This post originally appeared on the blog Jewel’s School Gems.
What exactly does the term “summer slide” mean? Unfortunately, it’s not a playground equipment that you can buy for your students’ or own kids’ enjoyment during summer. Summer slide actually refers to the loss of academic skills – especially math and literacy skills – that occurs during summer break.
We hear again and again how kids are encouraged to read a lot of books or engage in summer activities linked to reading during summer. However, Math and Science should also be given the attention they deserve.
According to studies, Math skills tend to decline more during summer, since kids tend to be more likely occupied with reading tasks. Science is also pushed aside with video games and other areas of interests being pursued more.
Luckily, there are many Math and Science activities that can be done over the summer break to make sure kids do more than the usual reading of books. As a teacher, you can recommend these activities to parents or do them with your own kids. Here are 10 Math and Science activities that you can do to help prevent summer slide in children:
Math Summer Activities for Kids
1. Play games. Math games don’t only provide hours of fun, but also help prevent the dreaded summer slide. You might be surprised that something as simple as multiplication and division flashcards can help keep math skills sharp. Card games like this Multiplication and Division I Have/Who Has Game also provide math practice. Good old board games like Monopoly can assist in keeping math skills fresh as well, when you let kids acts as the banker.
2. Cook or bake. Summer is the perfect time to practice math skills through cooking or baking with children. Aside from having to read and follow directions, young kids can exercise number recognition while older ones can practice ratio and proportion with ingredients.
3. Watch sports. Watching a game of soccer, football or basketball live or just on television can help kids fight the summer slide. Children can be given piece of paper and a pen, and asked to calculate statistics along with the experts.
4. Set up a lemonade stand. Setting up a lemonade stand might sound simple, but helping children run a drinks stand also means helping boost math skills. Kids will be measuring ingredients and managing money while having fun!
5. Play travel games. Families usually do some traveling during summer. It can be a great opportunity to practice math skills. Kids can count vehicles of a particular color, round the prices of gas, or add up all the numbers on license plates.
Science Summer Activities for Kids
6. Plant a garden. Starting a garden and watching plants grow are truly exciting for kids. They can keep a record of the growth of specific plants by drawing what the plants look like on specific number of days and even write down their observations. They can also view presentations and do crafts to enrich their knowledge about plants.
Related: How to Teach Plants for Kids
7. Go camping. What better way to interact with nature than while camping! Kids will have a lot of opportunities to observe the world around them during this time. Aside from giving everyone in the family some screen time off, camping also provides a chance for parents and children to discuss the importance of taking care of Mother Nature.
8. Visit the zoo. A visit to the zoo can surely pique children’s interest on animals and motivate them to learn more about animal life. After a family field trip to the zoo, children can do some research on their favorite animals or create crafts on their life cycles.
9. Build a robot. Robotics has been quite popular for some time now that so many cool and kid-friendly robot projects for kids are available on the Internet. Tutorials outline the materials needed and even the step-by-step instructions to be followed on how to construct robots ranging from the simplest to the most complex ones.
10. Do science experiments and STEM challenges. Of course, if you want to develop scientific skills and stop summer slide in children during summer, engage them with science experiments and STEM challenges! Kids will surely love experimenting with ice, bubbles, cream, and other items that can be found mostly in the house. They will also enjoy building various contraptions using recyclable materials. Just search for summer science experiments or summer STEM challenges on the Internet and you’ll be blown away by the number of awesome activities that kids can do easily and inexpensively at home! Children will understand the scientific method and the engineering design process better with such activities, too.
It’s so tempting to just let the kids play all they want since it’s the summer break. Unfortunately, summer slide is a reality for many kids. A balance of activities that children already love – such as playing computer games, skateboarding, or shopping – and activities related to reading, Math and Science will help kids to have a summer that is worth remembering. It’s one with no summer slide on it for sure!
Monitoring the weather, doing word searches, and writing poems can also be great summer activities to combat the summer slide! Click the image below to become a Jewel’s School Gems subscriber and grab these free weather sheets that are a part of my weather bundle on TpT. You will also have immediate access to my Growing Library of Free Resources and receive my newsletter with updates, bonuses, and inspiration just for you!
Jewel Pastor is the resident creator of Science and Math curriculum gems at Jewel’s School Gems! She loves helping busy elementary teachers like you save time so you can focus more on teaching and enjoying your hours after school. You can follow Jewel on Teachers Pay Teachers, Jewel’s School Gems website, Facebook, and Instagram.