College students routinely attempt to cram as much fun into each summer as possible, often at the expense of keeping their minds sharp. “Summer slide,” refers to a concept outlined in a recently released survey from the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), which confirms that many teachers spend a significant amount of time re-teaching material due to summer learning loss.

But is it possible to prevent this from happening while still enjoying a fun-filled summer? Share these tips with your students for summer fun that will also keep them thinking.

Join a book club

Remember the fun of reading for pleasure? Summer is the perfect time to take a break from reading assigned text and instead pick up a book you’ve heard good things about.

You can also see if there are any book clubs in your area. If there’s not, you’re in charge of starting one! You can also visit some online book clubs such as or

Explore nature

When you’ve got a free day and some nice weather, grab a friend and explore nature! Head to a state or national park, a nature preserve, or somewhere else you enjoy. This is the perfect way to unwind during your break from school.

Swing by the library and grab a book on the trees or wildlife in your area and see how many you can identify. Or you can download apps for your phone that help you identify trees, plants, and even bird calls in your area.

Learn a new skill

Summer is a great time to pick up some classes that you’ve been thinking about trying. Whether you sign up to take them in person at your school or online, you’ll enjoy a unique experience of summer classes.

You can also look for classes to start learning a trade such as programming with a site like Codeacademy.

Review “recommended reading”

During the semester, you may not have time to review all the additional recommended reading that your instructor provides you with. But summer might be a good time to give it a look, especially if it’s a subject you’ll be continuing with next semester.

You can work at your own pace and simply use this as a way to stay sharp. Take the material with you when you’ve got some down time like when traveling. And it won’t even strain you terribly, as it should be supplemental to what you’ve already learned.

How do you keep your mind sharp over the summer months? Share your ideas below.