Anyone who has taken even a week off from working out knows how hard quickly you can lose the progress you have made. So what can we expect when our kids are off of school for two to three whole months? While summer vacation is a time of fun, relaxation, swimming, camping, and late nights, it can also be a time of learning loss.
According to the National Summer Learning Association, “Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months.” Yes in just, two months!
In order to prevent summer brain drain, it is so incredibly important that your child reads or does projects and activities that require some thinking. Check out the below activities to keep kids’ minds active and engaged throughout the summer months…in a fun way.
Bring them into the kitchen
There are plenty of ways to get kids involved in the kitchen, but just because they’re off from school for three months, doesn’t mean you’re off from work. So, if you don’t have time to gather all the props and ingredients The Cookie Cups is a wonderful option. Their Pizza Making Kit is as fun for parents as it is for the kids – and is a great teaching moment for adding healthful ingredients to otherwise junky foods. Load your pizzas with plenty of colorful veggies and greens and show kids that things don’t need to be full of sugar and fat to be delicious. They’ll be a lot more likely to get excited about eating healthy things if they’re involved in the process of making them. Of course The Cookie Cups’ signature kits involve sweets, which we love too!
Michaels free virtual online arts and crafts program, Camp Creatology will keep kids from sitting in front of a screen all day and instead inspire them to flex their creativity. This program was created to encourage kids of all ages to try a variety of arts and crafts and help them explore and express their personalities. To help stimulate their creative side, Camp Creatology offers projects with materials ranging from beads, to paint, paper, yarn and more. While it is designed for “mini makers”, kids ages three and up, Camp Creatology is really an activity for the whole family to participate in and enjoy, creating lasting memories.
Make a foam fountain
“Keep your kids curious minds engaged with super fun (and occasionally messy) STEM activities, like the home foam fountain experiment,” suggests Allison Miller, founder & CEO of Happy Camper Live. “From robotics to eco-science, drones and more, bridge the learning gap this summer with activities that enrich your child while they also have fun.”
“Avoid brain drain by filling your child’s mind with song. Happy Camper Live’s ukulele camp will keep your youngster’s brain tuned and make summer go by in nothing flat,” says Miller.
Summer camp crafts
Kristin McCormick and Jenna Sumner, two licensed mental health professionals and educators who worked together to create the UPside Delivered, recommend parents checkout OwlCrate Jr., a monthly subscription book box. “The boxes are curated for kids ages 8-12, and each box includes a brand-new novel, an exclusive letter from the author, plus cool activities, games and fun goodies related to the theme of the month.”
“We love eat2explore,” say McCormick and Sumner. “Each month kids receive an explorer box which includes: three recipe cards, a flag pin, country sticker, essential spices, activity sheet and a collectible. Choose from 18 different countries/regions like Italy, Mexico, Japan or USA North just to name a few. The kits combine history, geography, social studies, math and more as children create delicious, healthy meals right at home.”
Little Global Citizens
“While you are taking a trip from your kitchen, learn even more about different cultures and diversity thanks to Little Global Citizens,” suggest McCormick and Sumner. “This subscription service (send one time, every two months or every other month for a year) sends an expertly designed box to kids (aged 4 to 10) to bring a new country and its culture to life. Each box is filled with items from that country including authentic guides, crafts, screen-free activities (games and puzzles), language skills, recipes, a story book and more! Past boxes included China, India, Kenya, Egypt and Thailand.”
GIRLS CAN! CRATE
“This awesome monthly subscription box was created to empower girls—and boys (ages 5-10) to Do and BE anything by introducing them to fearless women of history who made the world better,” say McCormick and Sumner. “Each month, a new kit celebrates the life of a strong, diverse female role model such as Ella Fitzgerald, Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Malala Yousafzai, Sally Ride and more.”
“Check in with your kids with the UPside Delivered’s carefully curated boxes for children ages 5-10 years-old to bring practical, fun, evidence-based tools and techniques to children and families to help manage emotions and create calm,” say McCormick and Sumner. “Pick the Begin Box that introduces the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Each box features five to seven items that your children can use to name their thoughts and feelings, journals, worry dolls, Buddha Boards and more.”
“Let your kids play a fun game online to boost their reading skills,” say McCormick and Sumner. “Dreamscape is used by more than 10,000 schools across the US and Canada and includes fun and free games to improve and increase literacy skills. It combines strategy, engagement and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game for grades 2-8.”