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Five ways to keep your kids’ brain working over the summer

We finally made it. It’s summertime. Gone are the homework assignments, Zoom lessons, and parent-teacher conferences. For the last 180 days, your child has worked so hard to reach their goals for the school year. Here are a few ways to keep the momentum going over the summer.

We finally made it. It’s summertime. Gone are the homework assignments, Zoom lessons, and parent-teacher conferences. For the last 180 days, your child has worked so hard to reach their goals for the school year.

For the last 3 months, you have quickly transitioned from full-time parent to part-time teacher. First of all, give yourself a pat on the back. We know these last few months have been difficult, but you did it! 

Before we move forward, we want to preface this by saying that we are in no way encouraging you to spend your summer homeschooling your child. Summer is meant to be a time for kids and teachers alike to recharge and take a break, but that doesn’t mean turning our brains off completely, especially after 3 months of non-traditional schooling. 

A topic that is very prevalent in the teaching world is the “summer slide”.

That term is described as the regression that kids make over the summer when they are out of the classroom for two months. This year, on top of the summer slide, we are also beginning to worry about the quarantine slide.

When we (hopefully) return to the classroom in the fall, it will be the first time since March that students and teachers are meeting in person. It’s important to bridge the gap and ensure that kids’ brains keep working a bit so they maintain the knowledge and skills they acquired during the school year. 

We, of course, highly recommend getting one of our EngageBoxes to give your kids some fun and educational activities for the summer! Click here to pick out a box! But if you’re looking for other ideas, check this out:

5 Easy Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

1) Get them books they’ll love! Reading, no matter what kind, will help kids grow their vocabulary and comprehension skills over the summer.

2) Integrate easy math into everyday life. For example, when you’re making your grocery list, ask your kids questions like “if we need 4 potatoes for the family and we want to have potatoes 3 times next week, how many potatoes should I buy?”

3) Play strategy games. Whether it’s board games, card games, or video games, thinking about logical steps will help your child develop critical thinking skills.

4) Get them a kids travel book! Your child will love learning about the world by looking at pictures of faraway places. You can imagine a post-COVID trip to a new and fun place.

5) Keep them moving. Our brain and body health is linked, and children need fresh air and exercise to keep growing, both mentally and physically. Find ways to safely play outside and burn off some extra energy.

Here’s a list of suggestions for fun ways you can keep your child learning this summer without making them feel like they are still in distance learning.

Online Learning Games 

https://www.starfall.com/h/

Starfall as activities available for children in Pre-K all the way up to 3rd grade. They can practice reading, phonics skills, and math skills through the colorful and interactive activities. 

https://pbskids.org/

Your child’s favorite book and TV characters come to life at PBS Kids! Will they learn about animals with the Kratt brothers or go on an adventure with Clifford the Big Red Dog?

https://www.coolmath.com/

Cool Math Games are designed for kids 13 and over, with activities for pre-algebra, algebra, and pre-calculus skills. 

https://www.coolmath4kids.com/

Cool Math 4 Kids is the sister website to Cool Math Games, designed for kids games 3 through 12. There are many. games focusing on math fluency in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. 

https://www.abcya.com

ABCya! Has activities for Pre-K students all the way to 6th grade students. The Common Core standards are provided for each grade. They also have strategy and skill games that challenge your child outside of their grade’s standards.

https://www.prodigygame.com

Prodigy is a highly-engaging online math game where students often feel as though they are playing a video game instead of practicing math facts. Both of our classes this year absolutely loved it!

Online Reading/Learning 

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

Is your child a future zoologist? National Geographic Kids website is essentially a kid-friendly online animal encyclopedia. There are games, videos, brain boosters, and so much more. 

https://www.getepic.com/

Get Epic! is a digital library with over 40,000 titles. There are animated books and read alouds on there as well. Many quizzes even have a quiz your child can take after they finish reading their book. They are offering a free 30 day trial for the summer. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOQsQyMsYbJ6vzwSuSIBLrg

Head to this YouTube Channel to hear Jess read some of our favorite stories! There are over 70 books already posted and more to come! 

Get Moving

https://www.getclassfit.com/videos

It’s time to get moving! Watch these videos and workout alongside some incredible athletes and PE coaches! 

https://family.gonoodle.com

Looking for a fun brain break? Head to GoNoodle to dance and sing with your favorite friends! Explore the hundreds of educational and fun videos this site has to offer! 

Virtual Field Trips 

https://kids.sandiegozoo.org

Do you miss being able to go visit the incredible animals at your local zoo? Check out the live cams of all the animals at the San Diego Zoo. Check out all of the different games and activities your kids can complete to learn all about the exotic animals! 

https://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/museum-virtual-tour

Head to the Boston Children’s Museum and take a virtual tour of all of the incredible exhibits. Learn with your child as you explore everything this wonderful museum has to offer. 

https://www.boeingfutureu.com/virtual-field-trips/environment

Check out this virtual field trip to learn all about air, land, water, and waste. Help your kiddos explore the different ways they can help the environment!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYyJUEtYv-ZW7BgjhP3UbTg/featured

We miss going to Disney! Head to this YouTube Channel to ride some of your favorite rides without having to leave your house!! 

We hope your child enjoys some of the resources we have provided you with here! Remember to encourage your child to not be spending their entire summer in front of a computer or TV screen. Reading every day is also a great way to fight back against the summer/quarantine slide. 

Sign up for our Free Activities Newsletter!

In next week’s newsletter, we provide a few different activities for your child to do outside. Be sure to sign up so you don’t miss out!

Co-Founder / Teacher at EngageBox | + posts

Hi, I’m Jess! I am a first grade teacher in Sunrise, FL. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2018 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Elementary Education, an Elementary Reading Endorsement, and an English as a Second Language Certification. I have been working with energetic six- and seven-year olds in the most engaging ways possible. I love working with kiddos and hope to encourage every child I meet to become a life-long learner!

Co-Founder / Teacher at EngageBox | + posts

Hey there, I’m Mallory! I am a first grade teacher in Orlando, FL. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2016 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Elementary Education, an Elementary Reading Endorsement, and an English as a Second Language Certification. In my teaching career, I have worked with students with all kinds of abilities and needs. One thing that remains constant among all students is the need for an engaging curriculum. It is my hope as an educator to show my students that learning not only can be fun, but is supposed to be fun! I am excited to reach more students through EngageBox!