The lazy, carefree days of summer are among us once again. While most kids are excited to escape the daily routines and schedules of the academic school year, it is still important to encourage an active routine at home throughout the summer months. Over summer break, children can lose two to three months’ worth of reading and math skills. To avoid this academic slide, keeping your child’s mind and body active is essential. So, here are seven ways to seize this summer to encourage mental and physical growth in your student:   

1. Get Crafty 

Creativity is key to making summer learning fun for your child. Luckily, the opportunities for at-home arts and crafts are endless. Encourage reading by creating bookmarks or practice motor skills by coloring inside the lines with a new coloring book. Take crafts outside by painting a bird feeder, covering the sidewalk with chalk, or decorating a colorful kite!   

2. Play Games 

Make time to play games with your child. Whether they love board games, card games, or active games like hide-and-go-seek, this will help keep their minds and bodies active while also having fun. Try giving your child a platform and encouraging them to create their own game!   

3. Attend Hobby Classes/Summer Camps 

Enrolling your child in summer camp is an excellent way to keep your child learning, entertained, and in a routine. Local performing arts centers and recreation departments, nature programs such as Boy/Girl Scouts, sports programs, or day programs sponsored by the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs are a great place to start.  

4. Embark on Nature Walks 

Nature walks are a fun and easy way for your child to experience the beauty of nature while staying active. Bring along a bag to allow your child to pick up any amazing finds along the way!   

5. Cook Together 

Having your child assist you in the kitchen is a great way to keep their minds active while exposing them to cooking. Allow them to stir, add ingredients, or participate wherever else they can help. Your kitchen companion can also help with dishes to practice chores and discipline.  

6. Play Outside 

Playing outside is the easiest way to keep your child engaged and active throughout the summer break. Whether that means going to the park, having a picnic, or simply an imaginative backyard adventure, outside time is key to a healthy lifestyle—both physically and mentally.   

7. Practice Reading, Writing, and Math at Home 

Finally, make time to practice reading, writing, and math at home each day. While this may not be your child’s idea of summer fun, it is essential to your child’s academic success. Practicing reading comprehension, math, and literacy skills at home will not only prevent summer slide but give your child personalized, one-on-one time to progress in areas they may be falling behind.   

Educate Midland believes that grade-level readiness and education competency is a full community effort. Parents, students, and educators all need to be working independently on improvement, while working together to make sure a common vision is being worked towards. For more parent resources, visit educatemidland.org/parent-resources!