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5 Activities to Do With Your Middle Schooler to Prevent Summer Slide

two middle school students stir ingredients in large metal bowls

Every year parents and teachers worry that their students will forget most of what they learned over the previous school year. It’s a pattern known as the summer slide. To set your child up for success next year you don’t have to enroll them in an intense summer school or fill their break with lots of homework. Instead, prevent summer slide with these fun and educational summer activities for kids.

1 Practice Math Skills with Baking

This is a particularly great summer activity for kids with a sweet tooth or for parents looking to spend some time with their child. Baking is an activity that can be done together and has a built-in reward. It also requires math skills: kids will need to use fractions and master measurements to bake successfully. Plus, following a recipe exercises reading comprehension skills and requires kids to follow directions. 

How to improve math skills with baking: Choose a recipe together and ask them to double it, no calculators allowed. After you’re done, enjoy the fruits of your labor together. 

2 Settle Down with a Good Book

Is your child struggling with reading comprehension? Teach them the joy of reading while you prevent summer slide. Your middle schooler doesn’t have to read an educational or classic text to improve their reading skills. All books are good books! Let them choose their own novel, graphic novel, or short story collection so they can explore different genres and develop their own taste. The more they read, the better their reading comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary will become. 

How to encourage reading over the summer: Set aside some family reading time each week. During this time, everyone in the house quietly reads their chosen book. If you want, you can talk about what you’ve read afterward. 

3 Prevent Summer Slide by Getting Creative!

Summer is the perfect time to get your child’s hands dirty with a fun arts and crafts project. Encourage your child to work with their hands this summer. Whether they prefer knitting, drawing, sculpting, or woodworking, arts and crafts are good for their brain. These activities give them a sense of confidence and pride, particularly if they’re creating something they can use every day, like a scarf, or pottery bowl or bookshelf. Art can also support your tween’s emotional intelligence by giving them a space to consider and process big emotions. 

How to help kids get creative over the summer: If possible, sign your child up for an art class. You can also just set out some art supplies and let them follow their own creativity. It can be even more fun if they’re allowed to invite a friend or two for an arts and crafts party.

4 Learn How to Play an Instrument

Summer is a lot calmer for middle schoolers as compared to all the hustle and bustle of the school year. Take advantage of the down time and learn how to play an instrument! Whether they want to learn how to play guitar, the drums, tuba, or the piano, learning how to play any instrument teaches them hand-eye coordination, and gives them a creative outlet for stress relief. There’s also research that says kids who play instruments are better at solving complex math problems. 

Start learning an instrument this summer: Beginning musicians can learn a lot from YouTube videos. For more advanced students, consider private lessons or music camp.

5 Improve Confidence, Leadership Skills with LeadYouth

Are you looking for a more organized activity to help prevent the summer slide? Perfect for students who need to build their confidence, LeadYouth offers online, on-demand courses and live mentoring sessions perfect for anyone ages 8+. We teach three essential pillars of learning to help elementary schoolers and middle schoolers become confident, capable adults. When your child develops these skills to their full potential they unlock the self confidence they need to succeed at any goal they set for themselves. 

How to improve confidence and leadership skills: Sign your child up for a LeadYouth membership this summer. 


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