Smart Kids: Use It Or Lose It This Summer
The brain is like a muscle -- you use
it or lose it. During summer vacation is your child "losing it"?
Picture two different athletes.
Athlete A is on a schedule where she trains ten months and then takes
two months off. Athlete B trains year round. When Athlete A goes back to
training after her two months of being a couch potato, she's going to
feel sluggish, slow, and frustrated, while Athlete B is still in prime
So, how do we, as parents, keep
our children's brains in tip-top shape? Exercise your children's brains
with these activities.
Writing Skills: Do your children
have a favorite series of books, like The Magic Tree House or Harry
Potter? They can write the next book in the series! Brainstorm the plot
with your children. Provide them with a special notebook for writing the
story -- and let their imagination take them on a journey. A chapter
each week will really add up!
Reading: Enroll your children in
your local library's summer reading program. These reading programs
reward children for reading during the summer months, and are usually
free to join. If your library doesn't offer a summer reading program,
contact your local bookstore. Or make your own reading contest. Simply
draw a chart with rewards at different levels. Every time your children
reach a new level on the chart, celebrate their accomplishments!
Math: The easiest and most
delicious place to incorporate math is in the kitchen. Doubling recipes,
figuring fractions, adding, subtracting -- plus the experiments are
yummy! It doesn't get much better than that.
Logic Skills: Teach your children
the classic card games like Uno, Go Fish, Old Maid, Crazy Eights. Older
kids can learn the basics of Poker and Gin Rummy.
Music: Introduce your children to
new styles of music on a regular basis -- Classical, Reggae, Jazz,
Blues, Opera, Soundtracks from Musicals, Classic Rock, Popular Music
from the 60's-90's, Music from all over the World. Not only will it
stimulate their minds, but it's a lot of fun!
Art: Go to the library and find a
great book about famous works of art. With your children, look through
the book and ask them which pieces they like and why. Then, give them
the opportunity to recreate the art they saw in the book, using whatever
materials they'd like -- chalk, paint, crayons, glue, etc. Your children
will surely surprise you with their creativity.
Summer is a fun time of the year.
Take these ideas and run with them. Not only will your children benefit
from keeping their brains active and in tip-top shape, but you get the
benefit of seeing their creative, brilliant minds at work. Have a great
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