Your Children will Have More than a Thousand Hours of Free Time Soon

May 23, 2018 | Fort Collins

School lets out for summer break soon. How will your kids fill their days? Summer vacation equates to about 1,188 hours of free time- not including sleep!

Mathnasium of Fort Collins reminds parents to use some of these hours to foster your child’s brain development. Here are some ideas to get you started.

 

Play- Kids learn valuable skills from playing. Pretend-type play helps kids develop skills such as, divergent problem solving, language, and emotional self-regulation. Construction-type play, like using blocks, helps develop math skills. There are fantastic building sets and instructional books about how to build things aimed at boys and girls ages 0-100. Remember play is important for all ages! https://www.parentingscience.com/benefits-of-play.html

 

Social time- Kids need to learn the intricacies of getting along with others to thrive. Make sure your kids spend time interacting with peers and family members. Put cell phones away and have fun laughing and talking without interruption. Commit to eating dinners together as a family several times per week. Eating dinner as a family does more than help with brain development. It also helps kids navigate relationships and stay healthier. https://brainfodder.org/eating-together/  Look at the resources at https://thefamilydinnerproject.org/ for inspiration and tips about starting and continuing the family dinner habit. After dinner, play a game to keep the fun going!  

 

Physical activity- Exercise is good for the body and the brain. It does not have to be an organized sport for it to help your child thrive. Invite your child a go for a walk, bike ride, or play ball. Exercise does wonders for the stimulating thought, improving the mood. Remember to keep it fun. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/how-exercise-can-boost-the-childs-brain/

 

Academic Development- Kids lose skills if they don’t use them. Kids who continue to read, write, and do math throughout the summer fare better than those who do not. Our busiest time at Mathnasium is summer because parents recognize the chance for kids who are below grade level to catch-up, and kids who are at, or above grade, level to get to the next level.

 

What about Screen Time?

Not all screen time will rot your child’s brain. Media can be a powerful learning tool. Ensure that your child does not spend more than two hours having screen time so they still spend most their time playing, learning, exercising, and interacting with others. Deciding on a plan ahead of time helps keep media use in check. We love this tool for creating a plan published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx#home

 

We think about kids’ developing brains a lot at Mathnasium of Fort Collins. Include math into your child’s daily summer routine to promote healthy cognitive development. Our summer schedule is filling up. Call us today at (970) 221 - 1432.

 

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