Did you know that by the time your child reaches the 6th grade, they will have had to relearn two years worth of material that they forgot over the summer months? On top of that, it can take your child up to two months to get their brain development back on track after summer. This is commonly known as “summer slide” – the fact that your kids will forget a portion of their learning throughout the summer months.
Take a look at this great infographic by Oxford Learning called The Summer Learning Loss Statistics: Click here to view/download.
But, summer can be the perfect opportunity to keep your kids learning and active! Because active learning has been replaced by technology, it is a rarity to see kids without their heads buried in their phone, tablet, or video games. That’s why we provide you with the TOP summer activities in Florida to keep you having fun with the kids all summer long.
Many kids don’t have opportunities to dedicate themselves to keep learning over the summer.
But what if your child was different?
What if your child wasn’t a statistic of the number of children who waste hours staring at a screen all summer?
Aly Seidel from NPR Ed states, “The last thing kids want is to be stuck inside completing math worksheets while the ice cream truck passes by. What’s a parent to do?”
Here are 10 exciting and fun activities that kids love!
This is the ULTIMATE GUIDE for your kid to stay active and learning through the summer months:
- Many teachers and administrators see summer learning programs as a key to preventing “summer slide”. Summer Learning Programs can be really fun, easy and cheap! Have you seen what your local museums, libraries, or municipal parks offer?
- Kid’s love adventure and excitement. Your local library has lots of good reads for your kids this summer. Ask your local librarian for a list of age-appropriate recommendations and set a goal to challenge your kid to read every day. Make it fun and consider a reward system!
- Build a birdhouse or similar project that will teach your kids new skills and challenge their thinking.
- Grow a garden.
- Talk about the growing process, and what a plant needs to grow.
- Discuss the importance of healthy eating.
- For older children, have them research the best things to grow for your growing zone, and plant your garden accordingly.
- Many parents have to work during the day, so take time in the evenings to do something together.
- Ride bikes
- Go for walks in local parks
- Plan a nature scavenger hunt
- Turn off the TV and video games.
- Have your child pick a community sport to play for the summer.
- Buy a pass to the local community pool or YMCA. The Hillsborough River State Park has beautiful walking trails, picnic areas and playgrounds, and even a pool area that you are able to access.
- Visit local children’s museums like Glazer Children’s Museum.
- For those hot Florida days, the aquarium is a great place for kids to have fun! The Florida Aquarium even has a splash pad in the back that is included in your admission. Visit their website at www.flaquarium.org. The Tarpon Springs Aquarium is a fantastic, small aquarium in the heart of Tarpon Springs. After the aquarium, you can take a boat tour out to Anclote Island for an afternoon of seashell hunting.
- The Port of Tampa Bay does educational tours. They leave from the dock located right behind the Florida Aquarium. Visit their website at www.porttb.com/harbor-tours for tour times and pricing.
- Your child could be a Junior Travel Agent for your upcoming vacation.
- Teach them to read a map.
- Have them research the area you will be visiting. Find out the history of the area as well as the fun things to do there.
Summer vacation doesn’t have to be a vacation from learning. This is your opportunity to give kids the ultimate summer fun while learning and staying active!
- 10 Fun, Exciting Ways to Keep Kids Active All Summer! Without Breaking the Bank. April, 2015, www.oxfordlearning.com/summer-learning-loss-statistics/
- Free Ways to Beat the Summer Slide. Seidel, Aly. May 30, 2014, www.npr.org/free-ways-to-beat-the-summer-slide/