How to Prevent the Summer Slide

Oh, the dreaded summer slide. Something teachers worry about and actively try to prevent. This can especially be prevalent in the summer after kindergarten/before first grade. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent the summer slide while also making sure students have a fun break! Check out this list you can share with parents so they can work with their kids this summer.

A list of all the ways you can share with parents to help their children prevent the summer slide after kindergarten!

Summer break is fun and exciting, but can also take a toll on all the academic progress students made throughout the year. Parents may be asking you for some ideas on how they can help, so we have created the best list of how to prevent the summer slide. Hopefully, everyone can work together to make sure these sweet students keep being successful.

This article goes well with these Simply Kinder resources:

Prevent the Summer Slide

As summer break is on the horizon, students (and teachers) are gearing up for the season with very little thought of all the academic progress they made during the school year. They just want to swim, play, camp, and sleep in. However, teachers (and most parents) often worry about their kids losing all the knowledge they learned, knowing it will have to be retaught in the next school year which takes up valuable time on new concepts.

The good news is that there are a number of ways to keep kids’ minds sharp, even as they are enjoying their hard-earned break. One idea is for teachers to send home these Summer Boredom Bags!

Add some of the leftover supplies like pencils, crayons, playdough, dry erase markers, etc. to a gallon ziplock baggie, and pair them with an activity packet. This helps ensure students have some minimal school supplies over the summer so they’ll be able to work on things. Click here to find out all about it!

Keep reading for even more ideas on things you can share with parents to help out over the summer!

Literacy over the Summer

The number one most important thing parents can do with their children over the summer is to read! Reading books over break helps them work on fluency, decoding, comprehension, sight words, and everything they learned through the year. They will be retaining all that fresh knowledge and not have to worry about a summer slide in reading.

We have a lot of FREE literacy printables you can send home with students to do. One popular favorite that would be easy for students to complete over the summer is the color-by-code sight word printable. For the full list of free literacy printables, click here! Here are some other ideas on how parents can keep reading exciting:

Read, Read, Read

  • Library Programs: Many libraries have summer reading programs that kids can participate in. They can check out books for free and earn prizes when they read a certain amount of books. Ideally, they will fill out a form that asks questions about the books so they are working on that retention at the same time. Some libraries even have storytimes over the summer so students can still get that read-aloud time that they loved in kindergarten!
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library: Depending on the area, Dolly Parton has a program that sends a FREE book to each child in a home once per month! This is especially great for those low-income families who don’t have a lot of books of their own at home. Parents can sign up and have a new book every month this summer, and beyond! Click here for the link to check availability in your area.
  • Cook Together: Suggest parents spend quality time with their children over the summer by cooking together. They can have their child read the recipe aloud to work on learning new words as they create something yummy!
  • Read Comics: Another fun way to encourage reading is to have students read the comics from newspapers or online! It might be something they’ve never done before so it’s exciting for summer.
  • Little Free Library: A great way to get more books over the summer is to find the “Little Free Libraries” in the area. Students can take a book to read and leave one for another child if they’ve already read something. You can find some really interesting and unique books in these! Click here for a map to find all the ones in your area!
  • 1st-grade reading list: Check out the sail into 1st-grade reading list here or the one from Imagination Soup here.

Math over the Summer

While most parents will automatically think of reading to prevent the summer slide, it’s equally important to practice math skills! This doesn’t have to be sitting down and doing worksheets every day. However, we DO have some amazing free math printable worksheets if you choose to send some home.

This Ten Flashing Fireflies printable is so fun for summer, especially if students pair it with chasing fireflies at dusk!

For a full list of our free math printables, click here! Children can also practice math with fun, everyday activities they’ll be doing over the summer anyway. Here are some good ideas:

Practice Number Sense

  • Count out groceries: As parents are putting their groceries away, they can have their children count how many of each item there are. “We bought 6 oranges and 5 apples. How many pieces of fruit do we have all together?” They can also count how many snack items they have, and subtract as they eat them. It can be a fun game to see how quickly or long something lasts.
  • Cook Together: Just like reading the recipe cards, students can help measure and count ingredients as they are cooking with their families!
  • Hopscotch: As they are playing with chalk, have children draw a hopscotch on the ground and work on writing the numbers 1-10 and count them as they play.
  • More Chalk: They can also make a number line with chalk, parents can write out addition or subtraction problems, and work on greater than or less than numbers!
  • Lemonade Stand: A great way to work with money counting, measuring, and addition/subtraction is to have a lemonade stand! Students will love the independence of this during the hot summer months, and they’re working on important math facts and number sense at the same time!

More Ideas:

Done-for-you resources:

We have a number of resources you can send home with students to work on! These are things they can do independently or with the support of an adult (or older sibling). Here are some ideas:

  • Summer Review Packet: This packet is full of great worksheets students can complete throughout the whole summer! Includes 2 pages of practice so you can do one in class and send one home in your summer packet. OR organize your packet to be one page in June and one page in July. There is a reading list, summer bucket list, tally work, CVCe words, digraphs, ten frames, measurement work, and SO MUCH MORE! It’s the perfect packet to prevent the summer slide in all subjects! Click here to get it now!
  • Send Home Centers: These centers for over the summer are fun games that students can play on their own, or with their families. There are 14 games covering letters and sounds, sound isolation, addition, number words, CVC, magic e words, digraphs, and MORE! Click here for all the summer centers.
  • FREE Summer Reading Logs: Reading logs that students color in are so much fun, and sure to encourage them to read more. Grab this free reading log to send home with your students here!

We hope you love these ideas to share with parents on how to prevent the summer slide! Do you have more ideas? Be sure to share them on our Simply Kinder Teacher Group Facebook Page. Enjoy your break!

A list of all the ways you can share with parents to help their children prevent the summer slide after kindergarten!

This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!

At Simply Kinder we work together to bring you ready-to-use resources to partner with great teaching for any curriculum, a Facebook community where teachers talk all things Kindergarten, and low-prep learning ideas that your students will love. Be sure to stay up to date with all things kindergarten on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and through email. Simply Kinder: where teaching Kinder is definitely better together!

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