7 Ways to Help Kids Build Summer Smarts

By United Way of King County, on June 14, 2016 | In Helping Students Graduate

Learning loss in the summer months is definitely a real thing – most kids lose about two months of math skills in the summer and low-income kids lose two – three months in reading skills. We know from programs we invest in for kids, that when parents engage in play and reading with their little ones, the kids benefit.

Here are 7 easy ways – most of them free – to try to keep those wheels turning in a fun, summer-friendly way.

Give them a job in the kitchen. Put your kids in charge of one family meal each week – give them a budget, involve them in shopping and the whole family benefits. Reading recipes and measurements keeps them on their toes.  Sites like this one offer up all sorts of ways for kids to be involved in the kitchen. Want to take it to the next level? Check out these cooking classes for kids.

Make story time fun.  Check out story time and free activities at the likes of independent and national bookstores. King County Libraries offer free sessions for all ages – from toddlers to teens. Seattle Public Library makes it fun with a free Explorer Handbook and free programs all summer long.

Game Night. All you need is a deck of cards to have oodles of games at your fingertips – while your kids are practicing math! Are you kids wanting more screen time than you’d like? Work in these free and easy reading activities next time they power up. Find a Game Night at a nearby community center, like this one at Third Place Commons every Wednesday.

summer meals served up 2015

Check out our Summer Meals sites. We’ve got free food and activities planned at more than 200 sites around King County. Wednesdays are especially fun-packed with activities from face painting to wheelbarrow races. Find the location nearest you at foodinvasion.org.

Read together. Research show that when families read together, kids are more likely to develop a habit of reading on their own. Check out this great tips for making reading fun. Start a mother/daughter-type book club in your neighborhood. Schedules too busy to coordinate with others? Choose a book for the two of you and discuss as you read.

Get Campy. That’s right – there are oodles of science and math camps around town, many with scholarships available.

Go Old School. Get nostalgic and share the School House Rock video series with your kids.  Think your kids would benefit from a tutor? King County Library’s Study Session has free, ongoing tutor help throughout the summer – for grade-schoolers who needs help with math or teenagers working toward college prep

Happy smart summer!


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