As summer break kicks off, many parents may be dreading the first utterance of the words, “I’m bored.” Keeping kids occupied and productively engaged isn’t easy, and some circumstances can make things a bit more challenging.
Children with behavioral, social, or learning difficulties may be more prone to summertime tantrums, outbursts, or full-on meltdowns, say the education advocates at Brain Balance Achievement Centers -- and the root of some of these tantrums may be a right or left brain weakness.
When one side of the brain is weaker, certain struggles might make themselves apparent. For example, children who are left brain weak tend to be very visual, spontaneous, emotional, and intuitive, but may have difficulty focusing for any length of time. Kids who are right brain weak may be socially immature and have little interest in sports or outdoor activities.
Summer activity ideas
To help with left- or right-brain weakness, the experts at Brain Balance suggest the following tips for keeping kids engaged.
- Get your child moving. Activities that involve physical motion can help boost kids’ reading comprehension and information retention. Try going on an outdoor gallery walk or heading to a hands-on museum.
- Come up with a routine. Daily schedules help to keep kids grounded, and are especially necessary during breaks, when the regular school schedule goes out the window, the experts at Brain Balance contend. Let your child have a say in planning their schedule to help them feel empowered.
- Get cooking. To reinforce your child’s reading and math skills, spend time in the kitchen doing simple activities like measuring ingredients and reading recipes.
- Have your child start journaling. Give your child a meaningful outlet by having them write about their feelings or thoughts. Journaling can also help improve kids’ writing skills.
- Let them get their hands dirty. Stimulate your child’s tactile and visual senses by letting them play with toys like sidewalk chalk and finger paints. These activities are sensory and help your child build fine motor skills.