Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bust Summertime Boredom Blues - guest post

Bust Summertime Boredom Blues with Wallet Friendly Activities

Studies show that without stimulation, children can lose up to 60 percent of what they learned during the school year. Primrose Schools, a family of 200 accredited private preschools, suggests the key to overcoming summertime boredom and the “brain drain” effect is to encourage imaginative play and have a plan in place to keep children engaged during the summer months.

Summer is a great time to encourage children to let their imaginations soar.  School schedules can sometimes be demanding and time for less structured, imaginative activities is often scarce. The freedom of summer gives children large blocks of uninterrupted time to create projects of their own choosing that can last several days or even longer.

Here are a few ideas parents can use to keep young minds active during the summer months:
  1. Stories Alive: It sounds simple, but reading is one of the most important ways to keep young minds engaged during the summer. Make reading even more fun by finding ways to let your kids bring the stories to life.  Read a book with them and then challenge them to create their own scenes from the book with materials they find in the backyard or house.

  1. Art Treasure Chest: You’ll need to gather basic art supplies–child safe scissors, glue, markers, tape, and construction paper. Put them in a special box along with empty oatmeal boxes and paper towel rolls, colorful magazines, and bits of aluminum foil. Occasionally add a special surprises for them to find something.

  1. Cookbook Fun: Have you ever shared your favorite cookbook with your children?  Take it out and ask your children to choose a recipe to try. Measuring can be a fun and easy way to keep math skills fresh. Also you can take them time to teach your children how to make healthy choices in the kitchen.

  1. Camping Out: Pretend to campout in the backyard. Plan a meal, pack a backpack and set up a campsite. Bring a tent or make your own fort…you might even decide to spend the night!

  1. Scavenger Hunt: Make a list or picture cards of common household items and have your children find the items on the list. Invite friends or neighbors to join in the fun to make it a competition.

Parents can use this list of ideas as a starting point for summer activities that offer a balance between the freedom of child-initiated play time and more structured activities.

“Keeping children engaged with open-ended activities that stretch their imaginations during the summer months helps them develop their independence, creativity, and thinking,” said Dr. Zurn. “We want to help parents keep the “brain drain” at bay while their children play.”

So with these tips in mind, sit down with your family and make a plan for an engaging, imaginative and fun summer.

Submitted by Emily Patterson on behalf of Primrose Schools. For over 25 years, they have helped individuals achieve higher levels of success by providing them with an AdvancED® accredited preschool education and services.  Through an accelerated Balanced Learning® preschool curriculum, Primrose Schools students are exposed to a widely diverse range of subject matter giving them a much greater opportunity to develop mentally, physically and socially. Emily has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering.

*Disclaimer ~ this post was written as a guest post, and while I have read the content and visited the website shared, it doesn't necessarily mean that I do agree with everything posted or everything on the website.~ChristaD, blog owner

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