Summertime is the perfect opportunity for your children to loosen up and have some fun, but the structure of the school year doesn't have to stop after the final bell rings. You can use your downtime to help your children maintain their academic skills and develop healthy habits. It can also be beneficial for children with special needs to maintain a routine during the summer months as a way to ease anxieties and reduce stress levels. Here are a few ideas to help your children have a healthy and happy summer:
- Seek out a summer program. Check your installation, local schools, recreation centers and other community-based organizations for programs on topics that might interest your child.
- Crack open a book. Whether reading with your younger children or encouraging your older children to read on their own, summer reading can help keep brains engaged and study habits fresh.
- Take a field trip. Visit parks, museums, zoos or nature centers for a low-cost educational opportunity for your entire family.
- Count, track and measure. Find fun ways to incorporate numbers into everyday tasks. Measure items around the house or track daily temperatures. Go to the grocery store and practice adding, subtracting or multiplying the prices of items.
- Think ahead. Check with your child's school to see if they have summer packets of math and reading skill activities to help your child prepare for the next school year.
- Get moving. Outdoor activities reign supreme in the summer, so don't forget to schedule time for your children to play and burn off energy with some sunshine and exercise.
- Snack healthy. A healthy diet is just as important in the summer as it is during the school year. Keep plenty of fruits and vegetables on hand to encourage good snack habits.
- Recharge. Children need a chance to refuel, and being out of school isn't a green light to stay up all night. Keep a regular summer bedtime to make sure they're getting enough sleep.
Even while having fun in the sun, you can still find plenty of ways to put your children's health and education first. Helping your children stay engaged academically and physically throughout the summer will help set them up for success in the new school year.