We’ve all heard that children can lose knowledge in the summer. Also, for some children summer can be a catch up time, several months for kids to learn, re-learn, or improve on skills to be able to keep up with their grade level.
There’s a variety of summer activities out there, but between my demanding day job and editing deadlines, I was on the hunt for something easy to use, cheap, and fun. Her teacher suggested I try a workbook, something where she could do a few pages a day in the evening–much like she’d do homework during the school year.
I liked this idea because it would help keep her in the routine of doing “homework” which would lesson the battle when the school year started back up. (She’s seven.)
When Carson Dellosa contacted me and let me know they had a line of workbooks specifically for summer enrichment, I got very excited.
The Summer Bridge Activity Books are designed to review skills learned the grade kids have just finished and preview skills for the next grade. The book is broken up into three sections to correspond with the three months of summer vacation. Each section is broken up into 20 days, with 2 pages of mixed activities per day. Each day usually features math, reading, and writing. There’s often a factoid or little fitness activity for kids to do (like stop and do ten jumping-jacks). Each section also has some neat, easy bonus activities like science experiments. Our book also had flash cards and progress stickers in the back. Apparently there’s also a free online companion and mobile apps, which we haven’t tried yet.
We worked through the book pretty quickly since not only did I want my daughter to do more than two pages a day, but she wanted to more than two pages a day. My daughter liking a workbook is really important and she really liked the format of this one, since there are two different activities on each page. She also liked the random fitness activities.
We also tried the Summer Bridge Activity Cards. These are fun to keep in the car or take on vacation. They’re filled with colorful pictures, easy instructions, silly jokes, trivia, brainteasers and activities. I found that more than anything these helped my daughter practice her reading–which in our house is really important. They come in two self contained bundles–so you don’t have to worry about loosing cards. They’re also small enough to tuck into a purse or bag (unless you have a really small purse) to keep on hand for those “I’m bored” moments, like waiting in line or for an appointment.
We really enjoyed these summer activities because they are portable, easy to use, and fairly affordable (the cards are about $9 and the workbook about $15.) We’ve seen the workbooks at an office supply store and at online bookstores so you don’t have to worry about finding time to go to a teacher supply store. They also have grade-level work books, which my daughter enjoys just as much. These aren’t broken down into days and don’t have the fitness activities like the summer ones, but they’re just as good. When next summer rolls around we’ll be picking up the next set of Summer Bridge Activity books and cards.