Everyday Learners: How to cultivate a successful summer break
The school year is officially over, finally! Teachers and children alike look forward to taking a break, sleeping in, and relaxing. Meanwhile, parents are now looking at a full house and the constant need to keep their kids occupied throughout the duration of the summer. This can be daunting without sufficient ideas and activities to keep the kids busy.
The Child Mind Institute recommends a few crucial tips to help parents who face this new task. Here are a few suggestions to remember:
- Stick to a schedule. Children may resist the idea of staying on schedule with their new freedom from homework and early mornings, but children tend to function better in the long run when they maintain a summer schedule. Try to plan out meal times and general bedtime routines.
- Make plans. In conjunction with a routine, try to plan out activities in the future they can look forward to. Find as many opportunities for them to have social activities with friends and family.
- Be outside. Summer is the perfect time to soak up Vitamin D and be active. Children have a lot of energy to burn, and sitting indoors watching TV or playing video games won’t do the trick. Find an activity that your child enjoys — riding bikes or going swimming — and plan out times to incorporate it into your schedule.
Remaining active and participating in various extracurriculars throughout the summer can aid in overall growth for children. Benefits in each domain of development, language, physical, cognitive and social/emotional are seen. For example, playing a game outside with friends flexes their social muscles, increases their language skills, improves their cognitive thinking and keeps them physically active.
Whenever possible, try to follow your child’s lead. They may express interest in specific activities that you may have not previously considered. Many children enjoy reading and want to spend part of their summer going to the library and exploring new books. They may want to learn a new skill like baking or a new language. Paying attention to their interests and encouraging exploration can immensely aid in keeping your child busy and active. Have a great summer!