How to Keep Kids Engaged in Learning During Summer Break

Summertime is a time to rest, have fun, and enjoy the outdoors! Summer is also infamous for the summer slide – which is the idea that children lose a significant amount of their learning over summer break. Research shows that during summer break, 3rd to 5th graders lost an average of about 20% of their reading gains and 27% of their math gains. But with the right guidance, students can stay engaged in learning during the summer break, which significantly improves retention and future success.

What Can Teachers and Parents Do to Prevent the Summer Slide?

The good news is that this isn’t about students doing more work. I don’t believe doing endless packets of work is the answer to combating the summer slide. Instead, I believe kids should be engaged in real-life learning experiences. Integrating genuine learning experiences into our daily routines helps foster a love of learning. It will also teach children to think critically and creatively.

Here are some ways you can incorporate real-life learning experiences into your students’ summer break:

1. Summer Learning Game Boards

I created these free game boards for students to track various genuine learning experiences for reading, math, science, and social studies. They will challenge students to find learning in their every-day life and explore the outdoors. The goal is to get children to become lifelong learners who observe, question, and learn with everything that they do! Kids can even create their own fun game board to share with a friend!

You can access these amazing Summer Learning Game Board Freebie Resources for no cost!

2. Field Trips

Getting out of the house can be a lot easier and more rewarding than you may think. Challenge your students or family to go on adventures that explore your local community. You can go on a hiking trail, take a trip to the lake or other nearby body of water, walk through a specific area of town, or go to a local library to explore and learn.

3. Keep a Summer Journal

Encourage your students to keep a journal and write about their experiences. This can foster a love of writing and exploration. You can use any blank notebook for this or my ready-to-go Summer Learning Journal, which comes in both print and digital formats.

Summer Learning Journal for students to stay engaged in learning during the summer and to prevent the summer slide.

4. PLAY!

Encourage families to take time to play, explore, and use their imaginations. Kids can use a large empty box to create a spaceship. Challenge them to build a theme park with blocks.

5. Start a Business

Encourage your students to start a business. It could be a lemonade stand, jewelry making, or anything they are passionate about! Have them come up with a plan and give them support to implement their plan. Who knows, they may become the next kid entrepreneur!

While summertime is a time for rest, fun, and adventure, it’s important to prevent that dreaded summer slide. We can use summer to encourage students to explore and become life-long learners. You will find your child or your students staying engaged in learning throughout summer break if you implement these activities.

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