|For a summer's worth of brain boosting crafts, like this memory keeper, check out the June issue of Family Fun magazine or visit familyfun.com.|
Woo hoo! Summer is just a few days away. For all those kiddos who've been crossing off their calendars, it's almost time to let loose! And for us big kids too, summer gives us an excuse to loosen up a bit at home and at work and make time for doing, well, nothing. It's good for all of us to escape the structure of the school year for some long overdue R&R; however, summer's laid back attitude can morph into a vacation for the brain that's not so great for kids. Re-think summer to turn lazy days at the beach, a trip to visit relatives, even a pick up game of baseball (with the sprinklers going full blast) into a learning opportunity. Here are a few simple strategies for packing brain boosters into your kid's summer:
- Tackle a new skill--check out the summer camp and course offerings in your area and encourage your child to try something new. Studies show that novel experiences (learning or doing something new) boosts memory, creativity and overall learning. Don't forget Fairmont's Summer Program offers lots of great enrichment workshops
- Keep a journal--writing about his/her trip to the Grand Canyon seems less like a language arts lesson and more like a fun way to keep track of summer adventures. In addition to journaling, kids can write and send postcards and create scrapbooks to keep writing skills sharp this summer.
- Start a small business--lemonade stands, yard sales, dog walking services...imagine the possibilities for your young entrepreneur this summer! Creativity, critical thinking skills, leadership, these are just a few of the skills your kids will develop when they dream up "the next big thing".
- Research your family tree--a family reunion can become a hands-on history or genealogy lesson if you frame it correctly. Hand over the video camera and encourage your child to make a film about the experience.
- Join a summer reading program--where's the coolest place in your neighborhood this summer? Yep, the library. Sign your kids up for the summer reading program at your local library and you'll be rewarded with weeks of reading and fun activities, plus air conditioned comfort!
Contributed by Danyelle, Fairmont Private Schools