Summer can be a really fun time for kids and families. Filled with sun, cookouts, beach days, and movie nights, it can be a much needed break from all the stress that the school year can bring. However, summer is also a really important time for continuing a child’s education; without spending every day in school, kids can regress in their schooling and lose some of the knowledge they had gained over the past year. This makes summer a time to not only have fun, but to work on retaining and building upon the learning that was done in school. Read on for some literacy learning games that could help beat summer regression while still adding to summer fun!

Storytelling Starters

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with a story to tell, so why not make it easier with plots and characters already started for you? Try writing different prompts on slips of paper and putting them in a bowl or jar. Prompts could be as simple as one setting, character, or action. Take turns drawing them out, reading them, and telling a story using what’s listed on the paper! Does coming up with your own prompts sound like a bit much? Try Storytelling cubes! All it takes is one roll of the dice, then using the symbols that came up, tell a story! Looking for story inspiration? Check out our website!

Sight Word Swatting

Sight words are words so commonly used that we can recognize them instantly without having to sound them out. This makes them really important to learn. One fun way this is done in the classroom is sight word swatting. All sight words are written on the whiteboard, and two kids are given fly swatters. The teacher then calls out a word, and the kids have to race to be the one to find and swat it first (I even did this in a Spanish class once)! This game is highly adaptable, so you could play it with words written on slips of paper, pasted around the house, or written outside in chalk. And hands could even be used as swatters–gently, of course!

Hopscotch Phonics

Looking to learn and burn some energy? Try hopscotch, phonic’s version! Using chalk on a sidewalk or driveway, draw out hopscotch as usual. Inside each box write a letter. Then have your child say the sound of each letter as they hop their way from box to box! You can even make it more advanced by putting letters together to make common sounds (like “ing” ,“ed”, or “oo”).

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Alphabet Memory

To work on letter recognition, alphabet memory can be a great thing to try! Lay out a grid of cards with single letters face down on a table or other smooth surface. Then, the first person flips two cards. If they’re a match, great! They’re yours! If not, flip them back over and remember what letters they were. On your next turn, try to find a match. You don’t need an official set of cards for this. You could write your own letters on slips of paper–just make sure they’re not see-through!

I Spy

It’s a classic for a reason! This game can be played anywhere you go, and can be especially useful on long road trips. Pick an object anywhere in everyone’s sightline, and describe it. Be as creative as you want. First person to guess what’s being described, wins!

Pick a Book and Read Together!

Reading a book in order to keep up reading skills may sound a bit obvious, but it’s fun and it works! Read a book in the morning. Read before going to bed. Take turns reading pages and picking the next story. Eventually you’ll have read so many books that you might just turn into Lila Lou!

Summer doesn’t have to be a time for learning regression. It also doesn’t have to be a continuation of rigorous school. There are so many fun ways to continue learning outside of the classroom!

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Nia Saxon is an editorial intern at Cardinal Rule Press and a rising senior at the University of Michigan studying Psychology and English. She loves reading fantasy novels, listening to Taylor Swift, and binge watching One Tree Hill.