How Playtime Can Help Avoid the Summer Learning Slump with Lakeshore Learning

reading2Ahhh, summer break. Time to get outdoors and go swimming at the local pool. For our family summer is all about weekend getaways, baseball games and have a blast at camp. My kids will say that summer is a time to have tons of fun. While I wholeheartedly agree that school is out and it’s time to relax, I don’t necessarily believe in the saying “no more pencils, no more books.”  As a matter of fact, I often try to incorporate lots of education fun in our summer activities so that my boys are constantly learning, even while having their summer fun.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Lakeshore Learning is a company that shares my view of educational play and incorporates that concept in all of their products. We are constantly using their workbooks or toys to encourage education and play in one activity.  One can be sure to find simple, educational toys such as the Lakeshore Learning Spiral Art, while on longer drives to our vacation destinations. This summer, I have discovered two newer toys in their collection that my children have really come to enjoy.

alphabots3My boys, ages 3.5 and 6 both find the Lakeshore Learning Alphabots a great option for play. Alphabots are small, maneuverable letter that transform into cute little robots. My children like to spell out different words including their names and spend their time transforming those letters into their robot characters. It’s neat to watch them playing our scenarios with those figures. The Alphabots are a perfect toy for children who are just learning their letters or for those little ones who are sounding out and spelling words. They are a great option for both my three-year-old and my six-year-old, whom we often find playing “Alphabots robot games” together.Alphabots1

Another neat toy that we have discovered is the Road to Reading Activity Center. There may be a slightly bit more of a clean-up after play, but this book set by Lakeshore Learning has everything your emergent reader would need to enhance his/her reading skills. Our six-year-old is reading at a second-grade level so he is slightly advanced for this toy but he is exceptionally helpful at guiding his younger brother and friends when using this product. The Road to Reading Activity Center has many different reading games that let children sound out and learn their letters, build simple words and teach kids how to recognize certain sight words. It also has five books that are a perfect read for your emergent readers. Each book tells a different story. Some books will talk about subjects like common everyday sights and others provide short stories about animals like a fox and a hen. reading1Your children will have a great time spelling out simple words with the included letters or matching pictures with their corresponding letters in the little puzzles that coordinate with the story subjects. My eldest son enjoys reading the included books to his brother and together they spend time sounding out words and spelling them out with the cards provided in each book. This is a perfect toy for my kids to engage each other with and while it is technically recommended for ages 4 & up, I find it great for kids ages 3+.

One thing that may shock many, is how my daughter struggles with math.  She loves math, but fun math. As her to memorize multiplication tables has been such a doozy though, making her parents throw their hands up in the air.  Seriously, how do you know what 7 x5 is one second and when phrased 5 x 7, you’re completely stumped?! It was also noted by her teachers that she should practice her tables over the summer much to her dismay. It’s definitely all in the approach for sure. Doing table drills just wasn’t cutting it but we absolutely loved the Multiplication Tower of Math.  Think Jenga math fun! It really committed those multiplication basics to memory. I loved that it was all strategy. Which block will you pick next? Is the block an easier problem or hard one?

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I think it’s safe to say that the summer is a time to have fun and take a break from schooling. What makes Lakeshore Products so awesome is the fact that they keep those little minds working and prove that learning can, in fact be loads of fun.
Even in our travels we notice that our children choose to take along many of their Lakeshore toys which I think speaks volumes about the quality and entertainment that these toys can bring.
As always, we love the endless toy options that Lakeshore Learning gives our children and my husband and I are thrilled that our children feel the same about educational toys as we do.

{ disclosure: As long time fans of Lakeshore Learning, we are thrilled to be a blog ambassador for Lakeshore Learning and am compensated for my work. Although I received product free of charge, as always, all opinions expressed here are our very own.  }