July 14, 2020

5 Ways to Keep Kids’ Brains Sharp

Stop the Summer Slide

Summer slide is a real concern following the best of school years. With COVID-19 and the uniqueness it created for this past academic year, ensuring our kids continue to learn and grow over the summer is even more important. To help, we have compiled a few tips on how you and your family can combat the dreaded summer slide.

What is the summer slide?

The summer slide, also called summer set-back or summer learning loss, is a phenomenon that strikes many children during their break from school. The phenomenon is best summarized as kids’ coming back to school with lower achievement levels than they had before summer break. Essentially, they “slide” back during their break from school and lose educational ground.

With the last half of the year being conducted remotely, that only compounds the problem. Luckily, you can combat the summer slide by keeping your kids’ brains active with educational and enriching activities.

Read everywhere

Taking a break from reading over summer can have detrimental effects for kids in the new school year. Shockingly, kids can lose up to 3 months of reading development over summer break if they don’t practice. That’s a ton of progress lost and making up for it can be extremely difficult.

There are so many creative ways to get your kids to practice reading. While reading a few books over summer is great, don’t get discouraged if your kids aren’t voracious readers! Check out your local library to participate in fun reading challenges (digital downloads are a great way to do this from home), encourage your kids to read the labels on foods you bring home from the grocery store or have your kids watch their favorite shows with closed captioning turned on.
Play games
Who says learning can’t be fun? Playing games as a family is a great way to bond, have fun and promote learning. Add in one of these educational games to your next family game night:

  • UNO– This colorful card game is great for practicing numbers, patterns and decision-making skills.
  • Battleship– From carefully concealing ships to making strategic guesses, this game is great for kids to practice their deductive reasoning, problem-solving and memory skills.
  • Scrabble– With just seven letters sitting in front of them, kids will put their vocabulary, spelling and creativity to the test in this wordsmithing game.
  • Monopoly Junior– The kid’s version of this classic board game is great for practicing basic math, making decisions and handling money.

Get in the kitchen

Pull a chair up to the kitchen counter, grab an extra apron, and let your kids become little chefs. From science and math to art and reading, cooking is a great, fun way to mix in practicing important skills to summer break.

While it may get a little messy for your kid to be alongside you in the kitchen, letting them do small things adds up in a big way. Have your child read the recipe aloud, let them stir ingredients together, have them measure ingredients and talk with them about the cool science involved with cooking.

Plant a Garden

From spending time in the natural world, kids can gain an appreciation of earth’s beauty and learn about some pretty neat processes. Creating a family garden in your backyard is a great way to get your kids outside, practice the responsibility of caring for something living and learn about the environment.

Before they pick what to plant in their garden, have your kids research which plants are best suited to your climate and what they’ll need to do to take care of them. Help them dig holes, plant the plants in the soil and let your kids take ownership of tending to the garden. Then, watch your garden spring to life all summer long!

Attend Summer Camp

When kids are passionate about and interested in a subject, it’s easier to get them excited about learning. Letting your kids choose an educational summer camp to attend is a great way to get their brain juices flowing, keep them in a school-like routine over break and let them socialize with other kids their age.

At Discovery Place, we are offering a range of enriching half-day and full-day Summer Camps for kids ages Pre-K to Grade 8. These in-person Camps have been modified to address the health and safety of our Campers and staff as it relates to COVID-19.

Through various activities and educational experiences, our Camps bring learning to life, inspire creativity and instill a sense of adventure. Spots remain available in some of our Summer Camps. To see Camp availability, visit:

Discovery Place Science Camps get kids fired up about science, technology, engineering and art.

Discovery Place Nature Camps let kids go wild in the great outdoors, explore the natural world and meet live animals.

Discovery Place Kids Camps keeps little minds growing by building confidence and creativity through imaginative play.

Book your Summer Camp today by calling 704.372.6261 x300 or by visiting us online
With a little bit of planning and a dash of creativity, the world can be your kid’s classroom. Beat the summer slide and give your kids a summer to remember by adding a few of these enriching activities to your summer schedule.