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Backyard Summer Camp, Part 3: Combat Brain Drain

In addition to crafts and Active Experiences, expose your campers to some great literature. Answering a few questions after reading a story is an effective way to maintain reading comprehension skills over the summer.


Download these children’s classics adapted by Simple Solutions. For very young children, use The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. Older children can read The Secret Garden and Wind in the Willows. For middle schoolers, offer Rikki Tikki Tavi and the Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.

Free digital versions of these children’s classics and many others are available at Project Gutenberg’s Children’s Bookshelf

You can also use these great reads as bedtime stories. And, be sure to check out After Dark for other nighttime activities.


Incorporate science into your summer camp. Junior Ranger activities are fun, educational, and, best of all, many can be done in your own backyard. When it comes to combating brain drain, these free booklets keep your kids’ heads in the game. Check out our Bird blog or download the Explore Parks through Sound booklet for birdwatching activities.


Interactive sites for math abound on the Internet. I’ve chosen one for each grade level, K through 8, from the Simple Solutions Free Math Resources blog. These combat summer slide and provide a great rainy-day resource or backup plan.

For more ideas, backup plans, and rainy-day fun, try these activities:

giant jigsaw, board games, table football, badminton, croquet, and water balloon toss.

and these links:

How to Host Your Family’s Own Personal Summer Camp

Keep Kids Academically Engaged

 Summer Solutions offers kids the ability to review the skills that they were taught during this school year. That way when they return to school in a few weeks or even next fall, they will be ready to continue right where they left off.

About the author


Diane D has been researching and writing for Simple Solutions since retiring from her teaching position at the Nordonia schools. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Diane, who is fluent in Italian, travels a lot, bikes every opportunity she gets, rock climbs, skis, and has recently joined a rowing team.

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