When school lets out for summer vacation, a child’s learning shouldn’t have to take a break as well. Studies show that many children forget up to two months of lessons during summer vacation, which forces teachers to spend the beginning of each school re-teaching what students had previously mastered.
Inspiring children to continue to learn doesn’t have to be a grueling process as activities and educational games can be a fun way for children and parents to learn new things over the summer. Here are six suggestions to keep kids sharp over the summer:
- Improve reading and spelling skills. Improve a student’s reading skills with Planet Read!, a free, educational teaching app aimed at children 4+. Planet Read! teaches students to learn to read without memorizing using interactive games, stories and pictures by decoding unfamiliar words and introducing all short, long and diphthong vowel sounds. Available in the Apple Appstore for iPhone and iPad, Planet Read! trains students to understand and read proficiently by decoding unfamiliar words sounds and rewards students with collector’s awards within the app to track progress and hard work.
- Practice math with tangrams. Introduce new math concepts by making a personal set of tangrams. The various shapes can be traced on a piece of paper, mixed up and rearranged to form new shapes as well as used to create jigsaw puzzles.
- Learn a new language. Expose children to a new language this summer with Doulingo, a mobile app and website that uses games, quizzes and written lessons to teach beginners vocabulary, phrases and sentence structure. Duolingo contains a variety of language courses such as Latin American Spanish, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish and Turkish. Doulingo is available online and for mobile use in the Apple Appstore, the Google Play Store and the Windows Store.
- Have fun with science. Engage children with science experiments to keep learning fun. Scientific exploration teaches kids patience, encourages curiosity and can be done indoors or outdoors. Look online for at-home science experiments ranging from bubble concoctions and weather experiments to cold chemical reactions and sandy science.
- Map out a trip. If a family trip or outing is in the future, ask your child to participate in the planning of the event. Give them maps, brochures and guides to they can figure out directions, activities and a budget for the event. Getting involved will teach them math, geography and problem solving skills.
- Encourage arts and crafts. Inspire children’s creativity by doing art projects together. Care.com has put together a number of craft ideas that can be enjoyed inside or outdoors in the sun such as a firework painting, glow in the dark jellyfish, fairy houses and a garden rock caterpillar.