Priority Health offers ideas to help your kids avoid the summer slide of brain drain

Smart ways to keep your child learning in summer with activities

Schools will be out for summer soon and that will give kids all kinds of extra time to play. While water and park slides are fun, there is one kind of slide kids should avoid: The summer brain slide.

Our friends at Priority Health have smart suggestions to keep kids active and learning while having fun all summer. Molly McCoy, the director of client services, joined Tati Amare to discuss ways to avoid the "summer slide."

McCoy said when kids are out of school for the summer, they lose at least two months of development learned during the school year. Then, when they return to class, it takes another two months for them to catch up again, so keeping them active education-wise as well as physically during the summer is imperative.

One way to keep kids active is to get them involved with their local parks and recreation departments, schools and YMCAs. All of them have fun, educational activities for kids of all grades and ages. Not only do the activities prevent kids from sliding down the learning curve, but some offer scholarships that can help them further their education. 

Family field trips are another way to enjoy educational activities. McCoy said to sit with your kids and choose one place a month, such as the zoo or a museum. She said the more involved in the decision making the kids are, the more excited they will be on the trip.

After the visit, ask your kids to write the experience in a journal. It will help keep their brains active. It will also help when they return to school and their teacher asks what they did over the summer; the answer will be in the book. 

Gardening is another suggestion, and it's something kids and their parents can enjoy together. Enjoy the fruits of your labor, literally, by creating a garden of fresh veggies or flowers.

McCoy said gardening will teach kids about patience, taking time with an activity, nurturing and the responsibility of caring for the plants. Also, plan a menu around the plants, herbs and vegetables the kids grow; it will include them in a vital part of the day, dinner, and give them a sense of pride. 

Finally, board games and books are always a great way to get kids' creative juices flowing. McCoy said children that read 20 minutes a day avoid the "summer slide" and hit the ground running when they return to school. She said read to or with the kids; even start a book club where you get together and discuss a book as a family.

For more smart ways to help your kids and yourself lead happy, healthier lives, visit priorityhealth.com.

This segment was sponsored by Priority Health.