June 1, 2019
Keeping children's minds stimulated throughout the summer months. As the school year winds down, teachers say they're often approached by worried parents seeking a road map to get through the summer. Their advice is quite simple: Chill out. Make the summer fun and find ways to incorporate educational themes into the activities children choose to participate in. "Have fun, explore, just don't let them sit inside and watch TV all summer," said one Chicago area teacher at Whitney Young High School and also the mother of two young children. What makes summer so valuable is that children have the time and freedom to learn on their own terms, she said, so they can see what interests and excites them. Ricci Allard, Owner of You're Fired Pottery Studios in New Hampshire, a former teacher and mother herself, adds that "Even more valuable, the summer represents time in which parents, grandparents, and children find overlapping free time. Find activities that you both can participate in, side by side, rather than the "watching from the sideline" activities that dominate the school year. New Hampshire offers ample qualifying activities, both indoor and out, that are fun and educational. State parks offer beaches, lakes and mountain activities, there are animal parks, biking and walking trails, and many picnic areas. In addition to You're Fired's Studios, there are lots of other indoor arts and craft activities that families can participate in together. One Studio customer recently posted "My 'bestest ever friend' and I come in often to share time and bonding along with my 9-yr old grand-daughter. It gives us all a common theme to share while the 9-yr old shares time with the two of us. AND now the 9-yr old puts in requests for all of us to spend some time there." "The important thing is to make sure that your children's brains stays stimulated during the summer months," Allard said. "Encourage them to try new things, and participate with them whenever possible". "Summer is a fantastic time to get to know your children better, and to strengthen the family bonds".