Texas Living

Fight Academic Regression With Summer Learning Activities

By Staci Parks 5.21.24

Summer break is one of the greatest parts of being a kid. However, academic regression during the summer months is an increasing concern. Some data suggests that two months of reading skills and two-and-a-half months of math skills are lost over the average summer break.

Help your young scholars fight the “summer slide” with these fun-filled, academically enriching summer learning activities that go beyond flashcards and educational screen time.

summer learning activities

Build a Reading Nook

Designate a quiet, comfy, cozy spot as your home’s summer reading nook. Look for a space with ample natural light and add a fun beanbag chair or large pillow for seating. Restock your reading nook with a trip to your local library. Some libraries throughout the state have summer reading programs for kids of all ages with prize incentives for meeting certain milestones. Pick up classic Texas-themed children’s books while you’re there.

Lean Into Professional Summer Learning Activities

If you want to extend the school experience, there’s no shortage of summer learning programs. Some focus on a specific subject, like math or reading, while others offer a more holistic approach. This is a great way to help your child catch up and get a head start on the impending school year.

There is also an abundance of summer camp-type programs throughout the state. No matter your child’s interest, there’s something for every child, with program options ranging from team sports and dance to arts and STEM. Check local organizations for specific offerings.

cactus garden

Get Gardening

If you’re working with kids who enjoy hands-on activities, consider building a garden. There are several ways to get gardening: Start with a balcony garden or dive into a cactus garden for kids. Gardening lets them get their hands dirty while learning about nature and ecology.

Go on an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

There’s no better way to introduce your kids to the great outdoors than through a Texas nature scavenger hunt, where they’ll find everything from tiny critters to wildflowers. Take this opportunity to introduce them to spotting and respecting Texas wildlife, like black-tailed prairie dogs and ringtails.

Nutritious Recipes

Whip Up Something Together

Cooking with your kids is a great way to teach a critical life skill and exercise their ability to read and follow instructions — all while building self-confidence! Start at the grocery store, where you gather the ingredients while marking off things on your list and sticking to a budget. Cooking or baking is the perfect way to put everything they’ve learned about fractions and measurements to good — and delicious — use. Check out one of these kid-approved, nutritious recipes.

Plan a Family Game Night

Encourage those strategic thinking skills with an evening full of board games! Your child will use their math and reasoning skills while learning the importance of good sportsmanship. Don’t be afraid to give them a little bit of a challenge! Pick one of these Wild West games for a Texas-themed game night.

Make Time for Sporadic Field Trips

If you’re heading out on a road trip while school is out, build in some time for summer learning fun. Take them to one of Texas’ wildest and wackiest museums, hunt for fossils, or learn about Texas’ expansive and diverse terrain at one of our state’s national parks.

Encourage Creative Writing

Do you have a junior novelist on your hands? Encourage it! Writing taps into self-expression while engaging essential skills such as handwriting and vocabulary acquisition. Make a special shopping trip where they pick out their own pens or pencils and a notebook. Then, challenge your young author to use three to five new words in their work each time they write. You may even pick up the habit, too, with bullet journaling.

Before you know it, school will be back in session! These back-to-school organization hacks will help you tame the August chaos.

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