9 Strategies to Keep Your Child’s Mind Sharp During School Holidays

How to keep your child’s mind sharp during school holidays?

girl reading book sitting on sofa

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

It’s common for moms to feel concerned when their children spend an entire school holiday without learning anything. How do you get them to absorb new information when they’re no longer in class? Here are nine strategies to keep their mind sharp during the break. 

Explore the outdoors

Exploring nature with your child is one of the best ways to keep their mind sharp. Outdoor learning sessions are calming and can lessen their mental load over time. They’re an excellent activity for breaks because it refreshes kids before their return to class.

Plus, you can plan unique activities for every season. For example, you could explain the science behind photosynthesis in summer or talk about the water cycle in winter. Plenty of fun learning opportunities exist for every age group.

Send them to camp

Kids who go to camp progress mentally and physically through hands-on educational experiences. It’s a great way to keep their minds sharp over the holiday break. Plus, the environment often provides unique opportunities for specific groups, so your child will have a great time learning with others their age. They might even make lasting friendships. 

Join a reading program

Your child may not be a big fan of books, but many are out there to enjoy. Slipping one into their Easter basket or under the Christmas tree might encourage them to read. You should consider entering them into a reading program over break to improve their comprehension skills and keep their minds sharp.

Also, these programs have benefits outside of increasing their reading level. For instance, they can grow their communication skills at a local literacy event. They might even be able to make new friends if other kids their age are around.

Family reading time is great if you want to keep things more low-key. You spend a lot of time shuttling them to extracurriculars and school events, so this break is for you as much as it is for them. Everyone can cozy up with their own book, or you can all read the same one and talk about it. It’s a great bonding experience and gives you the excuse to have a nice night in during the holidays. 

Have educational conversations

Educational conversations with your child can stimulate them mentally during their holiday break. You likely juggle a lot during the working day, so this method is the most practical. Figure out what they learned in school and bring it up in conversation. Thinking back to their lessons will help get their brain’s gears turning.

You can even involve friends and family if you need some time to yourself. If you’re visiting relatives, get them to ask your child about what they learned in school before break. They’ll be excited to share their latest knowledge.

Use technology

Like most others, your kid is likely fascinated with technology. Instead of banning it during their break, try turning it into an enlightening experience. You have plenty of effective options. For example, virtual reality headsets engage children in a unique way while they learn. Essentially, you pretend to compromise and get them to use an educational app. They get to use their fancy toys, and you can relax knowing they’re staying sharp — you both win. 

Give them control

One study found that kids were more likely to enjoy homework and do better in school after setting their own schedules during holiday breaks. While they didn’t have complete control over their time, they got to choose when and how to relax. 

You don’t have to hand your child the reins, but you can loosen your grip. It may sound like the opposite of what you should do to keep them learning, but giving them plenty of space to unwind during their break can improve cognition when they’re back in class. 

Play video games

Video games may not be what your mind jumps to when you think of education. After all, don’t they melt kids’ brains? Surprisingly, it turns out that they can improve cognitive abilities. Games cause long-term memory improvements in children because they enhance their developing mental pathways. 

Consider handing your kid a controller during the holiday break. They’ll appreciate being able to have fun. Plus, you can be confident that it’s doing them some good. Plenty of educational video games exist, so you have much control over what they play. You can find age-appropriate and relevant content easily.

Utilize past lessons

Try incorporating your kid’s past lessons into their routine. They must stay mentally active over holiday breaks to keep their minds sharp and maintain their emotional well-being. For example, you could ask them to calculate how long the drive to a relative’s house will take. Find out what they were learning before the break and get them to apply it in real life.  

Get active

Exercise directly connects to mental well-being. In fact, physical activity improves learning because it positively affects children’s brain functions and understanding. Think about your own experience. Don’t you feel more ready to tackle the day after a brisk walk or yoga session?

You can have them stretch or practice a sport — whatever aligns with their physical abilities. Consider incorporating the holiday spirit into your new fitness routine. For example, you could walk around your neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. Keep your kid moving during their break to keep their mind sharp. 

Keep your kid learning

Children are naturally curious, so they’ll have fun learning in exciting new ways. You have many options for keeping your kid engaged and educated through their entire holiday break — no matter the season.

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