The much anticipated summer is finally upon us and the school year is winding down. So now what?? How do we keep our kids who have challenges engaged and make memories that will be meaningful? We don’t want to just waste this precious time. And of course, we want to help our children retain what they have spent the last year learning, and keep their brains active. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could even increase their learning potential??
Tips to Engage Children (And Their Brains!)
- Get your kids involved in deciding what to do this summer – let their ideas and what engages them be the launching point. Children with learning or behavioural challenges often are much more co-operative when they get are part of the decision making process.
- Get outside and moving – Allow time for your kids to just play – don’t be so scheduled that they don’t get to have unstructured time too! Explore a nearby park or forest, ride or walk to your destinations, have a picnic in the backyard, build a fort, get out the magnifying glass, join a sports team, swim, play at a splash pad, blow bubbles, jump on a trampoline, play badminton, go on a nature scavenger hunt, do some gardening. Exercise is so good for the brain!
- Get them online to use educational apps – there are tons of free learning apps that are fun too! Get them to research a favourite place for a day trip or special destination – maybe set some parameters (i.e. It must be something physical or cost a certain amount or be outside) – have them create a proposal to convince you to go there and then present it.
- Get creative – find an art project they are interested in and get crafty with it!! (paper Mache, origami, model kits, painting, make goo, create a summer scrapbook together with photos and journaling) Our kids who struggle often need an opportunity to have a creative outlet; this may be some of the most productive time for them this summer!
- Get reading!!! Read to them, read with them and have them read to themselves. Get a great novel to engage the entire family. Take turns reading aloud and choosing the book. Visit the library and let them choose whatever books they want to read.
Summertime is a wonderful time and it doesn’t have to be filled with brain numbing screen time!! You can actually help your children increase their attention span and build their confidence as they participate in meaningful activities with you!!
The best thing is for you to know your children, follow their lead and HAVE FUN!! I’d love to hear some things you have done to engage your children and make meaningful memories!