I’ve mentioned the dreaded summer slide before, where children are out of school for summer vacation and lose some of what they have learned during the year in school. Children who don’t read over the summer can lose more than two months of reading achievement.  Let’s make sure that your child’s summer brain is working too.

Summer Brain Gain

Summer Brain Gain

This post contains affiliate links, see my disclosure policy for more information.

There are some great ways to encourage your children to read all summer long. Rewards work the best in my house… no WiiU time unless you read for X amount of time.

Update: Links are missing in places due to the company no longer being in business.

Many parents and educators worry about losing the learning momentum during summertime, whether it’s due to a less structured schedule, or weather that just doesn’t scream “library time.” But this challenge can be an opportunity with the right tools. Here is a round up of fun and games for summer brain gain!

Times Tales DVD – Learn Multiplication Tables in an Hour

Times Tales is an interactive animated DVD that teaches kids the upper times tables without memorization. Students can simply follow along with the entertaining story. As they progress, they’ll be guided into associating the stories they’ve learned with real math. With 70 reviews it has a five-star average rating.

Here’s one parent:

“I was so excited to receive this DVD, but I was not prepared for how wonderful it would be! Few things exceed expectations in the way this learning tool did. I purchased it as a reinforcement tool for my middle schooler and she has really benefited from it. As an added bonus, my preschooler is also well on his way to learning his multiplication facts, too!” – Lacey F.

Magic School Bus – Math & Science Explosions!

Magic School Bus is an all time favorite for all ages – myself included.

This Math and Science Explosion combo is a 2-in-1 of hands-on math and science fun. The math board game is a race to make the volcano explode – the first player to get all the math facts right wins!

The double-sided board means the gamified learning can go on for a long time, perfect for summer afternoons!

Good for: ALL ages

Digitally Hooked on Phonics

Nurture your child’s reading and confidence with the right blend of interactive learn-to-read tools! Designed for the 2.0 learner, the award-winning literacy program that brought reading to millions of kids has been fully digitized. It can be synced with computer, tablet, or phone. It’s perfect for traveling (and even longer errands with the kids) since you don’t need internet for use. This is a summer learning no brainer.

Exclusive STEM Bundle – 7 Awesome Experiments

Magnets, crystals, fossils – oh my! There are 7 kits in this incredible (and incredibly priced) set, perfect for any budding scientist.

With hands-on learning, this is a fun way to engage all children, including special needs. Spur your kids curiosity in STEM(Science, Technology Engineering and Math) and have fun together while learning about the world.

As one parent put it,

My 5 homeschooled kids loved this. I have a special needs child and this was a fun way to show him about science. It was so worth getting. I think I will keep buying these every year for all year long projects. -Shelly W.

Good for: Ages 5-10

Summer Checklist – Check!

You can check “Summer Activities List” from your OTHER list of to-dos this month with this fun round-up of 52 summer pursuits including indoor and outdoor adventures, as well as simple activities easily integrated into your day.

Download it, print it, and stick it on the fridge (or bring along for family visits) for a little daily inspiration this summer!

I hope that you enjoyed this round up of fun and games for summer brain gain! I would love for you to tell me what your favorite fun and games are during the summer.

You can find some more ideas to have fun and games for summer brain in the menu above. We have kids activities including science experiments, and we have some homeschooling activities that even those who don’t homeschool can and will enjoy.