How Summer Learning Activities Help Kids Stay Sharp

Children can retain the information they've learned during the school year

woman and child planting seedlings
William King/Stone/Getty Images

Thanks to summer learning activities, children's academic skills don't have to take a hike when school isn't in session. Although it may not be easy to get your child to sit down for a formal summer schooling session, a number of summer learning activities and reading lists can supplement your child's fun and prevent learning loss during summer vacation.

Summer Reading

Your child may moan and groan at the idea of required reading during summertime, which is probably why many school districts and teachers hesitate to assign books to be read when school is out.

 That doesn't mean that your child shouldn't be reading, though. Whether he's entering kindergarten in the fall and practicing his reading readiness skills or is moving away from picture books and devouring chapter books by the shelf, there are always new books to be explored. Consult the following grade level-appropriate lists for more information.


  • Summer Math Activities

Your child doesn't necessarily have to stay home this summer to practice his math skills. Luckily, math can be found everywhere and, as teachers and parents know, it's important to make use of those teachable moments when they occur. Be on the lookout for those teachable math moments in the following places:

  • On the computer. Your child's digital time can be educational as well as fun, as a number of websites have math games online.
  • In the kitchen. By nature, cooking is a mathematical endeavor, so why not spice up dinner with some kitchen math?

Summer Science Activities

Summer is the perfect time to learn more about science and nature.

Whether it's reading about and learning how to garden, building a bird feeder or planting a butterfly garden, summer weather and life forms provide great opportunities for youth to keep learning about science. Other ways to prevent summer learning loss are to:

  • Invest in a science kit. Science kits are excellent for the self-directed learner, one who wishes to explore a topic at his own pace. Your budding IT professional will enjoy an electronics or circuit board kit while your ecologically-minded child is likely to love a rock tumbler or crystal-growing kit.

Continue Reading