I am a huge advocate of taking a break after a season of hard work because you need a rest. Not only does it work for me, but it is a scientific fact! When it comes to the kids, you need to give them time to be children and enjoy their young lives. There is plenty of time for grown up stuff when they are adults. However, you cannot go back to your childhood, no matter how much you try. Still, you need the balance because too much time off is a recipe for failure. Six weeks to eight over the summer is a long time for their brain not to be working, which is why I like to try and keep them going with a couple of simple activities.
- Summer Reading
Reading can take a lot of forms, and it doesn’t have to be an educational book or a medical journal! What I am trying to encourage is brain activity, so as long as they are coming across new words and themes they are challenging their brain to be better. To be honest, it is more effective when they read something they enjoy, like a magazine or a comic.
- Chemistry Set
Again, chemistry is fun. Kids love mixing chemicals together because inevitably there is a big explosion. We’ve all seen their faces when you drop Mentos in a bottle of Coke! At the same time, it is educational because they are learning about chemical reactions and what elements mix and what elements do not. Plus, a good chemistry set will come with a uniform, so get they get to dress up as their favorite scientist for the day. If they have one, of course!
- Card Games
Not Texas Hold’em or anything like that. We are not trying to promote gambling! I like to go down the route of Pokémon cards, but you can use whichever ones you prefer. You want to promote card games where their brains have to do simple mathematical skills, like addition and subtraction. The aim of the game is to use the cards with the best scores and to work that out they will need some simple mental arithmetic.
- Board Games
Even board games will do the trick. Take Monopoly as an example. Throughout Monopoly, you have to add up, subtract, even figure out when you can get out of jail! Most board games, apart from promoting jailbreaks, will challenge kids to use their brains. As a result, they enhance their mental maths in the process. And, you can make a night of it, so you get time as a family to bond. Board games cover all bases!
Working out what goes into making a meal is another form of brain training. We might not even realize it because we are on autopilot half the time we cook. But, measuring out ingredients is good for the mind and keeps it active, like a lot of walking around the house to stay fit. What’s even better is that you might promote making their meals, so you don’t have to.
Who knows? In the future, they might even cook for you instead of the other way around!
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