Did you know it can take teachers as long as 4 to 6 weeks at the start of a new school year to help students brush up on skills they had previously mastered before summer break? The good news is parents can help their kids avoid the “summer brain drain” by turning activities and vacations they already have planned into fun learning opportunities.

June 19 is National Summer Learning Day, and a good reminder that Arizona’s kids can have a fun summer break and still keep their minds actively engaged with learning activities. With that in mind, we have a few suggestions for activities you can do today and throughout summer break.

• What is a Summer Solstice? Did you know that June 21 is the longest day of the year? Have you ever wondered why the days are longer in the summer? Well, stop wondering, and ask your child to research it and report back to you!

• Build a biosphere in a bottle. An ecosystem can be as big as our whole Earth or as small as a pond. How would you like to be an ecologist and create your very own ecosystem to study? It’s easy. Click here to learn how you can make an ecosystem in a bottle.

• Read at least 20 minutes a day. Read On Arizona encourages children and families to read for 20 minutes a day throughout the summer so they’ll increase or maintain their reading levels they worked so hard to achieve. Click here to find out how any Arizona student can download books for free all summer.

• Read Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck and then make your own oobleck. This book, found in most librairies, follows the adventures of a young boy named Bartholomew, who must rescue his kingdom from a sticky substance called “oobleck”. After reading the book, jump into a science project by making your own ooblek (Place 1 cup of cornstarch in a large bowl. Add 1 to 2 drops of food coloring if you’d like to make it colorful. Gradually stir in ½ cup water). Watch how the oobleck reacts to different levels of force and pressure!

• Find more summer learning activities! Browse the daily actions at TodayInAZ.org for more fun learning activities and ways you can support students and teachers in Arizona.

We want to know your suggestions for keeping kids engaged in learning during summer break. Let us know your favorite activities in the comments below. Happy National Summer Learning Day!

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