Who doesn’t love summer? 

Hot sunny days, swimming pools and vacation: summer is all about relaxation and fun! Even mad scientists at My First Lab enjoy getting out and soaking up the sun. However, did you know that while you – or more importantly, your kids – are enjoying their time away from school, they are also losing 39% of what they have learned over the past school year?  

You may ask, “What’s the harm? They’re going back soon anyways. Right?” 


A study published by the American Education Research Journal, looking at student’s progression over five years, shows that 52% of students lost 39% of their school year gains during the summer. This means that by the time students have caught up to where they were last year, school is well underway, and students must play catch up to absorb lessons for this year.  

Thankfully, there many easy and fun ways to keep your kids from going down that “summer slide.” Planning educational activities for summer doesn’t have to be grueling!  

How can we retain information over the summer?  

  1. Keep plenty of books around (And not just for propping up your tables!)  

Having books available at home for kids can help decrease the rate of learning loss that happens naturally over the summer. Your local library may also have summer programs to take advantage of as well. 

  1. Visit historical attractions and local museums 

Museums and historical attractions have virtual exhibits that your kids can check out from the comfort of home. While these attractions are primarily educational, they can also be fun! Kids can learn a lot about any subject by learning through interactive exhibits.   

  1. Invest in fun educational toys 

Kids microscopes are just one type of educational toy that can help decrease the ‘summer slide.’ Kids will think they’re just exploring, but they are broadening their understanding of the surrounding world! Puzzles, educational games and word games are other great options for broadening your child’s educational horizons. Learning toys are a low effort way to make a large impact on your child’s development, and science gifts like kid microscopes can foster an early interest in fields like biology and medicine. These toys can help keep kids in STEM.  

We know better than anyone that summer is a time for kicking back and relaxing, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be an educational experience as well! Learning from home doesn’t have to be tedious and can improve student engagement. Follow these simple tips, and your child will be less likely to fall behind when school comes back around and will be more likely to gain a love for lifelong learning.  

My First Lab has been a leader in developing STEM equipment for the past 30 years. With products ranging from microscopes and bundles to prepared slides and accessories, we are sure to have any product that a junior investigator, hobbyist or educational leader could need. Learn how to create hands-on experiments by browsing our blog or checking out our award-winning products.