It’s coming for your child! The dreaded Brain Drain: A sharp-fanged monster known for burrowing into your kiddo’s head throughout the summer months and removing up to sixty percent of what they learned over the previous school year by September (and you thought lice were the only pestilence you need worry about). Brain drain is particularly risky during the first few years of school, since tots who fall behind in the early years rarely catch up down the line.

Fortunately, like all monsters, the evil Brain Drain can be fought using that old Schoolhouse Rock slogan: Knowledge is Power! Here, Red Tricycle rounds up five fun activities the whole family can do over the summer that are also (shhh, don’t tell the little guys) educational.

Reading Is Fundamental

If there's one magic bullet experts have for slowing down Summer Brain Drain it's read, read, read (and then read some more). Read to your kids, read with your kids, and have your kids read to you (or their siblings; or their pets). It's all good.

The New York Public Library has an annual Summer Reading Program that rewards kids for every title, as does the Brooklyn Public Library.

Children's bookstores, independents and chains, also offer storytimes (see 15 free storytimes we love here), some even in foreign languages.

Or make reading an interactive, full body experience when you do a walking tour of your favorite saga. Try Red Tricycle's tips for Stuart Little, Eloise at the Plaza, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing or an only-in-NYC picture book.

Image courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library

– Alina Adams