News From Our Blog

Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading This Summer

School is usually the last thing students are concerned about during their breaks - it’s all sun, fun and friends. But breaks from school are times when completely cutting out learning can be detrimental to a student.

According to Serve.gov’s Strong Minds campaign, kids can lose months of progress in reading achievement over summer vacations. Use these tips to keep your kids learning and engaged:

And since everybody knows kids love fun and games after a long day of learning, have them explore the Kids.gov collection of reading games available online.

Fight Summer Boredom

By Kids.gov

Now that it’s the heat of summer, it’s harder for kids to find fun activities on their days off. In June, Kids.gov hosted a Twitter chat where we brainstormed fun and educational activities for your kids this summer.

We were joined by numerous partners, including NASA, Fitness.gov, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Girlshealth.gov, My Plate and more, and an enormous amount of resources were shared to help spark new activity ideas for your kids. Take a look at some of the highlights from the chat:


What kinds of outdoor activities do you do with your kids in the summer?

BLM:  Summer is a great time to hike, bike and explore America’s Great Outdoors! Plan your adventure at http://www.recreation.gov

NASA: You don’t have to go space to experience the moon! Craters of the Moon, New Mexico http://on.doi.gov/12dLa6u


Do you have a favorite park, pool or beach you take the kids to every summer?

EPA: Find a beach near you with this EPA beach finder: http://1.usa.gov/11P8NSS

BLM: Hands on the Land connects agencies, teachers, parents and students with publiclands and waterways http://bit.ly/15n4253


Summer weather can be rough, but summer nights are beautiful. Are there any evening activities you love to do with your kids?

BLM: Literacy this summer?  Try our Tori the Tortoise book - fun and educational http://on.doi.gov/yLrDqO

NASA: Have you visited http://NASAWavelength.org? It has some great links to summer activities


Summer is full of BBQs and vacations. Do you try and encourage healthy eating with your kids?

Fitness.gov: Parents should encourage kids to choose quality foods! Have active kids? Here’s how to keep them healthy: http://1.usa.gov/18G4XlX

Kids.gov: Find healthy eating games and information to engage your kids at http://1.usa.gov/122UYVa

MyPlate: When at the beach &kids are thirsty, drink water instead of sugary drinks! http://ow.ly/mebCI  


How do you keep your kids entertained on rainy days? There are some great educational games and videos now to help!

Kids.gov: Have your kids play educational games rather than video games on rainy days: http://1.usa.gov/Y4cFjB

Fitness.gov:  Active gaming keeps kids moving even on a rainy day! Take a look: http://t.co/sAuo8V1hLT

Girls Health: Also for girls who want to be scientists, check out this great video from the White House! http://t.co/pUxboMl9kR

For more fun and educational activities from Kids.gov, follow us on Twitter: @kidsgov

Image description:
From: stopbullying.gov:

It’s not all about “mean girls.” Research shows that boys are 1.7 times more likely to bully than girls.  Learn more about the role adults play in reducing incidents of bullying.

Image description:

From: stopbullying.gov:

It’s not all about “mean girls.” Research shows that boys are 1.7 times more likely to bully than girls.  Learn more about the role adults play in reducing incidents of bullying.

Six Tips to Make Sure Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix This Summer

By Fadi Seikaly, Programs Director, The Century Council

School is over and summer vacations are finally here!  This time of year can be especially challenging for both youth as well as parents.  In most cases, this is a period of transition for youth: whether it’s starting middle school, or graduating from high school and heading to college.  Kids and teens now have ample time on their hands for all sorts of activities yet parents’ supervision might be limited due to their everyday obligations.  This reality can provide fertile ground for youth to experiment and engage in risky behaviors such as underage drinking.

Contrary to popular belief, research shows that kids still listen to parents when it comes to talking about underage drinking.  Therefore, it is extremely important for parents to be prepared to have conversations with their kids regarding the dangers of underage drinking.  

Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix provides parents with excellent resources to help them make the most of these important conversations.  In the meantime, here are some tips to help you keep your kids safe this summer:

  1. Keep the conversation going: It’s never too early to talk with your kids about underage drinking. You can make use of daily situations to start the conversation.  Remember, multiple conversations are more effective than a lecture!

  2. Be involved: Kids need to know their parents are around and care. Make sure you know what they are doing.  You can plan some healthy and fun activities with your kids and teenagers. Share some quality time with them!

  3. Stay Aware: Always know your kids’ whereabouts and who they are with. If you can’t be physically present, try to get a relative or a neighbor to check on the kids every once in a while.  Take advantage of technology to keep in touch with them!

  4. Set the Rules:  Make sure your kids know your expectations, house rules and the consequences for breaking them.

  5. Connect: Other Parents are facing the same challenges you are. Get to know these parents and make sure you are all on the same page when it comes to underage drinking.

  6. Keep count:  Keep an inventory of the alcohol at your house. Make sure that it’s out of your kids’ reach; this will also help them in dealing with peer pressure.


Follow these links to order your free copies of the Ask, Listen, Learn Parents and Kids brochures.  Remember, this summer and during the rest of the year encourage your kids to say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking!

For more information and additional resources, please visit www.asklistenlearn.com

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Image description: Join us on Thursday, June 20, at 1 p.m. ET for a live Twitter chat about fun and educational activities for kids this summer. You’ll learn about great free and educational resources from Kids.gov, NASA and more and you’ll find out about fun outdoor activities on our country’s public lands. 
To participate, follow @kidsgov on Twitter and use the hashtag #kidsummer.

Image description: Join us on Thursday, June 20, at 1 p.m. ET for a live Twitter chat about fun and educational activities for kids this summer. You’ll learn about great free and educational resources from Kids.gov, NASA and more and you’ll find out about fun outdoor activities on our country’s public lands.

To participate, follow @kidsgov on Twitter and use the hashtag #kidsummer.