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Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Child Engaged Over the Summer!

How to Avoid the “Summer Slide”

By ETM Assistant Program Director Stephanie Nantell

Summer is upon us, and with it comes the dreaded “Summer Slide.” No, we’re not talking about that trombone rental you forgot to return.

Unfortunately, the Summer Slide is 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.

The current pandemic has made summer camp–already an expensive option–impossible for most of us, so making sure our kids and students are engaged and learning is more important than ever.

Here are four tips to keep your child from shouting “I’m bored!” for the entire summer:

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 and 1 hour in the evening, and monitor their activity choices, not only to ensure that it’s age-appropriate, but also to make sure that at least some of that screen time is spent playing games, reading, making art, or using 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.

Start a Family Book Club

Pick a book that your entire family can read and then schedule a time to meet to discuss it. Make it a fun party with a theme from the book. Growing Book by Book has a great book selection and provides themed meal ideas for children 4-8, as well as ideas to extend to other ages.

Get Out of the House

Many families have been cooped up inside for weeks, and are starting to venture outdoors.  Spending time outside is healthy and can be done safely, if families follow a few simple guidelines. Getting out of the house can present lots of learning opportunities for learning, including learning about music: consider listening to bird songs on a family nature walk!  As long as you’re staying safe, the great outdoors can be an awesome classroom.

Put on a Play

Broadway may still be closed, but that doesn’t mean the theater is dead!  It’s just more local!  You and your family can choose a story, assign roles, make a set, create costumes, and even create tickets and playbills all at home.  Need some more guidance?  We have a short how-to video that explains how to pull off a showstopper and have tons of fun.

Make Some Music

ETM teachers have created a rich library of videos for their students of all ages which you can access at home.  Check out our Make-Your-Own-Instrument videos, our Sing-Alongs, our Story Time videos, and all the other awesome videos and lessons to keep you kid learning and creating all summer long.