Updated: Mar 9
There are many fun, educational activities that will stimulate your child’s mind
Reading keeps the mind active
Pair books with their corresponding movies
Board games can teach important life lessons and strategic thinking
Teach them a fun, new skill like cooking
Get in physical activity to keep them away from mindless screen time
Go someplace fun for a family “field trip”
Did you know that your brain is a muscle? Many people forget that interesting little factoid! Like any muscle, it needs exercise. Without exercise, brains atrophy, just like the other muscles in your body. That’s why spring break, a time when learning is usually put on pause, can cause children to regress in their learning.
While spring break is important to recharge and rest, too much inactivity is harmful to a child’s academic progress. In our ever-changing 21st century, it’s far too easy to allow long periods away from learning to stunt academic growth. To combat a disruption in the learning process, we outline several fun spring break activities that will keep your child’s brain stimulated.
Activity #1: Reading is a fantastic brain-stimulating activity for your child
Picking up a book is one of the most beneficial things your child can do during a school break. Reading is the foundation of many subjects they will study in school.
While technology in school and at home is important, it all starts with reading. Helping your child to grasp the importance of reading in any field is critical to their success in school and beyond.
Even professional athletes understand that reading matters in sports. It gives perspective, knowledge, and focus. These are all attributes that contribute to success in sports, academics, and life.
Activity #2: Pair your child’s favorite movies with the source material
Hollywood mines a lot of books in their search for the next blockbuster. Many children and adults are surprised to learn the popular Shrek movies starred as a book. The Harry Potter movie franchise came from the mind of author J.K. Rowling. Even the Marvel and DC superhero universes came from graphic novels and comic books.
If your child enjoys a particular movie, do a quick Google search to find out if the movie was a book first. Nudge your child to take a look at the source material. Use middle school children’s interests to spark an interest in books.
Many middle schoolers are drawn to scary movies and TV shows. Even a mundane or childish subject for middle schoolers can offer plenty of reading fun. The stories crafted by the Brothers Grimm were packed with dark imagery, mysterious medicine, and shocking scenes – perfect fertile ground for a mayhem-loving middle school student!
Activity #3: Play board games for fun mental stimulation
Does your family play board games together? Many of the classics provide ample opportunity for exciting mental stimulation. Scrabble allows gamers to flex their vocabulary muscles. Monopoly offers fun ways to practice money management and strategy. Chess encourages strategic thinking and planning.
Activity #4: Learn an enjoyable new skill together
It’s no secret 21st-century life is hectic. And the older kids get, the more chaotic their lives can become. When children learn new skills, it stimulates their minds. One advantage of spring break is time off for families to bond. Instead of mindless screentime, plan some activities together as a family.
One fun and creative thing you can do with your children is cook together! Cooking is packed with valuable lessons in chemistry, math, and pre-planning. There’s also an abundance of creative options for meals.
There’s a sneaky reading benefit, too. All those tasty recipes have to be read and understood. Any new terminology unfamiliar to your child is yet another opportunity to continue building their vocabulary! And the learning doesn’t have to stop and start with the actual meal preparation. Once your child selects a fun recipe to try, sit down with them. Make the grocery list together. Take a family trip to the store. Have your child add up the total costs of the ingredients.
More math skills can be used when making ingredient choices. Look at the price differences for the same items but different brands. Encourage your child to take note of the cost savings when buying in bulk versus single-serve or smaller containers.
Activity #5: Get up and start moving
Everyone knows increased screentime leads to inactivity. While the human brain benefits from the added stimulation that comes from reading, the repetitive information on most websites is hardly what the doctor ordered. Most video games also do their players a disservice by providing a false sense of accomplishment by “leveling up.”
One solution is to move more. When kids are constantly sedentary, it’s not just their brains suffering. They are not using their body’s muscles either! Schedule some physical activity for the whole family.
If you, as a parent, get involved, too, it won’t feel like punishment to your child! Nature walks, strolls through the neighborhood, or even something as zany as paintball get the blood flowing and stave off the endless addictive pull of screentime.
Activity #6: Take a family field trip
Who says field trips are just for school? You can take your kids on fun family trips! They can serve as wonderful bonding experiences and opportunities for more education. Look at activities and places available in your area.
Most major cities have many museums. Does your child enjoy art? Find a local art museum. Take a tour and note which artists draw your child’s attention and admiration. After the museum trip, visit your local library and find books written about that artist. If no books are available, check out books that reflect art and artists of a similar style.
Does your town or county offer a museum of science? Since STEM is the future of the workforce, sparking an interest in science is a great thing! STEM can prove fascinating to younger minds. As you stroll through Earth’s history, take note of which topics and eras your child finds appealing. After the tour, it’s back to the library! Find books related to that era.
Is your local museum still closed because of COVID-19? No problem! Most museums offer virtual tours. While it’s more screentime, it’s the right kind of screentime. It’s educational, fun, and safe during this time of social distancing.
Stimulate their minds at Lamad Academy
Your child’s academic future is dependent on him or her staying active mentally, even during spring break and other holidays. Lamad Academy is dedicated to helping your child succeed, not just in school, but in their chosen career in adulthood. If you want a modern 21st-century approach to your middle schooler’s education, visit our admissions page on our website. We look forward to helping your child succeed!