Prevent Summer Slide Shorecrest Prep summer camps

5 Fun and Easy Ways to Prevent Summer Slide

It seems that each year as students return from spring break, there is a sense of anticipation in the air. Summer is nearly upon us, and families are penciling summer camps and family vacations into their calendars. (Or, if your family is anything like mine, you are just beginning to plan your child’s summer activities. No judgment here!)

At least partly responsible for the flurry of planning and scheduling is a very genuine concern about maintaining our children’s academic progress. We have known for decades that children lose a considerable amount (some sources say up to 30%) of their academic gains during the summer months.

Take a breath, because there is a very simple prescription to keep young minds active and growing while school is out: Make them think.

It turns out that it is remarkably simple to get children to think. They do it quite naturally from their toddler years; remember the endless repetition of “why?” The trick with older children is to engage their curiosity, and then they can’t help but wonder, experiment, read and discuss.

5 Ideas to Prevent Summer Slide:

Go to the Library

Encourage your child to read each day during the summer, just as they do during the school year. Remind them of their strategies for finding “just right books,” but also give them the freedom to read the topics that interest them.

Give them the Opportunity to Try Something New

Sign them up for knitting camp or robotics club. Encourage them to take a risk. Trying out and practicing a new skill encourages a growth mindset, especially in older children who tend to be perfectionists.

Build Something Together (or take something apart)

Instead of taking the recycling out to the curb, lay out some basic art supplies and challenge your children to build a robot with the cast-off cardboard and plastic. Dig through your garage for that old desktop computer or radio, hand your child a screwdriver and challenge her to take it apart. Marvel at the fact that you’re raising an engineer and you didn’t even know it.

Play Math Games

Ask your child to teach you some of the math games he enjoyed playing during the school year. There are also plenty of fun games you can play using just a deck of cards, and lots of online resources from PBS and other organizations. If you have several hours to kill, dust off Monopoly Junior and let out your inner real estate mogul.

Get Cooking

Pull out the measuring spoons and cups and practice fractions while you whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. You can challenge older children to plan the menu for a week, shop for the ingredients and work with you in the kitchen to prep and cook. You get a break, and they get a real-life learning experience. Everybody wins. Bon appetit!

High quality summer programming like the camps and classes offered at Summer at Shorecrest for students ages 4 through Grade 12 help keep children engaged all summer long.
Visit to learn more.

*Presented by Shorecrest Prep | Originally published in the March 2024 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.