Kaitlin Murphy Blog Post

Summer Slide, despite its name, is not as fun or enjoyable as a park or pool slide. It refers to the learning loss that happens during the summer months when children are not in school. Once out of the classroom and the daily routine of learning, it becomes easy for the knowledge they gained to slide away and make learning more challenging in the fall.

When children are out of school, the learning gap from the time spent away from their desks can be so gradual, it is barely perceptible. Upon returning to the classroom in September, there is often a distinct difference in what they knew at the start of the summer compared to the end. This sets them at a disadvantage for the new year; it may require seeking extra help outside of school, or the entire class may require teachers to spend more time reviewing concepts covered in the previous school year. It can affect their success in high school as well, particularly in Math or English classes. This slide can be prevented though, if families ensure that the summer months are full of stimulating activities such as exciting Library events and even some basic day-to-day activities for children.

If you are looking for a library event to prevent Summer Slide, you have come to the perfect place! We have plenty of events and programs lined up for everybody to take part in.

TD Summer Reading Club logoTD Summer Reading Club

Children aged 0 to 12 years may register for the TD Summer Reading Club online, track their reading, earn digital badges, as well as enjoy many other literacy-rich activities. The wonderful staff in the Children’s Department can also help if you would prefer to ask about it in person or pick up a free packet of information with a bit of swag at the Children’s Checkout Desk.

Patch's Summer Reading ChallengePatch’s Summer Reading Challenge

As an extra incentive to read this summer, Patch is hosting a fun summer reading challenge for kids. If you like BINGO, you’ll love playing PATCH! PATCH game cards can be picked up in the Children’s Area throughout the summer months. Each time you complete a line of reading challenges in any direction, you can submit your completed PATCH game card at the Children’s Check-Out Desk for a chance to win one of Patch’s weekly prizes. New PATCH game cards with a whole new set of challenges will be available each week throughout the summer at the Children’s Check-Out Desk.

trees and parklandStory Time in the Park

Every Tuesday morning at 10:30, families can take part in Story Time in the Park in a different place in the City. Full of songs and stories, every story time is sure to keep your kids engaged and happy. We can update your Library card or even make a brand new card for you or your child, right there in the park! There will also be books at every event which you can sign out with your library card. Check our What’s Happening Guide or the online Events Calendar for details about where we will be each week.

Heather Whaley playing her guitar and singing in a libraryPerformances, Arts- & STEM-based Workshops and Craft Programs

If your children love to create, don’t miss out on all the fun opportunities going on at the Library. While some events require registration, there are some (like story times, movies, and the Library @ the Zoo crafting tables) where you can drop in – no registration or ticket required. As always, every Saturday there will also be a Grab & Go kit for your kids to take home with them.

Stay in the Know

The What’s Happening Guide can be your best friend this summer. Available throughout the Library, this colourful guide has plenty of information on all the different kinds of events that will be happening, as well as a handy calendar for at-a-glance reminders.

Literacy-Rich Routines

While I encourage people to participate in library events whenever possible, it is not always do-able. You may be surprised at how many daily activities can be made into literacy-rich learning opportunities.

Grocery Trips

While children may not find them all that enjoyable, it can be a wonderful way to help them maintain math skills. They can also be taught about where in the world their food comes from, meal prep, and what different family members like to eat!


Getting the kids out of the house for a bit and engaging with their surroundings provides them with ways to stay entertained without relying on technology. It can be done in the backyard, a nearby park, or a fun new location. Parents can also use them as a chance to teach their kids about their surroundings, colours, textures, and more.

Trips to the Playground

Similar to picnic events, going to the playground together as a family can be a great way for children to gain the necessary stimulation to fight off boredom. Even better, it can be a fun way to bond and make memories.

Read, Read, Read

Finally, bring books wherever you go and children will be reaching for something to read instead of a gaming app or social media. Your family can enjoy audiobooks together on a car stereo (either via a CD player or downloaded to your cell phone), or – for those times you need a quiet moment – pick up a Playaway player from the Library, plug in a set of earphones, and enjoy!

Cover photo from What's Happening Summer 2022 guide