Research shows that without access to quality educational experiences during out of school months, kids and teens score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than they would have at the beginning. Most students lose at least two months of math skills, and low-income students lose two months of reading skills. This is what has become dishearteningly become known as the “Summer Slide.”
The good news is that learning can happen anywhere, at any time, and you are already positioned as your child’s favorite teacher! Through the Activity Tracker and weekly Design Challenges, your Youth Librarians have created great starting points to inspire your child’s unique learning adventure. Did you make an amazing knight’s costume from as little as a brown paper bag? Experiment with catapults or medieval dueling techniques! Did you discover your inner fashionista with duct tape creations or rubber band bracelet creations? Learn how to sew or alter clothing and have an end of the summer fashion show! The possibilities truly are endless and we’re here to help with great books, online resources, and heaps of enthusiasm along the way.
One of my favorite activity tracker options is Google Maker Camp, a virtual summer camp designed to inspire a broad range of makers to “get their hands dirty, fix some things, break some things, and have a lot of fun doing it.” Campers of all ages (those under 13 will need to register with a parent) are invited to tinker around on a new DIY project each day, meet experts (including Buzz Aldrin!), and go on field trips through the comfort of their own computer. Check out camp FAQs for specifics.
This week’s field trips include a trip to the birthplace of LEGOS (Billund, Denmark) for a tour through the LEGO Idea House, as well as a behind the scenes look at Disneyland’s pyrotechnic displays. Campers will also learn about the evolution of Minecraft with Jens Bergenstern from Mojang as well as get instructions on building labryinths, mini foosball games, toothbrush timers, and a LEGO maze!
Daily instructions and videos are available throughout the summer, so investigate a project that speaks to you and have fun!