Summer is a great time for your kids to let go of school stress and have fun, but these warm weather months can also cause learning loss. The excitement of summer can quickly give way to boredom, and the siren call of screen time can be tempting. This can lead to summer brain drain.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can keep your kids’ brains sharp during the summer without totally boring them. By planning the right activities, you can keep your family engaged, active, and learning while still enjoying this time off.
“Half an hour to an hour set aside daily can help students close learning gaps and perform at higher levels during the upcoming school year,” education author Barbara Dianis writes in the Edutopia blog. “Summer is an ideal time for students of all ages to strengthen their academic skills while still having plenty of time left over for summer activities.”
From quietly reading at the library to running between activities at summer camp, try some of these activities to ward off brain drain in your house this summer.
- Visit The Library
Planning a weekly visit to your local public library is a great way to keep your kids reading over the summer. Many libraries even have summer reading challenges that your kids can join. Consider setting off a half hour of quiet reading time every evening for your kids to unwind and enjoy their books.
- Work In The Garden
Garden projects allow your kids to practice focus and dedication, as they will have to care for their plants for the whole summer. Your kids will learn how much effort goes into growing the food they eat, boosting their appreciation for healthy foods in the process. And once they finally get to harvest the results of their hard work, they will feel a great sense of accomplishment.
- Use Learning Technology
Not all screen time is bad! By finding apps and games that are educational, you can encourage your kids to learn through technology. While it is still important to limit screen time, small doses of educational resources can be quite helpful. You can also consider signing them up for a coding or robotics course. This way, they can learn new skills and practice problem solving.
- Try Out Fun Recipes
Get your kids in the kitchen to practice their measuring and math skills. Let them flip through a children’s cookbook to find a tasty recipe to create. You can then bond as a family by cooking together. Encourage them to share their creation with friends and neighbors as well.
- Learn New Board Games
Problem solving and team-oriented board games are a perfect educational tool for your children. As with many of these activities, they won’t realize they are learning at the time. In addition to finding new board games to learn, encourage your kids to create their own. This creativity and challenge will make family game night more engaging than ever.
- Join A Team Sport
Most communities offer multiple youth summer sports leagues, so sift through the options and see if your kids are interested. Whether kicking the soccer ball or bending in gymnastics, your child will learn important dedication and communication skills. Sports are also great forms of exercise for both the body and brain.
Remember: The best way to get your kids excited about summer activities is to involve them in the planning. Consider writing a “boredom list” including the above activities and others. This way, when they are bored, they will turn to the list rather than the television or mindless video games.
By making learning fun and supporting your kids when they learn new things, you will easily help your family fight summer brain drain. Stay positive and participate with your kids as much as possible. Everything is more effective with the whole family involved.
Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations
Sign up now for a delightful weekly email with insights for the whole family. Plus Dr. Greene's FREE Top 5 Wellness Tips For 2017.