From tie-dye milk to turning juice to Popsicles, fun activities can help prevent 'summer slide'

Rebecca Michelsen

MILWAUKEE -- The coronavirus has caused summer to look a little different for families, as we are still trying to practice social distancing, but parents shouldn't shy away from continued education for their kids, and with the in-person school year cut short, it's even more important to stay up to speed during the summer.

"We are trying to figure out, how do we keep learning and engaging over the summer?" said Rebecca Michelsen with Penfield Children's Center.

Michelsen said July and August are key to preventing the "summer slide."

"We find that if children aren't engaged in some type of learning activities during the summer, they will lose about two months of the skills that they gained at the end of the year, going to the start of next year," she said.

Michelsen, with the organization that provides health and early education services for families with developing children and children with developmental delays offered a few recommendations.

"The one I like to talk about the most is reading with your children," she said. "There are so many opportunities, whether it's with your local library, and participating in reading programs. Another great thing is reading aloud together as a family, or even making a scrapbook of your summer memories gets them working on literacy skills and writing."

Home projects and experiments are also fun ways to build bonds and brains at the same time.

"Tie-dye milk is probably one of my favorite activities that I have done," she said. "Cooking in our kitchen is another great way we can do some math skills, science skills, reading skills, having them read recipes, measuring ingredients, even something as simple as turning juice to Popsicles, talking about how we go from a liquid to a solid."

For more information, check out Penfield's website.