The “summer slide” isn’t activity at your local park. It refers to the loss of knowledge or skills when out of practice for a while, such as summer vacation away from school.
While all kids are at risk for a summer slide if they don’t keep up with some sort of reading and math, kids who have learning and developmental disorders are especially vulnerable. To make sure they retain what was taught, so that they can build on that in the coming fall, they may need some regular refreshers over the summer.
Here are 4 tips for avoiding brain drain…and still keeping the fun in summer.
- Sneak in educational games. Try these…alphabet/sight word Twister (put letters/words on the dots and spinner and reach for them as they are called out), or water balloon math toss (write math problems on a water balloon with a marker, once your child solves it, they can smash it). Bingo or Jeopardy-type games can all also be adapted to highlight vocabulary words, as well as math and science facts.
- Create your own reading program. Reading practice is one of the most effective (and easiest) ways to keep their minds engaged over the summer. Reward your child with a small treat as they finish a book, or plan for a big prize at the end of the summer if they read a certain amount. Allow them to be in control by choosing what they want to read, and plan “field trips” to the library whenever they need new selections.
- Limit screen time. Allow your kiddo to pick and choose their favorites shows or games to watch/play, but limit time to no more than two hours daily. Summer is a time to be outdoors, in the pool, and exploring all that Austin has to offer–and there’s a lot!
- Plan some play with ‘practical’ purposes. Have your child organize a bake sale or lemonade stand, and task them with designing signs and writing out menus. Establishing prices and counting money also makes for great math practice.