How to Beat the Summer Slump with 3 Simple Steps!

This post brought to you by Dollar General. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Rural Mom.

Dollar General Store - How to Beat the Summer Slump with 3 Simple Steps!

It’s summer time and the days are breezy, easy and designed for fun! When you have the time to play, you certainly want to seize the chance and give your children every opportunity to enjoy a great summer vacation.  At the same time, you want to make sure they don’t turn away from learning opportunities completely and worse, suffer from summer slump.

Summer slump is a real condition that affects anyone who decides to let go of learning in summer.  Like any muscle in our body, our brains need to be exercised.  As the proverbial saying goes “you use it or lose it!”

Avoiding summer slump and working out that important muscle doesn’t need to detract from summer vacation fun.  Follow these simple steps to create an inexpensive and stylish “summer station” to enhance your child’s learning opportunities throughout the summer.  They’ll see it as a fun addition to their summer activities and you’ll know you are helping them to keep their skills sharp!

Dollar General Station - How to Beat the Summer Slump with 3 Simple Steps!

Create a comfortable, functional space.

Pick an area where you can set up an organized space to house your summer station or opt to create a portable station (like we did,) that can be moved around the home.  Once you have an area or idea in mind, it’s time to shop around for the right tools to create your setup.

Due to the nature of this sponsored activity, I headed straight to Dollar General to pick up products, but I honestly would naturally head there for supplies.  As a rural gal, I rely on our local Dollar General store for day-to-day needs and school and study-related items. They are super convenient to shop and always have the best prices.

For our portable summer station, I picked up a durable dual shelf unit and fabric and plastic storage boxes. The light-weight nature of the items would mean they could be moved easily to reside next to my son’s desk or bed or transferred to the kitchen, front room, porch or even playground! This will give him the ability to hang out where he is most comfortable and still have everything he needs close at hand. Having a comfortable environment is conducive to reading, studying or game play.

How to Beat the Summer Slump with 3 Simple Steps!

While we are setting this up as a summer station, it will easily convert to a homework station when the school year begins, providing long-lasting and much needed storage space to help keep his school work time organized.  To set the stage and to get him excited about using the station every day, I also picked up a variety of school and art supplies he can use for summer fun and throughout the coming school year.

Dollar General Activities

Find “brain” activities your children enjoy.

The trick to keeping the summer station light and fun is to not make it seem too much like school.  While I do expect him to read regularly throughout the summer to avoid summer slump, I didn’t want to add any more stringent “rules.”

Again, I turned to Dollar General for inspiration and found a wealth of items to place in his station that would encourage him to use his math, logic and reading skills without making it seem like work. Some of the items I chose where a Scattergories Puzzle Book,  Sodoku book, a dry erase Tic-Tac-Toe board, notebooks (to doodle or keep a journal in,) and a dry erase board he could use for games, drawing or recording his reading times.  There were plenty of other options available at Dollar General, even think about coloring books which inspire creativity!

Dollar General Incentives - How to Beat the Summer Slump with 3 Simple Steps!

Offer incentives.

As summer reading is a “must do” in our home, I like to find ways to make this activity something my son wants to do, rather than has to do.  First, I like to pick up books based on his interests.  (PS: Dollar General has a nice selection of titles for toddlers to teens.)

Once we have a book he is sure to enjoy, I try to add in a little extra fun.  This year I found a cool electronic kitchen timer at Dollar General that will make it a little more exciting and easier to track his reading. I also allow him to have a special treat like his favorite sugar free gums while he’s reading.  When he meets his monthly reading goals, we let him choose a favorite family activity like seeing a film at the movie theater or a night of bowling.

With a little ingenuity and a few budget-friendly items from Dollar General, it’s easy to eliminate summer slump and prep your children for a fabulous new school year.  Save on back to school essentials with Dollar General!

How do you beat the summer slump?  What fun finds have you discovered at your local Dollar General this summer?

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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  1. Reply

    We’re all about the “Brain Activities!” I just handed over a list to the little one to get cracking on some math facts!

    • jodiboys
    • June 15, 2015

    Thank you for these easy to follow tips! Wonderful tips for families with kids of all ages!

  2. Reply

    We want to find more brain activities this would fit the bill just right! I like that face you have a whole activity station where everything is organize! Awesome ideas!

  3. We love visiting the Dollar Store and getting fun, inexpensive things for the kids to keep them busy! Great tips!

  4. Reply

    This is great! I love going to the dollar stores to give my tot time to pick what she wants and a little math lesson!

  5. We’ve never really encountered summer slump. We have encountered school things that were hard to keep organized so I can see where this could be very useful.

  6. Oh my goodness, Barb, such a great deal on those cube storage bins! I must head to our local Dollar General and check out the selection!! No slump usually here – so far! Fingers crossed!

  7. Reply

    I need to pick up one of those shelf units for my daughter! I had no idea that I could find something like that at Dollar General. I really like the idea of offering incentives to beat the summer slump.

    1. Reply

      I’m always amazed with the fun finds I spot at Dollar General and I’m totally in love with this shelving unit. Didnt realize, it’s expandable, too. You can pick up additional ones and connect them, so I’m definitely going to be picking up more!

  8. Reply

    This seems like a great way to get organized! I might have to pick up some of these bins. I always see people posting great things about the dollar store. I haven’t been in so long. Cannot wait to go back!

  9. Reply

    Call me frugal but Dollar General has some GREAT stuff. I’m always finding fun and usual stuff there <3

  10. Reply

    This is awesome. I love Dollar General because their prices are definitely a steal.

  11. Reply

    I NEED to do something like this! Our craft/colouring/activity books drawers are hideous right now, I really need to clean them out. This is the perfect solution! Thanks!

  12. Reply

    I’m Al about brain activities for my daughter. Can’t let kids foget everything they learned in school all year long!

  13. Reply

    These are all great tips! I love picking up stuff at Dollar General because they seriously have everything there 🙂

  14. Reply

    Sounds like they have a great selection. This would be very useful in my homeschooling.

    • sharon phillips
    • June 19, 2015

    Got to love Dollar General. Usually have what I need. Keeping the brain working all summer is great fora learning child. My grandkids are always playing school. Hangman, we play scrabble and they love to read to me. I have a book with stories in it from when I was young. They adore it and the stories.I love to hear them read.

  15. Great ideas. We have about 3 DGs right near us and we are always finding stuff there to keep us busy.

  16. I like what you came up with. I usually gets arts and crafts stuff from dollar general or the $.99 store to keep the kids busy

  17. Reply

    This is great! I remember wasting away summers as a kid. This is a great way to engage and make for a good summer!

    • Kiwi
    • June 20, 2015

    Dollar General always have great stuff for cheap! Arts and crafts would be great for items from there so good idea!

  18. Reply

    Great idea to keep the kids engaged over summer! Dollar General is a cheap way to go as well!

  19. Reply

    Whenever my kids get bored with their toys and/or are transitioning from toy to toy I always grab stuff at the Dollar Store to keep them entertained!

  20. Reply

    We are beating the summer slump by doing all things water!!! I need your idea for the rainy days

  21. Reply

    These are such great ideas, I remember as a kid one summer we just lazied and played with cousins and when we returned to school I couldn’t even spell ‘is’ that’s how bad it was so its important to keep the brain activity throughout summer

  22. Reply

    I just went to the dollar store to grab summer supplies for the kids just like this. That way they can easily pick out some supplies and get busy.

  23. Reply

    I get a lot at Dollar General for my kids. It has been a life saver more than once and I love that the kids can stay busy.

  24. Reply

    Dollar General is actually the only store in my town so I have no choice but to shop there, but I do find myself looking for one if I’m in another town at a doctor’s appointment or something because I know I can always find what I’m looking for at a great price.

  25. Reply

    We love shopping at Dollar General. Great tips and ideas to help beat that dreaded summer slump!

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