Tips for keeping kids engaged during the summer months

Summer is a time for kids to take a well-deserved break from school and enjoy two and a half months filled with fun and relaxation, but it is important for parents to make sure their kids are using their free time to be constructive and creative. Support and mentorship for our region’s youth is critical right now. Studies show that the average student loses up to 40% of the progress they’ve made over the school year while on summer break. It is imperative that parents do their part in helping to break the cycle of summer learning loss and regression. Here are a few tips to help parents along in that effort.

1. Make use of summer camps.

Getting your child involved in a summer camp can help them make new friends and participate in fun activities that’ll challenge their intellect. These camps also provide structure and adult supervision for children while their parents may be at work. Additionally, most camps provide lunch and snacks to kids throughout the day to ease the burden on families who rely on school meals.

2. Limit screen time.

More free time for kids can tempt them to spend more time watching TV or scrolling through their cell phone or tablet. Too much screen time can cause health and behavioral problems. Encourage your child to put down their phone, turn off their TV and pick up a book or explore the great outdoors.

3. Find fun ways to make sure they keep learning.

School being out doesn’t mean your child has to stop learning. Explore some museums, national parks, or other historical sites where they’ll have a chance to learn about some interesting hidden gems that we have locally.

4. Encourage entrepreneurship and creativity.

Creativity from a child early can often shape the success they will have later in their adult life. Encourage your kids to think of small business opportunities that’ll help themselves and others. For example, starting a lemonade stand, selling some of their artwork, helping the elderly by doing things such as mowing their lawn, walking their dog, or shelving their groceries, and more, are ways that they can develop a business acumen at an early age.

5. Write in a summer journal.

Summertime brings a lot of fun experiences and memories for kids. At the end of summer break, have your child chronicle those experiences in a journal as a way for them to reflect on the past two and a half months and sharpen their writing, reading and comprehension skills so they will be ready for the new school year.

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Rodney Humphries
Rodney Humphries

Rodney Humphries is the Communications Specialist for United Way of Greater St. Louis and a proud graduate of Webster University where he developed his passion for writing. In college, he combined his love for writing and sports, serving as the primary sports writer for his school newspaper while also developing his own sports blog. After graduating, he continued his love for writing as he served as a freelance writer for various publications. Rodney continues to be a fan of Webster athletics, you will often see him sitting courtside at a lot of their basketball games.