We are officially on summer break! Now it’s time to put on my creative mom hat and find ways to prevent summer slide. I’m not talking water slides here, I’m talking about kids sliding backward in their skills and knowledge over summer break.
My two kids vary vastly in the areas they find challenging or excel at. My youngest struggles with writing and spelling while my oldest is a walking dictionary. So my goal is to challenge one and keep the other one motivated to keep learning and growing. Oh, and since it’s summer, I’d like to keep my sanity and not play cruise director for the kids all day.
I’m partnering with Amazon Kindle and Scripps National Spelling Bee to tell you how we plan to keep learning and growing this summer. Kindle is sponsoring the spelling bee this year and it seems like the perfect fit. Reading and spelling go hand in hand!
First, this week is the Scripps National Spelling Bee. You can check spellingbee.com for specific dates and times. Last year my family went to our favorite local pizza joint and watched the finals on the big screen. It was seriously so much fun. Those kids are so smart. I remember coming in second place in my school spelling bee and thinking I was the hot stuff. Well, these kids and their talent are amazing. It was a great family activity too because it was inspiring to my children and we learned some new words along the way. Plus I’m sure you’ll find that you start picking your favorites and rooting for them like they’re your favorite sports team.
Next, we’ll be doing lots of reading this summer on our Kindles. Amazon provided a Kindle for us to review so now both kids can read at once. It will save on a lot of fighting over who gets to read first. Our elementary school has e-books available for checkout as does our city library. The city library also has a summer reading program with incentives and prizes so the kids are even more excited about reading this summer.
I want to share some cool features that the Kindle has that really helps build vocabulary and spelling skills.
- Dictionary Lookups – Kids can easily access definitions from the New Oxford American Dictionary without leaving the page.
- Vocabulary Builder – When kids look up words on Kindle, they are automatically added to the Vocabulary Builder on their device. With Vocabulary Builder, they can use flashcards to learn the definitions and usage of words.
- Word Wise – Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words so kids can keep reading with fewer interruptions. Tap on a word to bring up a simple card with definitions, synonyms, and more. Here’s an example of what it looks like with Word Wise turned on. You can choose if you want more or fewer definitions. This is the most definitions.
- Family Sharing – Kindle devices let you easily share books with your spouse or partner and up to four children.
My favorite is the Word Wise. I know my kids will cruise right past a word they don’t know without stopping to ask what it means. I love that challenging words are automatically displayed. I also really like family sharing. Two Kindles does not mean you have to purchase a book twice. My kids both really love all the new graphic novels that are coming out and I love that they can share them!
We really love our Kindles. They are just for reading so the kids can’t get distracted by apps or other things. Sometimes I feel like they think they are tricking me because they are getting “screen time” when really it’s reading time. We all win! Amazon sent us the Amazon Kids Bundle and I really like the kids friendly case and the 2-year accident protection. It gives me, even more, peace of mind about handing over an electronic device to kids.
Lastly, I’m going to have the kids play educational games to help keep their minds sharp this summer.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Context Clue Bingo – It’s way more fun than it sounds. 😉
- Word Searches
- Scrabble Jr.
- Spelling and Math apps or websites. There are a ton!
How do you keep your kid’s minds from turning to mush over the summer? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, I could always use more ideas!
Don’t forget to check out the Scripps National Spelling Bee sponsored by Kindle May 25-26, 2016. You can see the finalists and start picking your favorites now!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Kindle in partnership with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. All thoughts and opinions are my own.