Summer Holidays – Beating the Summer Slide

When kids don’t read, work math problems, or aren’t engaged in other learning experiences, not only does their education not continue, it can regress. This problem usually occurs when kids don’t get opportunities to learn over the long summer holidays. It can result in these children coming back to school at a disadvantage. This decline is known as the Summer Slide and it can be defined as the loss of academic skills that occurs over the summer vacation.

The Summer Slide

A five-year research study by John Hopkins University in the 1980s showed that children from lower-income families lose both reading and math skills over the summer while children in higher-income families actually gained skills. The reason? Higher-income families were more likely to invest in summer enrichment programs for their children, travel with their children, and have more books available to them than lower-income families. Even though the higher-income children were not enrolled in formal educational opportunities, they were experiencing opportunities that were stretching and provoking their minds. – Live United

The summer slide isn’t a big problem so long as you provide your child with lots of learning opportunities throughout the summer. Here are some of the activities we got up to over Summer to beat the Summer Slide (aside from the physical activities that Mama the drill sargeant implemented)…

Science Experiments

Summer holidays are the perfect time to do all those science experiments you never get time to try during the school year. Here are a couple that we got to work on:

  • DIY Volcano – even though G1 had already done this one at school, he still thought it was fun to make it again with his brother.
  • Elenco Snap Circuits Light Experiments – our kit from Amazon finally arrived and G1 created a light show for his brother. There’s nothing like flashing coloured lights for a bit of “wow” factor.

Light experiments

See also: Resources for Science Experiments

Lego Projects

G1 worked on a new Lego Mindstorms project. He made the Ev3 2D2…

Summer Holiday Fun

G2 made a robot, too – Lego Creator Future Flyers – and he worked on it all by himself!

Summer Holiday FunPlanet Projector

See also: The benefits of playing with Lego

Imaginary Play

The boys were astronauts sleeping in space…

Planet Projector

And they went on a quest with their Targimals and Forge of Honor weapons to save the world from the Endless Night. They battled ferocious monsters…

Argh! Raptor in my room!!!! #JurassicWorld! #TheParkIsOpen

…and sailed valiantly into a giant maelstrom in search of the shards of daylight that would banish the Night Monsters and the Endless Night forever.

Forge of Honor Endless Night


We finally managed some semblance of regular piano practice with the help of the Piano Maestro app.

Apps Joy Tunes

See also: The benefits of learning music


What’s a holiday without a good book? Should I also add that reading is one of the easiest ways to beat the Summer Slide…

Image Source: Galley Cat

The boys have discovered The Smurfs. Admittedly, they’re graphic novels and considered poor literature to an intellectual snob, but I’ve come to accept that any book is a good book if it can inspire a child to love reading…

Summer holidays

G1 also caught up with a few of Rick Riordan’s books that were newly released.

Family Time

The boys spent some time visiting their great grandparents where they also got a bit of practice reading aloud.

Summer holidays

Holiday Trips

Taking the kids on holidays to experience new sights and sounds are also a terrific way to beat the Summer slide. They are also a great way to spend time together as a family, and they’re fun.


Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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