For most kids, summer vacation is a long-awaited break where they can finally kick back, sleep in and watch endless amounts of television. However, the “dream” summer vacation may actually become quite boring after the first week. Unfortunately, research shows that students’ learning trajectories often start to slide during summer vacation — a phenomenon commonly referred to as “summer learning loss.”
To help prevent “the summer slide,” parents can choose from an array of activities to keep children engaged and active. Whether your child is interested in theatre or music, sports or the sciences, each activity has a broader impact on development and learning abilities. Focus on your child’s strength when choosing learning opportunities.
Many parents look for activities that not only keep their child busy, but also utilize skills that the child already has. While practicing specific skills it is important to know that brain growth actually happens more-so with free play rather than with any other activity, especially during the preschool and elementary school years. Therefore allowing a child to engage in daily, safe, adult-supervised free play will encourage the development of creative skills, resulting in better brain function.
So let’s make summer learning FUN and ADVENTUROUS.
You can find additional resources at pbs.org/parents, a trusted PBS source.
KLRN Education Team