All across the nation kids are beginning to put away those textbooks, toss out old homework, and pull out their bathing suits because what time of the year is it? You got it: It's summertime.
We were all children once, and we all loved the feeling of that last day of school. Finally getting the break we deserve and just wanting to go outside, play with the neighbors, dance in the sprinklers, or just sit on the couch and watch cartoons all day. With all of that mental relaxation, it was easy to forget about studying and what it was like to keep our brains mentally active.
Even though we would like to give the kids an easy summer break, we must not forget the importance of keeping kids mentally active during the summer so they don't go back to school feeling lost and confused. According to the National Summer Learning Association, studies show that youths who do not engage in educational activities over the summer tend to experience a loss of learning when they return back to the school year. So what can we do to keep kids' brains active this summer?
Daily routines: By keeping your kids on a schedule this summer, not only does this help the transition from summer to school easier, it can also keep their brains ready to be active each day. Regular wake-up times, meals throughout the day, and bedtimes all play a role in keeping your child's mental activity on schedule.
Summer camps: According to the American Camp Association, children are able to interact with positive role models, and are given the opportunity to learn how to work with others, make choices, take on responsibilities, develop creative skills, and gain independence when participating in camp activities. Summer camps can range from sports camps to creative arts camps to religious camps and many more, so check them out!
>> Read more: Click here for healthy summer camp ideas for your kids!
Crafts, crafts, crafts: Crafting is enjoyable and keeps the creative mind going! Not only does this encourage your kids to explore their own ideas, but it also improves their creative skills and gives them something to be proud of when they're finished. Not to mention that it keeps them busy on rainy days!
Summer reading challenges: Reading is a great skill to keep your child's mental activity flowing. However, sometimes they may feel that reading is a chore, so how do you motivate them? If you visit the Scholastic website, you will find summer reading challenged for kids of all ages. Kids who participate are challenged to read books and log in their minutes online. When they keep up with their weekly readings, they can enter the sweepstakes to win prizes and digital awards. If you prefer the actual library to an online competition, many local libraries offer summer challenges for kids as well. Or heck, if you've got a real bookworm on your hand, why not try out both?
Baking with Mom: Need some help in the kitchen? Ask your kids to help make a yummy meal or snack with you! By children learning simple cooking skills, this can not only help them learn how to prepare food, but can also help improve their mathematical skills as well. By measuring out how many cups or tablespoons you may need, this can teach your kids how to handle simple fractions and measurements!