Summer time, when the livin’ is easy — no early mornings and no homework lingering over head! Lazy days of summer can cause a loss of academic skills for children. For some, it can be as much as two months of math and reading skills that slide away. This is known as the “summer drain.” To avoid this, here are five simple ideas to keep your children active and engaged throughout the summer.
1. Disguise learning as fun!
Every parent has tried to hide a vegetable for nutritional value during a meal or snack from time to time. Why not do the same for learning? There are many camps available that can help keep your child’s brain engaged and the creative juices flowing as well as engage problem-solving skills. Local STEAM camps include Windermere Prep Makerspace Camp, Camp Invention and Orlando Science Center, to name a few.
2. Help your child discover a new passion!
Summer is a great time to learn something new. Learn to swim, ride a bike, paint or code. Engaging the brain in learning a new skill helps build problem-solving skills, resiliency and grit in an authentic learning environment. Local options include Camp Heronwood, Truffles & Trifles, Full Sail University and Rollins College summer camps.
3. Be creative!
Summer is the perfect time to let your child’s imagination run wild and stimulate creativity. Kids.gov provides resources for arts and crafts projects that will keep children engaged and their minds active while having fun. NGA Kids offers a variety of activities or projects from the National Gallery of Art, where kids can enjoy an animated musical adventure, take a tour through the sculpture garden and more. The Rep Theater, Kennedy Space Center, Sanford Zoo and Sea World are great local options, too.
4. Stay Active & Healthy!
In addition to academic risks, children can also be at an increased risk of weight gain during the summer months. Keep youth active outdoors and indoors with local sports camps offered around town, including Orlando Tennis Academy at Windermere Prep, Lakers Aquatics, YMCA, RDV Sportsplex, XL Soccer, Windermere Prep’s Basketball camps and more.
5. Read, Read, Read!!
Books can be magical in the fact that they can transport you to new places. Trips to a local book store, library or allowing your child to join a book subscription service will prove to be beneficial, as students tend to be more invested in a book they self-select. The University of Central Florida reading course is a perfect way to engage children over the summer. Finding time to read together is a wonderful way to bond as a family and instill the love of learning with people they love.
With these five tips plus limiting screen time during the summer, everyone will be able to enjoy the time off knowing their children will be ready for the fall.