MADE in Lake County: 5 Ways to Beat the Summer Brain Drain

MADE is a paid partnership with Little Lake County

Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. We introduced you to local book lover and Usborne Consultant Ashley McDowell. Today she is sharing with us her tips to beat summer brain drain.

tips to beat summer brain drain

5 Tips to Beat Summer Brain Drain

From a Speech-Language Pathologist

With the “eternal winter” we had this year, I know I’m more anxious than ever for summer and getting the kids outside! And, of course, the thought of a break from all the homework battles and the daily grind is keeping me going as we limp to the school year finish line. However, studies show that students lose 2-3 months of skills over the summer, especially in math and reading. How do we prevent the dreaded “summer brain drain” and still have a fun, carefree summer?! Here are 5 ways to keep those kids engaged and learning (shhh) over the summer:

tips to beat summer brain drain
Photo provided by Ashley McDowell

1. Join a Local Library Reading Program

All the local libraries have great summer reading programs that encourage kids to read over the summer and they sure know how to make reading fun. There are usually prizes involved to keep kids motivated, and let’s face it, when there’s a reading log or reason to keep track, it keeps us parents more accountable too.

tips to beat summer brain drain
Photo provided by Ashley McDowell

2. Dive into Topics of Interest

Allow your child to explore their own topics of interest throughout the summer. Does your child like dinosaurs? Check out some books on dinosaurs or go to a local dinosaur museum. Is your child interested in rocks? Go on a rock hunt and help your child learn to identify different types of rocks.

tips to beat summer brain drain
Photo provided by Ashley McDowell

3. Teachable Moments

Learning doesn’t have to involve a lot of time and preparation on your part! Incorporate teachable moments into daily activities. A trip to the grocery store is a great opportunity to practice math skills, planning and organizational skills, and even reading. A trip in the car can be a great time to play games that involve memory, alphabet skills (find letters on license plates, billboards, etc), and more.

tips to beat summer brain drain
Photo provided by Ashley McDowell

4. Books, Books, Everywhere!

Make sure your children have exposure and easy access to books all the time. In our house, books are present in every room. There’s a basket of books in the bathroom, there are bookshelves in the bedrooms, bookshelves in the play area, etc. I also make it a point to put up a theme display of books that changes each month. My kids enjoy helping me set it up and they are more likely to pull down those books than if they were hidden away on the shelves.

tips to beat summer brain drain
Photos provided by Ashley McDowell

5. Stock up on Great Books and Activities

Whether you are staying home this summer or plan to travel, make sure you have some novel books and activities on hand to keep the kids engaged. Usborne Books & More has nearly 2,000 titles available and there is something for everyone! Reluctant readers may prefer some of Usborne’s fabulous non-fiction books, designed to be educational and engaging. Bite-sized chunks of information keep lift-the-flap books interesting and less overwhelming. Did you know that sticker books can be educational too? Our sticker books contain information related to the topic and promote fine motor skills. Kids love the Shine-a-light books because they can use flashlights to reveal hidden pictures on each page (how fun for summer nights outdoors!). Wipe-clean books and activities are another favorite for on-the-go fun and keep kids entertained and working on fine motor skills.


Check out all of these books and more at and feel free to join my VIP group on Facebook for more tips, exclusive specials, and insider info.

Usborne Books & More – Ashley McDowell

Disclosure: Usborne Books & More – Ashley McDowell, is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your locally-owned business in our series please contact the sales team.


About Melissa Haak 626 Articles
Melissa is mom to 4. She used to dream of traveling the world, now she dreams of a clean kitchen. She can be found on most social media sites as @PBinmyHair because with this much hair and four kids, you're bound to find something in it.

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