Six Activities to Use at Home to Help Prevent the Summer Slide


Congratulations! You made it to summer break! Summer is not only the time for rest and relaxation but also for reflecting on the previous school year. Your students have worked hard all year long to grow their math skills, and in order to prevent summer slide it is helpful for them to continue to work with basic operations and other skills they’ve learned.

Students need a break too, and many don’t touch a math problem or activity over the summer. But if we can give families ways to incorporate relevant and fun math, there is a better chance that we can prevent the summer slide.

Here are some fun math activities and resources to try over the summer:

Baking and Cooking

Baking or cooking are wonderful ways to incorporate fractions into real life and help kids understand how they are used in the real world. When baking with children, be sure to include discussions such as:

  • What if we were doubling this recipe? How much {insert ingredient} would we need then?
  • What if we had no full cup/half-cup/quarter cup? What is another way that we could make this amount? (for example, if the recipe calls for one-half cup of flour, we could make that same amount using two one-fourth cups.)

Human Clock 

This is a fun outside activity to do with students at school, but can also be done at home with families. The focus on physical movement makes it a favorite for kids!

You will need: 

  • Concrete area (larger area) 
  • Sidewalk Chalk 
  • Two children 


  1. Gather materials and find ample concrete space outside. 
  2. Draw a large clock on the sidewalk with chalk. It needs to be large enough to fit two children in it. Label the clock like a regular analog clock with each hour number 1-12. 
  3. Tell two children that one will represent the hour hand and one will represent the minute hand of the clock. 
  4. Give the children a specific time to make on the clock. Example: 1:15
  5. Have the students lay down on the sidewalk and make the correct time. 

Crayon Resist Math Mystery

If your child/student loves art, this might be the activity for them to try! You will need blank white paper, watercolor paints, paintbrushes, and white crayons. 

  1. First, write some math equations on paper with a white crayon. 
  2. Have kids use watercolor paint to reveal the first part of the equation slowly.
  3. The child then says the answer, and self-checks by painting over it to reveal the answer.
  4. Once finished, they can hang their pieces up to display their beautiful math art! 

Rounding Chalk Number Line 

Like the Human Clock, you will need a large concrete area and sidewalk chalk. Students will draw a number line from 0-100, or they can draw a number line counting by 100’s from 0-1,000 (100, 200, 300, 400, 500, etc.) 


  1. Draw a number line on the concrete area. 
  2. Have students label the number line. They can mark it by tens or hundreds. 
  3. State a number and have the child identify what number it will round to. Example: 67, rounded to the nearest ten is 70. 
  4. The child can explain why they rounded that number to the specific ten or hundred. 
  5. Give the child more examples so they can practice rounding and have them explain how they found the number. 

prevent summer slide with a rounding chalk number line

Working with Money

If you are traveling this summer, or even going out for a meal, involve your children in money decisions. Some examples include:

  • If you go out for ice cream, have your child estimate the total cost using the prices on the menu.
  • If going on a road trip, have your child calculate an estimated cost of fuel using current fuel costs and the distance being travelled.
  • When traveling, rather than buying your child a certain number of items, give them a specific amount of spending money to use as they wish. This will help them learn the value of money and how to budget.

Math Games

Games are a wonderful way to review math facts in an engaging way that feels fun, and many can be played with just dice or a deck of cards.

Some fun games that lend themselves well to family play are Salute, Knock off the Clock, Target Number, High Low, and Bump

Summer is all about having fun in the sun, but it is also a great time to review math skills and concepts so your child can avoid the summer slide when they begin school in the fall! 


Would you like all of these ideas in printable form to hand out to your families before the end of the school year? Download and print here!

printable summer slide ideas

Katie Detherage is a third-grade teacher from Oklahoma. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her dog, Pippa.

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