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5 Ways to Stimulate a Child’s Brain over the Summer

girl with a book

Summer is just around the corner and kids are looking for a well deserved rest after a long academic year. Each year is different, some bring welcomed learning and fun new activities while others can provide a stressful transition for the student. Regardless of the situation it’s important for kids to have a mental break before gearing up for the next school year. However, kids who don’t stimulate their brains at all in July and August often find that they have trouble adjusting in the fall or that they simply aren’t able to learn and absorb new things over the summer. There are some wonderful and exciting outside of the classroom experiences that kids can have over the summer to keep their brains sharp.

Visit a museum

Although some schools will have a field trip to a museum once or twice a year, there are so many excellent things out there for kids to see beyond the four walls of the classroom. Whether it’s an art museum, an aquarium, or a National Heritage site, there are so many great places kids can go and have a fun time learning something new. Summer is an excellent time to visit a couple of local educational hotspots as a family.

Go on a family field trip

In addition to visiting a museum families can go on an outdoor field trip together. Maybe they go camping and learn how to cook food outside and pitch a tent or perhaps they go on a long nature hike and learn about new types of plants and animals. Kids don’t get a lot of outdoor time during the school year so a family field trip can be a great way to encourage their brain to learn about new things and stimulate the five senses that come with an outdoor experience.

Learn to love reading

Summer is also a great time for kids to learn to love reading. If scanning through large textbooks and working on character analysis has become a bit of a chore throughout the school year kids can pick out a series of books that are simply silly or entertaining. It’s good for them to review their reading skills while school is out of session so that their mind is sharp for the fall. However, since its summer they should have a chance to explore topics and subjects that interest them as an individual.

Work on socialization at summer camp

Summer camp is also a great opportunity for younger kids to work on various aspects of socialization with peers. Summer camp can involve playing soccer or finger painting or working on academics. Almost every camp, including academic summer school programs, offer a chance for kids to socialize with their fellow campers and work on making new friends, learning to share and take turns, and just having fun with kids their age.  Socialization is a huge part of what kids can spend their time doing when school is out of session since they will be working so heavily on educational tasks during the year.

Create an art project


Kids can also use summertime to work on their creativity and create an art project on a rainy afternoon. Whether they’re exploring different art materials such as markers, paint, and construction paper while their parent is making dinner or working on a highly structured realistic drawing or collage, they should have a lot of fun. Creative expression is a great way to reduce stress, build confidence, and enjoy creating something from nothing. Making art projects is a great way to spend a summer afternoon.

Robyn Scott is a private English tutor at TutorNerds. She attended the University of California, Irvine as an undergraduate and the University of Southampton in England as a graduate student. She has worked with students from the United States, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, and Africa.

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One Comment

  1. Have to agree about keeping our children’s brains stimulated over the summer. I believe that teachers tell me it takes a good 6 weeks of review every fall to get back to where they can move forward. That is a lot of time. We always did educational things in the summer. Lots of 4-H, museums and such. Geography is a good one if you travel.

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