4 Easy Ways To Keep Your Kid’s Brains Active This Summer

I don’t know about your kids, but mine aren’t the biggest fans of doing much educational stuff during the summer. I get it and if I asked my mom she would probably say it wouldn’t have been my favorite thing either. But, the summer slide is a real thing! I came across a great article from NWEA, the Northwest Evaluation Association – a not-for-profit organization that has been operating for over 40 years! In this article they discovered that kids moving from 3rd to 4th grade can lose up to 20% of their learning from the previous school year. This is especially true in subjects like math and reading! Other statistics say that by the time child reaches high school 2/3 of the reading achievement gap can be attributed to the summer slide. Forcing kids to do endless amounts of work isn’t the best way to combat this. While all kid’s go through periods of time where school isn’t their favorite, making a positive connection with learning, to me anyway, is important.

So, how do we make learning fun during the summer?

  1. Incorporate learning into everyday activities: This is an easy one! Baking keeps the brain working with reading, math and figuring out how to use the recipe. Plus, it also incorporates stuff like working together and ends with a fun dessert usually! Other ways we do it is countdowns to vacations, how many more days left to this activity or that activity. Using car time to do multiplication facts or reading license plates is also fun.
  2. READ READ READ: I can’t stress this enough! The saying that “Reading is fundamental” is probably the most true statement I’ve ever heard. It is the basis of of EVERYTHING! My oldest isn’t a huge reader, like my daughter or myself, that just means we spend a little more time looking for books he likes. My kids still have a quiet time, even my almost 13 year old. During that time they can take a cat nap, draw, read, build Legos or something like that. Its good for their brains and gets them calm. Reading for at least 20 minutes is a great place to start! Reading endurance is a huge part of learning and something your kids are probably hearing about in school as well.
  3. Simple workbooks – I love the Summer Bridge books because they help the kids work towards a goal, gets them ready school the next year AND are only one page (front and back a day). Its an achievable goal that doesn’t force the kids to do pages and pages of one subject, which might not be their favorite. Plus, my kids like it because it mixes things up, it isn’t just a bunch of one subject every day. We have been doing these bridge books since my oldest was in Kindergarten. They are $10 and you can get them in my Amazon store. They are a perfect price point!
  4. Visit your local library – If your kiddos don’t have a library card the summertime is a perfect time to get one! Libraries usually have more activities during the summer time as well as a summer reading program with prizes!! Visiting the library during the summer is easier for us, and my kids are at the age now where they love to sit and read at the library! Learning to use the library catalog to find books that interest them and then going on the hunt for them all by themselves. More learning!!!

While summertime is for having fun, vacations and being outside, keeping your brain working and active is important for starting school off on the right food come summer’s end.

What ways do you incorporate learning into your summer activities?!

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Inclusive Sizes in Everyday Brands ~ Aerie by American Eagle

Fashion is for everyone, not just those in standard sizes

I’m so excited to share with you guys my first post in a series I’m working on. It’s really been a labor of love for me personally. As a plus size woman who loves clothes and fashion, I’ve had to fight against two strains on that love. When you’re over the size of 14 your options for clothing tend to fall into two catergories. They are either expensive, in exclusively plus size stores, or not fashionable and limited. In some places I never could quite understand why there needed to be a separate section for plus size clothing, and why the styles looked different. And while I appreciate Target and their Ava & Viv line, why do I have to have my own line next to the maternity section? I shouldn’t have to sacrifice fashion or price just because I’ve had three kids and don’t wear a size ten anymore.Why should my style and fashion be limited by the size on the tags of that fashion? Click To Tweet

I found myself at Aerie, having not shopped there in probably eight years. I was looking for a Christmas present but thought, “Hey, I remember the “Real Aerie” campaign. I wonder if they have included more inclusive sizing?” So I set out to find my size, first looking up the size chart (they operate on a letter sizing, not numbers). Their website says that size XXL is 18 and then you go down from there. My size is typically an 18, but like most women I probably in the middle. Because lets face it, what women is exactly the size made for everyone else. That day I walked out with three pieces of clothing and I was so happy!

Henley top (similar to this one) XL

Aerie Street Hoodie size L (these are sized up for the fit they want)

Plush Jogger Pant size XL



I love this sweatshirt so much and wear it all the time! Its so comfortable, warm and I’m dying over the zip detail and the ribbon on the hoodie. Seriously guys, so cute!!

Overall I’m pleased with my experience at Aerie. The sizing was surprising in a good way. I did have to really hunt for the sizes, which tells me that there are probably lots of shoppers in these sizes looking or that they simply don’t carry enough of that size. So Aerie, get some more XL and XXL sizes in your stores!! And to all my curvy ladies, don’t be afraid to hit up your local Aerie. I remember when Aerie first became a brand ( tells you how old I am) and I loved it! I’m glad to be back.

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