​5 Ways to Keep Social Learning Fun and Avoid the Summer Slide

Posted by Kimberly Delude, Speech Pathologist and Boys Town Press Author on Jul 21st 2020

We’ve all been there. It’s summer vacation and just as you’re ready to start relaxing and enjoying the dreaded summer homework emerges. While summer is a time for fun, sun and family it’s also a time when many skills that kids have worked so hard on over the school year can see a dip.

Social skills are just as at risk as academics. Without practice they can slip back to old patterns and habits. But is the battle to get them to do work really worth it?

The answer is yes and the good news is there are ways to make summer work fun and easy. Using the tips below you’ll find ways to incorporate this practice into things you are already doing and avoid the dreaded homework battle.

1. Read for fun. 

Let your child pick out what they want to read regardless of level or structure. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore so find topics or formats that interest them. Then work in practice, either while driving in the car or over breakfast, by talking together about a problem the characters faced, ways to solve the problem or the different emotions they experience. If your kids love acting you can even have them put on a show to retell the story once they are finished.

2. Get a pen pal

Find a friend, family member or even your teacher and write to them virtually or with pen or paper. You can buy or create your own postcard and share about something fun you do each week. It’s a great way to work on staying on topic or you can pick a theme (i.e., emotion: something that made me happy) to target each time.

3. Play a sport. 

Whether you join a summer soccer league or just play in your backyard there is no better activity to help maintain and grow teamwork, cooperation and sportsmanship.

4. Tackle the summer garden

Work on following directions and planning by getting that summer garden into shape. This will also help with routine following as each day they’ll have to make sure they water it.

5. Do your errands. 

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean trips to the grocery store are over. Involve your kids and have them be in charge of asking for food at the deli or paying for the groceries at checkout.

The most important thing is to find what works for your family. Look at activities you are already doing and find ways to incorporate social skills practice into these everyday routines. This way you will avoid the fights and still get in the practice.