The Summer Slide. There are many ways to tackle it to ensure your kids are prepped for the upcoming school year. SimplyFun Playologist Julie Harrison shares her tried and true method for getting her kids ready for the classroom.

Q. How old are your children and what grades will they be entering this school year?
A. My girls are ages seven (almost eight), going into 3rd grade, and age six, going into 1st grade.

Q. What types of play do you and your children engage in over the summer?
A. Our days typically start with art or imaginative play. We have been playing outside at the park or the pool and we play games in the late afternoon/evening to connect as a family.

Q. Is there a specific time in the summer that you begin focusing more on school readiness? If so, when?
A. I think it’s important to focus on school readiness throughout the whole summer in order to prevent the summer slide. I want my kids to go back to school without having to relearn what they learned last year and focus on building their education.

Q. What does your school readiness regimen include?
A. Reading every day is extremely important. We also use math workbooks and television programs that focus on geography on a regular basis. The summer is a great time to check out local museums to learn more about art, history and science, too!

Q. What SimplyFun games have you used in your school readiness program for your children?
A. I love SimplyFun games to enhance learning opportunities. Letter Slide, Clover Leap and Spell Trek are our favorites for language. Math Room, Whirly’s World and Hook ‘Em are the favorites for math. We’ve played Let’s Drive and Let’s Jet to learn more about geography, and Mirror Mansion to learn about the science of reflection. We also have fun with Bee Alert and Tar Trackers to sharpen memory skills.

Q. What are the results you have experienced by using SimplyFun games and play in general to help your children prepare for back to school?
A. My kids have really developed their social skills, especially winning and losing, by playing SimplyFun games. The games also reinforce the education that they’ve had and build on it in a fun way! Most importantly, though, is that we are connecting as a family on a daily basis.

Q. What is some advice you would give to other parents who are committed to preventing the summer slide and prepping for back to school?
A. My advice would be to enjoy the summer months and use SimplyFun games to “sneak” in some learning opportunities while developing better relationships with your kids.

Q. Are there any specific SimplyFun games that you recommend?
A. SimplyFun has fantastic games geared for different ages and levels of education. There are so many to choose from, whether it be math (Digger’s Garden Match, Math Room or Math’d Potatoes), language (Pass the Rooby Roo, Spell Trek or Get 4 & Score), science (Dinosaur Challenge, Kilter or Mirror Mansion) or geography (Global Ranking, Let’s Drive or Let’s Jet). Some great strategy games would include Bypass, Chess on the Loose and Trifusion. Summer is full of get-togethers and we like to play Eye to Eye, Qualities and Perspectives with the other adults.

Q. Any other information you would like to share?
A. In today’s society, I think it’s extremely important to connect with your kids on a daily basis and make sure that they don’t grow up staring at screens. I think that screens can take away from traditional play and forming relationships with others.

One Thanksgiving holiday while visiting family, I watched my dad and brother-in-law play Kilter with my kids and their cousins. It was such a delight watching them laugh and form better bonds while playing the game! The connections that are formed through game play are amazing, and important.


Do you have a method for preventing the summer slide? Share it in the comments below.

About Julie
SimplyFun Playologist Julie Harrison lives in Redondo Beach, CA with her husband, Andrew and two daughters, Courtney and Amanda. When she’s not helping other families connect with SimplyFun games, she and her family enjoy playing, dancing and swimming.