Summer breaks are the most anticipated times of the year, especially with all the exciting summer activities available for preschoolers. But with these long breaks from the classroom also comes potential summer learning loss. Yes, The summer slump is real.
Children of all ages can forget information or skills that they learned during the academic year over the summer holidays. Without any focus on academics, children can be at risk of losing the skills they’ve learned during their time in school.
Even during the summer, though, there are opportunities to learn all around us. Read on for our top tips on how to keep preschoolers engaged during the summer and how to avoid the summer slump.
What is the Summer Slump? Why Does it Happen?
A summer slump or summer learning loss refers to the loss of learning when children are away from school. Over the summer break, students have less academic responsibility and are introduced to free time. Often, this results in academic regression.
Some of the most common subjects affected by the summer slump include math or reading. Younger children may be more likely to have learning loss due to their developmental age. Word reading skills and numerical and alphabetical knowledge can decay without any practice. Thus, it is heavily encouraged to keep children practicing what they’ve learned previously.
How to Prevent Summer Learning Loss
There are many summer activities for preschoolers that you can engage in throughout the summer months to help prevent summer learning loss. Here are a few of the ways you can keep their learning going, even when your preschooler is not in the classroom:
- Facilitate growth by providing structure.
- Continue play-based learning.
- Provide a safe environment for growth.
- Encourage activity and outdoor play.
- Keep them busy.
- Reward academic growth.
- Reduce screen time.
Keeping Kids Engaged: Top Summer Activities for Preschoolers
There are various methods to help avoid the summer slump.
- Make sure your preschool gets plenty of outdoor time. These outdoor kids’ activities keep kids engaged and enhance their gross motor development.
- Encourage reading every day: Fostering reading encourages language development. Whether you opt for detailed storytelling or just simple sentences, any kind of reading is beneficial. The ABCs of child language is a great way to keep an eye on what milestones your child should be hitting at every age.
- Introduce math-oriented games: Animal puzzles or any pattern-based game are great ways to build math into play. Here’s how to get started teaching early math skills to your preschooler.
- Build dexterity through games: LEGO, playdough, pipe cleaners and other items that encourage the use of hands are really beneficial for building strength and gross motor skills.
- Create busy bags: An ideal busy bag has appropriate activities, is thematic, and consists of your child’s favorite activities. These assembled bags are ideal for waiting rooms, car rides, restaurants, or any other places where your child might have to ideally wait. This also helps balance their screen time. Here are some ideas.
- Go on field trips: Field trips are a fun way to keep learning. Day trips to zoos, gardens, local museums, or even the aquarium are some of the best ways to spark their interests. Often, these trips become a great way to connect with what they’ve already learned. Flashcards and journals both come in handy in making the most out of the trip.
- Encourage revision sessions: Grab some of the work they did previously in the classroom and go through it again. Preschoolers learn through repetition, and they’ll love sharing some of their knowledge with you!
At Vivvi, we’re dedicated to keeping the kids engaged through play-based learning, and our child care centers are open all year long. Our spaces are student-focused and encourage an inquiry-based model to keep kids curious. If you’re interested in learning more about the programs that Vivvi offers, get in touch.