Fun and Easy Ways to Sneak Learning into Summer

Summer is finally in full swing! Kids are knee deep in camps, swimming, and spur of the moment playdates. They also may be in the middle of the “summer slide”…..which, if you haven’t heard, is an actual thing. Research shows that students can lose up to one month of learning over the summer; that’s a lot!  Since they may not be super interested in doing actual schoolwork, here are some fun and easy ways to sneak some learning into summer:

Reading and Writing:

Let your children pick their own books…even graphic novels! Children are more apt to want to keep reading, remember information from the text, and enjoy the process when reading books that are of interest to them. For an added comprehension boost, create a reading log:

  • fold a blank piece of paper into thirds
  • Label the first section pre, second is during, and the last section should be labeled post
  • In the pre-section, have your child write or draw what they think the book is going to be about
  • While reading, they can write or draw what they are learning or questions they have about the book
  • Once they’re done with the book, they can write or draw what they learned or their favorite thing from the book

Once the reading log is complete, sit down with them and have them explain the book to you using the foldable and what they learned. If your child had questions, see if you can come up with the answers together either by going back to the text or doing some research.

Incentivize! Most libraries have a summer reading program, as does Half Price Books. Check out their websites; children can earn prizes for reading for a specified time each day.

Read with your child. Reading aloud to your child models good reading habits, as well as allows for discussion while you read. You can also use shared reading (you read a page, they read a page, etc.). Whatever floats your boat. As you read, ask your child questions: what did the main character do and why? What do you think is going to happen next? Could he/she have done something differently and what would the outcome have been?

Let your child read the same book over and over again. It may seem boring to you but this will help increase their fluency, which is the rate and accuracy at which they read.

Taking a road trip? Pick up some audiobooks from the local library to listen to as you drive. More interactive than watching a movie and it will give the family something to talk about during that long drive.


Summer is the perfect time to work on money skills. If your children are like mine, they love shopping the dollar section at Target or spending an ungodly amount of time at the Dollar Tree. So dump those piggie banks, count all that change, and head out. As they shop, add up items and talk about tax to make sure they have enough. And honestly, those cashiers; I’m always amazed how sweet they are when being handed gobs of coins by children. 

Have your child be a mapmaker. If you are going on a road trip, pull out those old paper maps and use a highlighter to mark the route you’re taking. Talk about how to use the map scale and key, as well as how to orient the map. As you drive, ask for updates on distance between cities or which direction you’re headed in. 

Sidewalk chalk numbers. Even though it’s hot, sometimes it’s good to get outside and get those wiggles out. Make a hopscotch or a number line, pick 2 numbers and have your child add, subtract, or multiply them and jump.

Cooking! Have your child pick a recipe and help make the grocery list.  After shopping, it’s time to measure and mix to make a fabulous new dish. They’ll use their math skills along the way.