By Julie Jeffers, D.O.
Park Ridge Family Medicine
The warm days of summer are coming up fast! Kids will be ditching their backpacks for pool bags before you know it. Here are a few tips to keep kids mentally and physically active and safe during the summer months.
According to a study by Oxford Learning, kids lose 2.6 months of math skills over the summer, and it can take 6 -8 weeks for kids to get back into the swing of things when school restarts. Here are some ways parents can keep math fun and interesting over the summer:
- Run a lemonade stand. Have your child count the money received and count back change. More advanced/older children can calculate the costs of making lemonade and calculate profits.
- Play games that use math such as rolling dice, card games or Yahtzee.
- Make it relevant. Show your child how math is used every day with telling time, baking and while shopping at the grocery store.
- Let screen time work for you. There are numerous apps and online math games. My kids love Prodigy and IXL. Keep screen time to less than two hours a day.
Similar to math, kids can lose two months of reading skills over the summer. Keep your children from losing what they gained during the school year by having reading time 20-30 minutes a day. Here are some ways to keep it fun:
- Go to the library and let your child pick out what he/she wants to read.
- Bring books to the pool to read during swim breaks or when you visit the park.
- Encourage by example by either reading to your child or have reading time together where each of you read your own book.
It is also important for kids to stay physically active over summer. During summer kids can lose muscle mass by being less active. Here are some ideas to keep kids active:
- Join a sports team
- Take family hikes and bike trips
- Go swimming — it’s a great way to stay active and keep cool
- Walk around a museum or the zoo