Remember when summertime meant sleeping late, relaxing by the pool and generally lazing the day away? Well, those “hazy, lazy days of summer,” as the song goes, are long gone.
Happy Summer Brain Gain participant at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus in Ohio.
That’s why Boys & Girls Clubs of America created Summer Brain Gain, a summer learning loss prevention program running at more than 1,000 Clubs. Youth of all ages take part in a process of learning through discovery, creative expression, group work and a final project. As a result, kids develop higher-order thinking skills and stay on track for the coming school year.
With a few weeks of summer to go, here are five tips to keep young minds active and full of knowledge to help kids stay on track for the coming school year:
- Read daily. Encourage your kids read every day. Keep a variety of age-appropriate books and magazines around your home. And visit the library to learn more about its summer reading program. Remember, parents, you need to set the example, so get reading yourself!
- Take a field trip. Visit a nearby park, historic site or museum. Most institutions offer free admission at least once a month, so get out there and explore your community!
- Do good deeds. Encourage your child to perform community service. Whether doing yard work for an elderly neighbor or volunteering at a food bank or animal shelter, their assistance is much needed and will teach how them how good it feels to help others.
- Play games and learn online. Have a family game night with Scrabble, Monopoly, chess and similar games that make learning fun. Be sure to check out free online resources, too, such as FunBrain.com.
- Have a routine. Summer should be more relaxed, but young people still need structure to guide their days and keep them sleeping well and eating right.
Erica S. Stevens is BGCA's senior director of Education and the Arts.