This works on both basic writing skills and fine motor skills. Start by helping your child at first, then see how many they can do on their own as the summer progresses. 

Use Math In Cooking and Counting

While most kids don’t enjoy sitting at the dining table and working on their multiplication tables, math can be found everywhere and we can use that in fun ways! If your kid likes to help you cook or bake, use smaller measuring cups to think through fractions and addition. Another idea is when you are out at the store, ask your child to guess the change before the register. If you don’t use cash that often, your kids can play with a toy register to create a similar problem to solve. 

For younger children, math can be easier to find throughout the day. Go to the park and ask them to count the number of flowers or dogs they see. You can also ask real-life versions of the math problem questions like “If I have three apples and give you one, how many apples do I have?” 

Educational Toys

Want to make these summer slide prevention tools even more fun? Try a number of educational toys by age and topic to keep your kiddo entertained. Anything from math games and dice for each grade level to picture flash cards to help with reading and identifying animals. In addition to more creative activities, Whistle Stop Hobby & Toy also carries Hot Dots, Flash Cards, and science kits to make learning fun and easy!! 

Be sure to check out our Educational Aids section and our Books section to see what summer fun the kids can have while also avoiding the summer slide! 

Bonus: Keep a schedule

It may not be educational necessarily, but keeping your kids on a schedule through the summer will make going back to school in the fall much easier. This doesn’t mean they have to do homework for the first part of the day, but keeping a routine of what time to wake up and go to bed will go a long way. You can add in chore time to start building good habits, plan summer activities like going to the nature center or to the beach or the library, and limit screen time to make a really well-rounded schedule. Routine for kids is a whole additional topic, but I thought it worth mentioning for the summer as kids thrive on routine and schedules.