Unlock your child’s full summer potential with practical tips to prevent learning loss!

By California State PTA Education Commission

This summer you may be wondering how to make the most of your child’s time while still supporting their education. Learning loss can occur when students are away from school for a long break like summer. But don’t worry. With some planning and fun activities, you can turn summer into a chance for growth and learning. This article will give you practical ideas to prevent learning loss and keep young minds active during the break.

Let’s start with reading. Make it an exciting adventure for your child. Create a special reading list based on their interests and let them explore new genres and authors. You can even set up a mini-book club with their friends or siblings to talk about the books they read. Going to the local library regularly is not only fun but also helps them discover a wide range of books and connect with the community.

There are many cool educational games and apps available that can make learning super fun. From math puzzles to language learning games, these digital tools can help your child review and strengthen their academic skills while having a blast. Just make sure to keep an eye on their screen time and pick apps that match their age and learning needs.

Now, let’s dive into science. Summer is perfect for hands-on learning. Plan nature walks, visit botanical gardens, or try simple backyard experiments that teach cool scientific stuff. Exploring the great outdoors sparks curiosity and makes them appreciate nature and the environment.

Cooking is another exciting way to mix learning and everyday life. Involve your child in measuring ingredients, adjusting recipes, and calculating cooking times. It’s a great way to boost their math skills and promote healthy eating habits.

Next up is art. Encourage their creativity by providing art supplies and letting their imagination soar. Get an early start on this year’s PTA Reflections theme, “I am Hopeful Because…” Whether they love drawing, painting, or dancing, these activities are fantastic for developing fine motor skills and boosting their brain power.

Physical activity is not only fun but also essential for their development. It boosts brain function, improves concentration, memory, and cognitive abilities. Outdoor play and exercise are great stress busters and promote overall well-being. When they play with friends, they learn important social skills, teamwork, and cooperation. Encouraging physical activity early on sets the stage for a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Need more inspiration or some specific ideas and resources? Go to the California State PTA Resource Library and search for the category you’re interested in, such as Activities to do at Home, Arts, and ELA (English Language Arts) & Math. 

Remember, summer learning loss is a concern, but with your active involvement, you can turn this vacation time into a time of growth and exploration. Make learning enjoyable, relevant, and part of their daily life. You can create a complete summer learning plan that fights learning loss and prepares them for a smooth return to school in the fall. Embrace the summer as a time of growth and offer the support and encouragement your child needs to succeed both academically and personally. Happy summer learning!

Summer learning ideas and resources

Learning loss during the summer months is a real concern, especially after the challenging school year we’ve had. If you’re looking for ways to keep your child’s mind active over the term break, or just want to take part in some interesting summer activities with your kids, California State PTA has got you covered!

We’ve compiled the following list of resources and ideas:

Resource Library

These items and activities from our Resource Library will help you learn how to keep your kids’ brains engaged:

These are just a few of the summery ideas and resources you’ll find in the Resource Library. Be sure to check it out by using the simple search function!

Learning Heroes

Readiness Checker: Our Education Commission found this helpful resource for parents of students in kindergarten through 8th grade. It’s a simple-to-use tool that helps you check how your child is doing in math and English language arts, based on their grade level.

Using the results of quick on-line items, it also suggests some resources that can help you and your child use a bit of time this summer to get a targeted head start on next school year.

Summer Parent-Teacher Planning Tool: This one-page document can be used in a meeting with your child’s teacher to co-create a summer learning plan. It provides ideas for two-way communication and a chance for parents and teachers to share their observations of a student’s learning. Click here for the English version, and here for Spanish.

Create @ Home from Create CA

Our partners at Create CA have curated an amazing selection of fun and educational resources that allow kids to learn about and engage with the arts at home.

The #CreateAtHome activities are split into six categories, with at least four resources per section:

  • Integrated and General
  • Visual and Media Arts
  • Music
  • Performing Arts
  • Arts for Healing
  • Arts Educators and Professionals

Click here to see all the great ideas for art activities to do at home.

National PTA

Help Your Student Make the Most of Their Summer (and Still Have Time for Fun): Choosing vacations over summer school can be tricky, especially after such a difficult year. A good compromise is online, self-paced courses, which allow students to take their courses with them and work on them on their own schedule. Click here to read it.

10 Non-Tech Summer Activities to Build Language, Literacy and Learning: The dog days of summer are here—and many kids have a lot more leisure time on their hands. To prevent overuse of tech devices, try these ideas for non-tech activities that are fun AND promote language, literacy and learning. Click here to read the article.


Bet you didn’t realize that California State PTA’s Pinterest boards are chock-full of science projects, art activities and other summer learning activities! Click here to explore.

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