The “summer slide” isn’t just the fun kind at the playground or water park—it refers to loss of academic skills over the summer months. Math skills in particular take a hit, with kids sometimes losing two or more months of math knowledge by September, according to research from Duke University and the University of Missouri. Experts suggest doing math games and activities with your kids during the summer to beat the brain drain. Here are five we like:
1. Math hike Take a math hike and look for different geometric shapes. Estimate the angles of tree branches or leaves and then check with a protractor. Measure and chart elements like daily temperature highs and lows, the growth of a plant or the amount of rainfall.
2. Put math on the menu At a restaurant? After you order, hang onto the menus. Then, try these games:
3. Math on the beach Write the numbers 1 to 11 on a beach ball or another large ball. When a player catches the ball, she adds, multiplies or subtracts (depending on what skill you want to practice) the two numbers that her hands are touching.
4. Cook up some fractions To practice fractions, halve, double or triple a favourite summertime recipe…then enjoy the delicious results!
5. Roll the dice Each person gets a paper with a number written at the top—say, 300. The first person rolls a pair of dice and combines the two numbers that come up (for example, a 3 and a 4 makes 34). Subtract 34 from 300. Then the next person takes a turn. The first to reach zero is the winner.