Skip to content

Don’t Let Your Child’s Summer Go To Waste

2012 June 7

By Lina Younes

Summer is nearly here. Children are getting out of school. They are very happy to get away from tests, papers, and other school related tasks. However, we often see that over the summer months many students, especially in the lower grades, lose many of their academic skills during the extended time that they are away from school. So as parents, what are we to do?

Increasingly, there are many programs to encourage children to keep reading during the summer and camps to teach children special skills. Online you can also find a wealth of information, educational websites and games. However, there is another educational activity that might not readily come to mind, but is equally beneficial to a child’s well-being and learning experience. How about getting active and exploring the great outdoors? As children start exploring nature and outdoors activities, they awaken their innate curiosity and develop an interest in their surroundings and even in science. Those lessons stay with them throughout their life and may even lead to an interest in protecting the environment and pursing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers.

Just recently, as we were developing a Spanish webpage to highlight the contributions of Hispanic women scientists at EPA during Women in Science and Technology Month now in June, there was one thing that immediately stood out. Regardless of their background, these remarkable women all shared a love for the outdoors. They all described how as children they would explore nature and how they loved playing outside with their friends.

So, this summer, why don’t we take advantage of the opportunity now that we have more free time with our children to address the so called “nature deficit disorder” and pursue outdoor activities? I know we might hear some initial grumblings from our kids who may protest getting disconnected from all their electronic gadgets, but you’ll soon see how they embrace playing outside. Of course, we don’t all have a beautiful national park in our backyard, but I’m sure that there may be some hidden treasures in your local neighborhood that you can explore with your kids.

Any big plans for this summer? As always, we will love to hear from you.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

29 Responses leave one →
  1. June 7, 2012

    Very supportive, this activity is very meaningful, schools should actively promote

  2. June 7, 2012

    This is what i have been looking for.

  3. June 7, 2012

    I honor anyone that protects the environment especially during a financial crisis as the U.S. is now in. Developing a spanish webpage to reach others should be applauded.

  4. June 7, 2012

    I plan to keep my child learning and having fun at the same time. I have picked up some Business Games From some best seller authors and I am taking them to a individualized education program.

  5. June 7, 2012

    EPA during Women in Science and Technology Month now in June, there was one thing that immediately stood out. Regardless of their background, these remarkable women all shared a love for the outdoors. They all described how as children they would explore nature and how they loved playing outside with their friends.

    So, this summer, why don’t we take advantage of the opportunity now that we have more free time with our children to address the so called “nature deficit disorder” and pursue outdoor activities? I know we might hear some initial grumblings from our kids who may protest getting disconnected from all their electronic gadgets, but you’ll soon see how they embrace playing outside. Of course, we don’t all have a beautiful national park in our backyard, but I’m sure that there may be some hidden treasures in your local neighborhood that you can explore with your kids.

  6. June 8, 2012

    Very true. Schools should do something. This can help us to make our kids active and all rounder. Nice concept!!

  7. June 8, 2012

    yeh u are saying right

  8. June 8, 2012

    Even though libraries are cutting back due to budget problems, many of them are still keeping the summer programs for kids. These programs are often run by volunteers who are willing to give of their time. Check your local library to see when the summer programs begin. Usually they have several activities during the week. You do not have to go to all the activities but going to a few will expose your children to something educational during the summer.

  9. June 8, 2012

    Great article. About the time to get the kids out, the best would be far from electronic gadgets.

  10. June 8, 2012

    thx for article.

  11. June 8, 2012

    Very good article. Thanks for it. It’s really good activity for kids.

  12. June 8, 2012

    let them play while learning, give them activities that are beneficial during their vacation.

  13. Lina-EPA permalink
    June 8, 2012

    thanks for your comments, keep them coming. Libraries are great resources. Check your local zoo, community centers, parks, etc. You can also find some information about local weekend activities specially designed for kids. Hope everyone can have fun and learn at the same time!

  14. June 8, 2012

    Great article! I couldnt agree with you all more. We need to get todays children out and about and away from the TV/Game systems. Life is too short and the world is a vast place with many things too do. Well written.

  15. June 8, 2012

    I plan to keep my child learning and having fun at the same time. I have picked up some Business Games From some best seller authors and I am taking them to a individualized education program.

  16. June 11, 2012

    Thanks for your right words.. It will help a lot of parents do the right thing.

  17. June 16, 2012

    Reading (and sunshine) is good for the soul. I would always encourage the youth to get outside, curl up with a book, and enjoy nature. Nowadays, with technology and our ever-disconnected society, it is ever important to teach our kids about the various activities that will keep their brains active.

  18. Lina-EPA permalink
    June 18, 2012

    Thank you for your comments. Yes, with our ever-connected society we have to make a deliberate effort to engage our children with the great outdoors. Let’s make sure that we get them outside this summer!

    Lina

  19. Lina-EPA permalink
    June 21, 2012

    These activities may be more interactive and less geared towards the outdoors, but they are very educational. Check out National Geographic’s Education site: http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/collections/summer-learning/?ar_a=3

  20. norman edwards permalink
    August 18, 2012

    I will be helping her get Carter and Grayson to and from school during her new teacher orientation and work days. It is a good feeling to have passed the torch, so to speak. Amy will be teaching pre-K special education in a self-contained classroom.

  21. sbo permalink
    August 26, 2012

    walking actually boosts up the stamina and we do not need to bear the heavy expenses like one we do for a gym.

  22. sbo permalink
    August 28, 2012

    These activities may be more interactive and less geared towards the outdoors, but they are very educational. Check out National Geographic’s Education

  23. منتديات permalink
    September 3, 2012

    Thank you

  24. beach restaurant permalink
    November 2, 2012

    Our kids were not so lucky when it comes to weather this summer, there was just a very few really sunny days. Nonethless, we have organised games and local trips for a group of children, simply Greek food was provided by our restaurant. Everybody seemed to be happy with what we have done – without much effort.
    The bottom line is it’s really easy to get your kids busy during summer – just sit down with other parents and see what you already got on your hands, then get all together and spend a little time with them. It will make a MASSIVE difference.

  25. Ronald Neely permalink
    January 30, 2013

    thank you for this interesting good article!

  26. Joey permalink
    March 30, 2013

    Ah, to be a kid again. ..lol.

  27. Horoscope permalink
    April 1, 2013

    Thank you for good information

  28. shopping site permalink
    October 14, 2013

    really this article is great and ery useful for exactly students and people.time is money
    thanks for sharing nice article.

  29. Lisa Kempler permalink
    January 4, 2014

    Nice article with a lot of good information.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS