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Preventing the summer slide: Five ways to keep kids learning during the school holidays

School’s out but that doesn’t mean learning has to stop! There’s lots of evidence that keeping kids’ brains active can prevent ‘the summer slide’ – where attainment levels dip during the school holidays.

For most parents, summer is a super busy time. And the prospect of holiday homework is a daunting one. But thankfully, there are lots of easy ways to make summer learning happen…and to keep it fun!

This image provides five tips to help parents prevent their children from losing academic progress over the summer.

Here are our top five tips to help you get started!

1. Find a fun challenge

The internet is full of summer competitions, but we’ve spotted this one from Discovery Education’s DoodleLearning which will keep children entertained and learning during the long summer break. The DoodleLearning Summer Challenge invites kids aged 4-14 to practise their Maths and English skills every day and earn exciting jungle-themed rewards! Using the award-winning DoodleLearning apps, the Challenge is designed to top up kids’ knowledge, placing them in great stead for the new school year. 

Best of all, parents can get 2 weeks’ free access to the Challenge and join in the fun! Visit and enter the code SUMMER_2_WKS to get started.

The image is showing a summer challenge for 2023, where children can participate in doodlemaths and doodleenglish activities provided by Kiddycharts to help their little ones.

2. Kick start summer reading

The UK’s biggest reading event for children is now up and running and kids can enter at their local library or online. With a theme of ‘Ready, Set, Read’, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is all about sport and play and the challenge website has lots of recommendations for kids of all ages, with books by Joe Wicks, Claire Balding and Bear Grylls making the shortlist. There are plenty of sport-themed activities, created in partnership with The Youth Sports Trust. Kids taking part can also sign up to receive a free copy of Rebel Girls Kick It – inspired by the Women’s World Cup!

A person lies on the beach reading a book.

3. Get cooking

Summer can feel like an endless round of cooking and feeding. Why not share the load with the kids too? The kitchen is an ideal classroom and even the simplest of recipes teach maths skills, such as measuring, counting, timing and dividing. Try a crowd-pleasing favourite like pizza or cookies – the BBC Good Food website has lots of yummy recipes for little ones. Or introduce new ingredients and talk to your kids about where different foods come from. If you’re lucky, you might get help with the washing up too!

A group is viewing a laptop.

4. Explore the outdoors to avoid the summer slide

Tempting kids away from screens can be tricky in school holidays. But there are lots of online resources to help – and some even provide a gateway to the great outdoors! Budding bird-spotters will love the quizzes and games on the RSPB website. There are also fun learning activities, such as projects to make a nest box and bird feeder.  Wildlife fans should check out the Natural History Museum website, which has a whole host of activities on offer. These range from walks and animal observation to craft projects and photography. They’ve even got ideas for when the great British summer forces you inside!

A large hall with a vaulted ceiling and arcade-style walls houses a museum of art and church artifacts in the indoor building.

5. Have fun with science

Hands-on science is so much fun and at-home experiments are a great way to switch kids on to STEM Learning. We’ve got our own STEM Learning ideas on the site, so why not check some of them out for helping to prevent the summer slide. Alongside these, using everyday equipment and ingredients, you can explore a whole range of topics such as magnetism, astronomy, earth science and more! Here are a few quick ideas:

  • Grow an avocado tree – just peel the seed and suspend it over water with toothpicks
  • Make magic milk – add food colouring to milk, mix with washing up liquid and watch the colours swirl like magic
  • Blow bubbles – learn about surface tension by making giant soap bubbles
  • Go Solar – build a model of the solar system with different sized coloured balloons.
A vase filled with colorful flowers brightens up the indoor space.
Check out this shaving foam clouds activity on our site

We hope these tips will keep your children learning during the holidays, and get them ready for school in September. In the meantime, enjoy the summer!

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We’d also love you to check out some of the printables that we have – they will definitely help the summer slide too!

Thanks so much for reading this, and see you again soon.

This image provides five tips for parents to help prevent their children from regressing academically during the summer months.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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