By Lucas Minor
Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Guaranteed Education Tuition
Last week we talked about some fun ways to help mitigate the learning decline that many children experience over summer break. We’re keeping the ideas flowing this week with more fun activities to keep your child’s mind sharp! Let’s prevent those summer cobwebs from forming.
PLAN A CLOSE TO HOME ADVENTURE
There are so many opportunities to expand your child’s mind, right in your own community. Visit your local museum, nature preserve or art exhibit. Pick up the pamphlets, talk to the guides, read the informational signs and encourage your child to ask questions. Keep an eye out for special exhibits and free admission days.
PLAN A FAR FROM HOME ADVENTURE
Planning the annual family vacation is yet another opportunity to put your child’s research and analytical skills to the test. Recruit him to be your resident travel agent. Help him find (safe) Web sites with information on attractions, historical sites and other fun things to do in the area you’ll be visiting. If you’re taking a road trip, have him help plan your route using an online map site/app. To up the challenge, you can even dust off that old road atlas and see if he can figure out how far it is to your destination using the distance scale. While he’s making the travel arrangements, encourage him to make a list of interesting facts about the place your visiting and ask him to give the family a history lesson while you’re on the road.
IT STILL CAN BE FUN AND GAMES
It may be hard to say no to video games all the time, because, well, they’re just plain fun! If your child’s a gamer, incorporate educational games into her regimen. There are also plenty of free tablet/smartphone apps out there that will keep the learning and the fun coming. If you want to break her away from the screen for a while, puzzles are especially effective at stimulating many parts of the brain.
MAKE MONEY COUNT
And of course, one of our favorite activities to talk about is saving money! Teaching kids how to manage finances instills responsibility and helps maintain computational skills. There are many ways to go about this, such as tying allowances to household chores, helping your child set up her very own savings account, or using a multi-compartment piggy bank to budget the amount that your child saves, spends and shares with others. You might even have her estimate the cost of gas for an upcoming road trip!
GO FOR IT
These are just a few ideas to get you started – don’t be afraid to be creative. Set up activities and outings that will challenge your child and help him see things from multiple perspectives. He might complain a little now that he can’t sleep in and watch TV all day, but he may just thank you years later when he’s crossing the stage to pick up that college degree.
About the Author: Luke Minor is Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program. The GET program has grown from 7,900 to over 152,000 accounts, with a fund valued at over $2.2 billion. Washington is unique in that the state only offers a 529 prepaid tuition plan. Minor manages all social media for the GET Program, and has been the author of several articles and blogs published this past year for the program.