The summer slide is real and can easily impact students’ retention over the summer and when school starts again in the fall. Try sending home some helpful summer review activities that will make learning fun during summer vacation!
Easy and Enjoyable Summer Review Activities
The school year is coming to an end, and it’s important to think about how to ensure students keep up the hard work and progress made over the past year during the summer break. That’s right. I’m talking about the dreaded summer slide!
Figuring out summer review activities is pretty darn important. But teachers are exhausted and stretched to the max as the last few weeks or even days of school are quickly approaching. Having summer review activities ready to send home with students before the last bell rings will help kids practice what they learned during the school year!
Table of Contents
- Easy and Enjoyable Summer Review Activities
- What Is The Summer Slide?
- Summer Slide Prevention
- Summer Review Activities Tips
- Types of Summer Review Activities
- End of the Year or Summer Review Mats
- More EOY and Summer Activities
What Is The Summer Slide?
The summer slide is when students lose academic skills and knowledge during the summer break, potentially putting them at a disadvantage when they return to school in the fall. This may mean students fall behind in skills taught the previous year.
Many studies have been conducted to illustrate this. A recent Brown University study found that students who did not read, practice math, etc., over summer vacation lost 17-34% of their learning gains from the previous year. It also stated that students who lost ground one summer continue to lose ground every summer after. This will continue to set them back in their studies, year after year.
However, fear not! There are plenty of fun and engaging summer review activities that can help prevent the summer slide and even enhance a child’s learning experience.
Summer Slide Prevention
With all that information about the summer slide, you are probably trying to figure out a way to send work home for the summer. But don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with some helpful ideas. The key is not to overwhelm families with a ton of work but to provide a few carefully chosen resources to support their child’s retention over the summer. Most importantly, we want children and their families to enjoy their summer vacation while offering simple ways for students to read, write, and practice math skills.
Parents often appreciate having activities available to help their children without having to search for them themselves. Schools have come up with many different ways to ensure students have the opportunity to continue learning without overwhelming families.
Some of the ways schools have given summer work are
- Summer Work BINGO Boards
- Summer Work Calendar
- Summer Work Tic-Tac-Toe
- Summer Journal
- Summer Reading Booklet
Many schools throw a pizza party, ice cream party or give a prize to any student who completes their summer work, and this is normally a huge incentive for students to get it done and work hard even though it is summer vacation.
Summer Review Activities Tips
The summer slide doesn’t always have to be an option. There are ways to ensure students are still learning while enjoying some time for rest and relaxation. When sending work home for the summer, including tips for families to follow will help make your suggestions manageable and user-friendly.
Some tips you may include are
- Complete work in short chunks of time.
- Make the work fun (make it into a game)
- Complete one activity a day
- Switch between subject areas so students don’t get overwhelmed by one
- Take some days off. They have at least 8 weeks to complete the work.
- Create incentives. Tell kids that for every # of things they complete, you’ll spend time together doing something fun (i.e., go for ice cream, go swimming, etc.).
Types of Summer Review Activities
Finding meaningful summer review activities can be tricky. I’ve compiled a list of engaging and fun summer review activities to prevent the summer slide and enhance students’ learning experience. I’ve included reading, math, science, and more!
These activities are designed to keep students’ minds engaged and learning all summer. Let’s dive in and explore the different activities you can encourage kids to complete to maintain their academic skills during the summer break!
Encourage kids to read books they enjoy during the summer break. This could include anything from fiction to non-fiction, comics, and magazines. Reading for 20-30 minutes a day can help them maintain their reading skills and build their vocabulary.
Many libraries hold summer reading programs or competitions where students can win prizes for reading books. Challenge families to read in different locations or visit new places. You may encourage them to read at the park, library, to the family pet, etc. Encourage them to keep track of the books they’ve read using a chart or a summer reading booklet to encourage the reading of different genres and subjects throughout the summer.
There’s no doubt that lots of fun will be had over the summer. Whether kids go on vacation, play sports, visit family, swim, camp and make smores, or jump on a trampoline, they have plenty to document.
Grab the free summer writing journal and send it home with students so they can keep track of all the fun things they do throughout the summer! They will love writing about their favorite summer day or a vacation they went on.
If you want to give a more structured writing activity, try sending home summer-themed writing prompt mats! These writing activities have kids answering a prompt, using a picture-word list, and checking their own writing conventions all on one sheet.
If your students love science, encourage them to go for hikes, visit their local science museum, zoo, or aquarium, and get outside in nature. They can write about their favorite exhibit, animal, or experience. Kids who may not be able to go somewhere during summer vacation can plant a garden, observe plants and birds, or even the night sky.
Encourage families to incorporate math into daily routines a home during the summer, such as counting money or measuring ingredients while cooking, or counting objects outside.
You can provide worksheets like the FREE math at home practice kit that goes right along with these math-in-action activities. You can even give families some online resources where they can practice their math skills on rainy days.
Summer Themed Poetry
Poetry is a fun way to review reading comprehension, writing, and grammar skills. Students can work on a poem each week. These weekly poems will help them with comprehension, sequencing, grammar, etc. There are even fun activities like illustrating the poem. Using these summer poetry mats gives students relaxing yet rigorous summer activities.
Summer Packets and Worksheets
If you are looking to send something home with students for the summer, then a summer review packet or worksheets will do the trick. But remember to keep it light. You want families to be able to break the work into small chunks of time without feeling like they are doing “homework” all summer. We always want our students to enjoy the rest of summer, as many of us do.
Sending home worksheets, such as math spiral review activities, can help students review concepts like addition, subtraction, geometry, measurement, etc. These engaging activities can keep them fresh during the summer, while not feeling like homework.
Grab a math mat freebie below to try them out before sending them home!
Summer review activities do not need to be time-consuming to plan as teachers, and these examples will help ensure you are ready for the end of the year and students will be prepared for next year!
If you don’t want to send anything home, encourage students to read different summer-themed poems and try to write their own. They could use their home, outside, or summer experiences for topics and ideas.
End of the Year or Summer Review Mats
Sending home skills mats is a simple way to ensure students can practice skills without feeling overwhelmed with work throughout those warm summer nights, whether they are working on math, reading comprehension, or writing skills. Skill mats can be a simple way to give families a way to practice with their students.
Try the summer review mats by Proud to be Primary. These mats are perfect for end of the school year and summer review and to ensure students remember what they learned during the year. There is a range of summer review mat options.
Students love this engaging activities
- Kindergarten Review Math Activity Mats
- 1st grade Review Math Mats
- 2nd Grade Review Math Activity Mats
- End of the Year Word Work Activity Mats
- Summer Poetry Activity Mats
- Summer Reading Comprehension Mats
- Summer Writing Prompt Mats
- Summer Listening Mats
Free K-2 Math Mats
Send home a FREE set of math mats with your Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students at the end of the year. These mats are not only fun but will help students practice the math skills they learned throughout the year to help them prepare for what’s next!
Click the image below to grab a copy.
More EOY and Summer Activities
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