KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a tumultuous school year because of the pandemic, experts say it's more important than ever to keep kids learning this summer.
Several local library systems have programs that can help.
The Kansas City Public Library has launched its summer learning programs to help kids stay educationally engaged while not in school.
Kids can earn prizes through the summer reading program by reading five books between now and Aug. 15.
Experts say reading as few as five books during the summer can help children maintain or even grow their reading level.
Crystal Faris, director of Youth and Family Engagement for KC Public Library, says there are plenty of other fun and educational ways to help kids keep learning.
"When you go on a hike, a conversation about what you're seeing, what you're doing, the play that you do around making up stories, all of those things contribute to your learning.," Faris said.
She also suggested other easy ways to keep kids learning, without even leaving the house.
For example, give the child a writing prompt, like "create a superhero and write an adventure for them."
Incorporate learning into everyday activities, like cooking, by asking kids to calculate the measurements for ingredients.
Another idea: ask the child to make up a song or dance, and have them put on a big performance for the family at the end of the day.
For more summer learning activities, visit the KC Public Library's website.
The Mid-Continent Public library, serving Clay, Platte, and Jackson counties, also has several summer learning programs, including an activity kit with craft projects that you can pick up at the library.
Johnson County has several virtual contests for kids this summer at the library, including a fantasy sticker design contest, a fantasy short story contest and an animal photography contest.
Olathe Public Library also has a summer reading program, with the chance to earn a free book.
Most libraries have similar summer learning programs. Check with your local branch for details.