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4 Books to Prevent Summer Slide

Have you heard of summer slide? No, it doesn’t involve a trip to the park! Summer slide is what educators are using to describe the trend of learning loss students experience over the summer from lack of academic instruction. But all learning doesn’t have to take place in the classroom! In fact, we have a few books you’ll want to put on your “To Read” list to ensure your children are making the most of their summer. Here are four books to prevent summer slide that will leave you and your preschooler learning together!

1. On Track to Kindergarten

Build bridges with your preschooler between learning and home! This fun book provides  weekly activities to prepare students for kindergarten. Find ways to help your child learn the basics with writing, reading and math readiness along with fun art lessons and cooperative play. For a taster of what you’ll find in the book, check out the activities listed for a week of learning below: Question of the Week: What kind of ice cream do you like?


  • Sing 5 Little Speckled Frogs
  • Find 3 things that sink and 3 things that float. List them on a sheet of paper.
  • Walk up and down your driveway or sidewalk taking: baby steps, giant steps, big leaps! Check them off as you go.
  • Have someone read your favorite book to you!
  • Use sidewalk chalk to draw pictures on the sidewalk. What did you draw? Tell someone about your pictures.


2. Where Does My Shadow Sleep?

Want to explore science with your kids? Find lessons waiting to be explored right in your backyard! Make predictions, take nature walks, ask and answer inquisitive questions all with these fun stories and activities for home! Is your child a budding builder? Find out how to view block play through a scientific lens!

Building with Purpose

Build a structure for a specific purpose, such as a garage for a toy truck, a house for a giraffe, or a house for an elephant.

What’s Needed

  • Blocks
  • Non-standard measuring tool, such as paper clips, string, or straws

How to Do It

1. Talk about why you are building a specific structure.
2. Talk with your child about his or her design. Ask questions such as the following:

1. How big do you think the building should be?
2. What do you think will happen if…?
3. How will the (truck, giraffe, elephant) get in and out?

3. Use a non-standard measuring tool to measure the structure and the creature or vehicle it is for. Ask your child to compare the measurements. Will the (truck, giraffe, elephant) fit inside the structure?

Great Books to Read with the Activity!

Now that you’ve covered all of the fundamentals with measuring, estimating, and comparing, children will be prepared for science lessons in the classroom!


3. Story S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-R-S for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos

Are you reading books with your kids but want to get them more involved? Then story stretchers are perfect for you! This book provides ways to go beyond the pages with real life experiences to compliment story time. Are you traveling this summer? Teach children about language and transportation by taking a bus trip! Here’s how to stretch your trip this summer.

Go for a Bus Ride

Read the book Bus by Chris L. Demarest for action words and phrases toddlers will enjoy, then go on a bus ride!

What to Do

  • A ride on a city bus would be a great story stretcher!
  • The riders will see many of the same things in the story on a ride through a city.
  • Use the language from the book as you journey on the bus.
  • Talk about your adventure as you travel.
  • Extra: have children draw a picture of what they saw from the bus window!


4. How Many Ways Can You Make Five?

Does your child already love to read but struggle with finding motivation to learn math? This book is a great solution! It provides ways to pull from favorite children's books to investigate patterns and puzzles, learn how to subtract, make maps, and more! Here's just one fun activity you'll find in the pages:

Build a Number Creature

Recognize how many in a set of objects as you build a number creature!

What's Needed:

How to Do It:

  1. Use a paper towel tube for the base. The tube can be used horizontally or vertically to create a "creature."
  2. Roll the die and, whatever number comes up, choose that many of each collage material.
  3. Create your creature by attaching the materials to the tube base. For example, if you rolled a four, you might attach four feathers for wings, four strips of paper for stripes, four stickers for eyes, and so on. Be creative!
  4. Help your child name his or her creature (incorporating the number in the name, such as Four-Feathered Fred), and then make a label for the creature.

Now, you've taught your child number sense and helped them create a creature to learn with! -There are so many learning opportunities in the home and along the way if you are traveling for summer. Reading is a great tool to teach students about science, art, math, and more. Take advantage of summer opportunities with activities from the books above and leave your toddlers ready for the school year to come!

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