Summertime is fun time, when kids can make and sell lemonade, read for fun, catch and release fireflies at twilight, and daydream. These last few weeks of the best time of the year can provide your child with rich opportunities to grow their brains while enjoying the traditional pastimes of the season.
While the emphasis on testing in public schools might compel you to drill your child with work sheets all summer, “this type of learning should not replace original problem-solving,” says Jane Healy, author of “Your Child’s Growing Brain.” Save the work sheets for rainy days or short practice time over the summer months, and allow your child the opportunity to develop original thoughts and deepen understanding through active learning.
Float Like a Butterfly
Active play builds language skills. In fact, when children are asked to name tools, the same region of the brain is triggered as when they physically use those tools. That’s important to keep in mind as you fret over the reading tests you know your child will begin to take again in the fall. Feeling the tickle of a caterpillar in his hand may just do more for your child than a flashcard with the word caterpillar printed on it. Healy says, “If you want to help your child build a keen brain for vocabulary, make sure plenty of physical play is on the program.”