Kids look forward to the leisure summer brings, but excessive leisure is bad for their developing minds. Fortunately, parents can utilize four easy strategies to keep their kids learning during their break.
Limiting electronic entertainment
In small doses television, social media and video games are harmless. Unwinding to reduce stress is healthy for anyone, but such distractions are mindless and seldom challenge your kids' intellect. Too much mindless distraction leaves kids unfocused and unmotivated to learn. Parents should carefully monitor and limit these types of activities.
It is important to remember that not all programs or games that come through these channels are undesirable. There is plenty of stimulating media on television and the internet. Common examples would be documentaries or science shows, which often appear on networks like PBS or BBC and are often free. Certain video games are also more intellectually engaging than others. Puzzle games like Tetris, for example, promote logic and spatial reasoning far more than the story-driven games many kids prefer. The more parents know about the kind of entertainment in which their kids are engaged, the better they can substitute them for healthier ones.
Keep your kids' sleeping patterns regular
If given the chance, many children will stay up long into the night and sleep well into the day. This is okay for a couple of days per week, like over weekends, but three consistent months of irregular sleeping patterns is detrimental to intellectual engagement and could carry over into the school year. According to KidsHealth, a lack of sleep can make it impossible for kids to pay attention.
Get to know your surroundings
Most communities have some type of unique experiences to offer. Common examples include museums or Native American Reservations, which usually have visitors' centers and are often free or run on donations. If unsure what your community or its surrounding areas have to offer, resources like Art Privee, an online private-museum database, are a great help and a cheap way to get your kids out of the house.
Encourage physical activity
A healthy mind requires a healthy body. according to Mentalhealth.org, physical and mental health are closely related and impact each other, so try to make sure your kids exercise for at least an hour or two daily.
By limiting your kids' electronic entertainment, keeping them on regular sleep schedules, taking advantage of community resources and ensuring adequate physical activity, parents can make sure their children continue to develop during the year's longest break.