“What am I going to do with the kids once school is out?”
“How can I find activities to keep the kids busy this summer?”
These questions seem to echo through the air every spring as parents struggle to find ways to keep their kids safe and active during the summer months. While many are trying to avoid hearing the dreaded “I’m bored” every day (if not every hour!), they should also know how important learning is during the summer. In fact, summer learning is just as important as school-year learning.
Some students maintain, or even increase, their learning during the summer. Unfortunately, others suffer from a phenomenon known as summer learning loss, which can lead to a loss of two or more months of learning. This occurs due to a lack of participation in meaningful activities that challenge their minds and engage their imaginations and curiosity. According to the National Summer Learning Association, nine in ten teachers spend at least three weeks at the beginning of the school year reviewing lessons from the spring.
Another common phrase heard among parents is, “summer programs cost too much.” But, if you Google search free summer activities for kids, more than 100 million results appear in less than one second! And on the first page of results, you’ll find a local list providing family friendly activities in the Cedar Rapids metro area.
We also recommend enrolling in the summer reading programs at our three local libraries. Kids of all ages, from birth to 100+, are welcome to join the reading programs at the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Libraries. Enroll in all three programs to receive more activities and challenges to read and participate in opportunities that are so fun, you forget you are engaging in learning!
So the next time you hear a parent, or even a child, lament what they are going to do all summer, let them know how important it is to keep mentally active and share some of our local resources with them.