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How to Avoid the “Summer Slide”

By ETM Instructional Supervisor Stephanie Nantell

How to Avoid the “Summer Slide”
Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Child Engaged Over the Summer!


The dreaded “Summer Slide” is approaching – No, we’re not talking about that trombone rental you forgot to return… and unfortunately, it’s a very real thing.  Many studies have shown that children who are not regularly engaged in learning activities or face-to-face socialization over the summer decline academically from where they ended the previous school year.  Summer camps can be expensive and fill up fast, so what’s a concerned parent to do? Here are seven tips to keep your child engaged, off their electronic devices, and from shouting “I’m bored!”, for the entire summer:


  1. Limit Screen Time – The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time for children ages 2 to 5 to no more than 1 hour a day.  For children over 5, set reasonable limits such as : 2 hours in the morning, 1 hours in the evening, and monitor activity choice not only for age-appropriacy by purely entertainment versus active playtime – playing games, reading, art or learning apps.  Consider using an App that both tracks how your child uses their screen time, and sets time limits for how long they can be on their device.
  2. Just Keep Reading – Start a Family Book Club – Pick a book that your entire family can read and then schedule a time when you will meet to discuss it.  Make it a fun party with a theme from the book. Growing Book by Book has a great resource with book selection and themed meal ideas for children 4-8, as well as ideas to extend to other ages.
  3. Explore NYCNYC Go has a great guide of free events for kids at cultural institutions in NYC such as libraries, museums, zoos and more!
  4. Get Out!TimeOut New York has an excellent list of outdoor attractions that will keep kids active and exploring outdoors, and many are FREE!
  5. Make New Friends – Encourage Social/Emotional Growth – Create opportunities for your child to regularly interact with peers, this could be through daily trips to a playground or by enrolling them in a summer camp.  The YMCA offers camps in all 5 Boroughs and upstate NY for different duration’s and dates.
  6. Do the Math – Turn daily activities into learning opportunities – For example: Have your child do the math when out shopping.  When driving or on the train, have them practice their geometry by identifying shapes and patterns. For more math at home ideas, click here.
  7. Make Some Music – Students at ETM partner schools who just completed 5th-8th grade are invited to attend a FREE Summer Music Academy at MS 180X.  Sign up soon as spots are filling up fast!