Inspiring Educators Who Inspire Future Leaders
Preventing summer brain drain is the number one goal of educators and parents across the country each summer. Like many educators, my first impulse is to suggest a trip to the local library to pick up a great book. While I still strongly recommend carving out the necessary time during the summer for children to read, another way to help avoid summer brain drain is to find time for children to create things. Some suggestions of things to try:
This is a great alternative to watching television or playing video games. It is interactive, and a fun way to build cognitive skills. It is also a fun way to spend time with family.
Believe it or not, there are lots of ways that children can help with a home improvement project. When injecting arts and crafts into any home improvement activity, children can help with cutting wallpaper, they can help with any projects involving glue, and they can even help when it’s time to choose paint for the walls.
Children can also get involved with creative activities outside as well as inside. One easy way to connect children to nature, while giving them something fun to do, is to have them help with yard work. This might include tending an established garden or planting seeds in a new garden. They can also help pulling weeds, watering the grass, or adding food to the bird feeder (they might even make a game of this activity by estimating how much food is needed to feed a variety of birds each week).
This is yet another way to have children use their cognitive skills to research, estimate, or create weekly lists. Children can help generate a variety of lists like: camping supply list, day trip supply list, or back to school supply list.
Visits to a museum or zoo give children opportunities to learn new things while having fun. Before the trip, children can calculate distance between home and the final destination. Children might decide to write about their experiences in a journal. The family might also decide to create a play or skit after their museum visit.
There are lots of activities that children can do during the summer. The most important goal is to find an activity that is engaging so that children feel excited about doing it. tlb
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