Grammy Tammy's tips for keeping your child learning all summer long
It’s summer time and the living is easy! But that’s why most children tend to fall behind in their schooling for the upcoming year. This “summer slide” refers to the way children can forget what they have learned during the previous school year over their summer break. We’re not just talking about the little things like knowing their state’s capital or how to write their name, but more important skills such as math and reading. For preschoolers, especially, these are the skills they need to keep building for the following school year.
It’s easier than you think to fill your preschooler’s summer days with playful learning experiences. Here are four ways to keep your child developing, growing and learning all summer long:
- Get Creative: After a long school year, your child has earned a break from the typical weekly routine, so look for fun, creative ways to keep them learning without having to sit in a room most of the day. When it comes to something like math, don’t just give your child a lecture then practice questions from a book. Instead, get your little one involved in math-related activities like cooking or baking. Doubling recipes require addition and multiplication, halving a recipe requires division and subtraction and a measuring cup gets you working with easy fractions. Have fun letting your child flex their math skills while also learning about food and nutrition!
- Spend time outside: Spending plenty of time enjoying the outdoors is exactly what summer calls for, especially here in Florida! Encourage your child to spend time outside playing and exploring around your yard or at local parks. Outdoor play develops stronger immune systems, improves concentration and contributes to your child’s overall happiness. Who doesn’t want that? More than playtime, there are many ways that children can spend time outside while learning. Take your child on a picnic at a local park or even in your backyard and bring some books that you can read outside together. If your little one is curious about what kids of animals and plants are around, give them a book that helps them identify many different species. For more outdoor activities and learning opportunities, check out our blog on why outdoor play is important for preschoolers.
- Take trips: Field trips fascinate children during the school year, so keep up with that tradition throughout the summer. Going to museums and historical sites in your area can help your child learn about history, both local and beyond. For example, a great place to take a trip here in Southwest Florida is the Edison and Ford Winter Estates or head on over to one of the many beautiful Florida beaches to take a swim and learn more about marine life. You could also visit your local library to pick up some more reading material or get involved in any one of the summer reading programs that are offered. Click here for more information on the Lee County Library System’s summer reading programs.
- Let them socialize: Learning isn’t always about math and reading; learning how to socialize is also very important for children. Talk to other parents about setting up playdates where your child can spend time learning and playing with other children. Summer camps provide a great opportunity for your child to socialize and try new things. Ask your little one about hobbies or activities they are interested in and see if there are any local summer camps tailored to their interests.
Aren’t you excited for summer now? Look at all of the fun, unique opportunities you can offer your child to keep their summer days filled with learning experiences. Now, what to do first?