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Prevent Summer Brain Drain with Learning Play

Stacey Heneveld
With much anticipation, kids across the country have begun counting down the days until summer vacation. Dreams of long afternoon bike rides, building sand castles and picnics at the park are filling their heads.

But did you know that studies show that kids can lose one to three months of learning over the summer months? Here are four great ways to pencil some learning fun into your summer schedule to help prevent summer brain drain:

Learning with "everyday toys"
Choose toys that you know your kids will love that also foster learning. Most toddlers adore "choo-choo trains". VTech's Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train not only appeals to toddlers' love for trains but also puts them in the drivers seat as they push or ride on the train. Take a break from riding and the real fun begins as they explore letters, numbers, colors, songs and stories with the interactive learning panel and thirteen double-sided alphabet blocks. When kids puts the letter blocks into the train’s slot they'll hear and learn letters. Kids will also learn about letters and objects when they turn the book’s pages. They'll especially enjoy watching the alphabet blocks shoot from the top of the engine to ride-on car!

Take breaks with books
Whether they are curling up on a chair in the house or outside on a blanket under their favorite tree, taking some time with a good book during the day is a great way to rest their body, but exercise their minds! This is true for even your youngest pre-readers! The VTech Touch & Teach Word Book introduces toddlers and preschoolers to more than 100 words using four different interactive modes with the help of the loveable Cody & Cora! Kids will also learn to associate pictures with words by touching the colorful pictures on each page and hearing the book respond with letters and vocabulary words. Not only is the Touch & Teach Word Book a fun learning tool for pre and early-readers, but it provides an opportunity for older siblings to spend some one-on-one reading time with their little brother or sister!

Pick up where school left off
Before your child hangs up their backpack for the last time, check-in with their teacher to get a clear picture of what learning skills your child is ending the year with or what areas they may need to focus on over the summer. They may even have some great resources or worksheets for you to use! If your child will be heading off to preschool or kindergarten in the fall, getting a good solid foundation on learning letters is a great place to start! The VTech Alphabet Apple is a great way to make letter-learning lots of fun! With seven different modes of play, kids can practice letter sounds, letter recognition, spelling, and even some counting and basic clock skills! The new light-up, interactive worm keeps learning on the Alphabet Apple fun and exciting!

Take learning on the go
From driving to your favorite beach or heading to the local zoo for an animal adventure, we can find ourselves spending a decent amount of time in the car just getting to our summer fun. Take that driving time to encourage learning activities! The VTech Write & Learn Touch Tablet is one of those perfect on-the-go toys! Its portable size and carry handle make it easy for early learners to carry and hold in the car. And the attached pen means no lost pieces! The tablet features a progressive approach to writing that introduces lines, shapes and letter stroke order to teach letter formation. The best part is that kids will love learning with animated safari animals as they practice drawing shapes, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numbers with six different learning activities.
Meet VTech's Expert Panel
Deborah Sharp Libby
Early Childhood Language and Reading Expert
Eric Klopfer
Platform Learning Expert
Lise Eliot
Early Childhood Mental Development Expert
Carla C. Johnson
Science and STEM Expert
Francis (Skip) Fennell
Mathematics Expert
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