Six Easy Ways to Fight the Summer Slide (and have fun doing it)

This article is a copy of a PDF made by Dreambox Learning

The National Summer Learning Association says students can lose up to three months of academic growth during the summer break when they’re not in school. This phenomenon commonly referred to as the “summer slide,” is completely avoidable. To help your children retain math concepts all year long, aim for thirty minutes three times a week, and the only slide your kids will experience this summer is the kind in the playgrounds and pools. 

Numbers and Operations

Developing number sense. Counting, estimating, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and working with fractions and money are important skills for your child. The more children use numbers, the better they understand number relationships. Simple card games can help kids develop matching and value recognition skills. Start with an easy-to-learn game like “War” that teaches them to identify numbers greater than or less than others. 


Finding and understanding patterns. Create patterns with your child using numbers, shapes, or objects, and ask them what comes next. If there are six shapes repeated in the pattern, ask what shape will be in the tenth spot. Point out designs and ask your child to identify the pattern. The more you discuss patterns, the more instinctively your child will recognize them. 


Exploring two-dimensional figures. Most kids love to draw. Why not incorporate shapes and geometric vocabulary into the mix? Ask your child to make an ice cream cone using two shapes. Then talk about the attributes of the shapes. How many sides does a triangle have? How many angles? Which lines are parallel?


Understanding three-dimensional objects. Using building sets, ask your child to create a structure for a certain purpose (e.g., to house the horses) or that meets certain criteria (e.g., has a way for people to enter and exit). After they build their structure, ask them to describe how it functions to meet its given purpose. 

Create a project together that requires measurement (e.g., build a birdhouse, sew a quilt, or bake some brownies). Discuss the tools you use and how to get exact measurements. 

Data Analysis and Probability

Graphing research. Collect data, organize it, and interpret the results together. For example, research the most popular car color in your neighborhood. First, predict what color will be the winner. Then go for a walk and Probability with notebook in hand, and record the car colors you see. When you get home create a bar graph together. 

Process Standards

Solving everyday problems. Involve your child in real-life problem solving by thinking out loud and Process explaining your reasoning. When planting a garden, how many seed packets will we need? Calculate how many seeds we’ll need per row at six inches apart. What tool should we measure with or should we estimate? The more kids hear your reasoning, the more comfortable they’ll become using math.