Fun ways to keep kids' minds active in summer

Whether kids are playing a formal team sport or just going outside and running around, staying active is good for the brain.— PHOTO: Submitted

A vacation from school is no excuse for a vacation from thinking. Not only can learning be made fun, but you can avoid a rusty return to school in the fall by keeping kids’ minds active all summer long.

Here are a few fun ways to make thinking and learning a priority, while not detracting from the fun of summer days:

Make the most of a trip: From the lifecycle of local wildlife to the accomplishments of a great figure hailing from your destination, there is always an opportunity to learn about science, art, history and more on a trip out of town. Whether you are going on a beach getaway or visiting a major city, ask your kids to research the destination before departure. Not only will this help add meaning to the trip, it’s a fun way for kids to stay intellectually occupied. Then, once you are there, look for educational opportunities like museums, historic sites and guided nature walks.

Learn an instrument: The summer vacation is the perfect time to delve into the world of music. And new technologies can make the process of learning enjoyable and exciting, as well as help beginners learn to play at their own pace. For example, the CT-X700, a portable keyboard with features that are tailored to casual or beginning players, comes with hundreds of built-in rhythms that span both time and the globe. Young musicians can learn not only how to play an instrument, but also get acquainted with the history of music. The Step-Up Lesson system, which displays proper fingering and notation, is a great way to easily learn songs, while its six-track recorder can quickly capture sudden inspiration.

Play: Whether kids are playing a formal team sport or just going outside and running around, staying active is good for the brain. Indeed, evidence supports that exercise can make people more creative, improve concentration and boost memory. Take advantage of the season and hit up the pool, baseball diamond, playground and more.

Puzzle it out: Use new tech like ClassPad.net, to give kids the functionality necessary to tackle any math puzzle — from geometry to graphing to statistics and beyond. A free, all-in-one web-based mathematics creation and discovery resource, kids can use it to catch up this summer or work ahead.

With so many ways to make learning fun, you can avoid brain drain in your household this summer for a smoother transition back to school in the fall. — (Statepoint)

Contact staff writer Chanel Hill at (215) 893-5716 or at chill@phillytrib.com.

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