Skip Nav

8 Tips to Prevent Summer Brain Drain

8 Tips to Prevent Summer Brain Drain

Whether you call it the summer slip, the summer slump or summer brain drain, the regression of skills that teachers call summer learning loss can happen to any kid. But it doesn’t have to. 

Many moms worry that preventing summer brain drain isn’t fun for kids. Mom Chelsea H. summed up moms’ worries when she said,”I want to have her feel as if it is a game and not an extension of school.”

Luckily, learning can happen in the most unlikely (and fun!) places. Here are eight Circle of Mom-tested tips to keep your child ‘s mind engaged to prevent summer brain drain.

1. Find a Summer Science Project

 It may sound like school, but Circle of Moms member April C. suggests picking a science topic to “learn everything about” over the summer. Summer science can be fun, because with good weather comes the opportunity to explore the wonders of nature. So, how do you pick a subject? Mom Karen D. suggests starting with a question your child asks you, “find a book about it,” and go from there.

2. Unplug for at Least Part of the Day

Among Maria B.’s strategies for keeping her son learning over the summer is “keeping him active and off the video games.” Set screen time limits and try alternatives like taking a walk, playing with Legos or setting aside an hour a day to read a book.


3. Go on Educational Outings

If the thought of finding somewhere educational to take your child seems overwhelming, take a deep breath. Sure, Circle of Moms members mention museums, zoos and aquariums as educational, but the grocery store can be as well. It’s all in the approach. A scavenger hunt to find items in the store, learning how to save money with coupons, and reading labels to learn about nutrition are all educational, too.

4. Send Them to Summer Camp

Summer camp is a good way to keep your child’s brain sharp. They’ll be around other kids and exploring new things. Since it can be a financial burden for many families, many moms suggest checking out low-cost camps, like a day camp run by your church or by your local recreation organization.

5. Sign up for Swim Lesson

Keeping up your child’s motor skills over the summer is important, too. for this reason, many moms put swimming lessons on the summer agenda. They keep kids active and social while keeping their brains in the game. In many places, local recreation programs provide low-to-no-cost swimming lessons.

6. Enroll in a Reading Program

Mom Tam Z. is among the many who pointed out “a lot of libraries have some fun programs” and that many bookstores and other retailers run summer reading programs for kids. The great thing about summer reading programs is that your child can set his own goal and pick his own books. So he’s reading, but it’s at his own pace and about his particular interests.

7. Engage in Water Play

Some of the sneakiest learning can be done in your own backyard. Mom Erica D. organized a slumber party during which the kids “played in the sprinkler, had slip n slide races, had a water balloon fight, a water gun fight, and the biggest hit of all: a shaving cream fight!” If you don’t think that sounds like learning, think again. These lucky kids were all engaged in sensory play and practicing their social skills, all while having a blast.


8. Start a "Cooking School" in Your Kitchen

One my favorite summer learning ideas comes from Circle of Moms member Carol S., who suggests holding your own “Cooking School.” When she opened for business last summer she says her “8- and 10-year-olds helped create the dinner menus and fix them for the entire week!”

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Latest Family