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Ah, Spring Break! Just the phrase recalls sleeping late, doing nothing, or partying way too much. But now that you’re the parent, you want to make sure your child takes full advantage and utilizes Spring Break in a positive way. If you don’t have any plans at this point, there are plenty of ways to make Spring Break fun while still preserving your sanity… and your child’s well-being.
Whether you’re going on a vacation or opting for a staycation, take advantage of beautiful weather and time together. Here are a few tips to ensure a good time is experienced by kids and grown-ups alike.
Did you know your child’s brain can actually benefit from a break? Allow them the freedom of creative, outdoor play and interaction with peers, strangers and adults, along with exploring new places. New connections in the brain are formed and learned. Information is solidified. New interests are sparked.
Keeping your child’s brain ready to go back to school doesn’t have to require a lot of homework. For example, reading post signs at a zoo or museum introduces your child to new words and concepts. Telling you the highlights reinforces connections and solidifies memories and learning. It also helps kids process and filter their experience.
As strange as it may sound, sometimes a little boredom is good for a child. When their days have every minute planned, there is very little opportunity for utilizing the imagination. This comes into play as an adult every day, whether it’s finding creative ideas at work, problem solving with a spouse, co-worker or yes, even this child, imagination is necessary. Learning to use imagination as a child bodes well for their future. And you may be surprised at the creative games your child develops following an “I’m bored!” proclamation.
All that said, since Spring Break is a short period, be mindful your child is still getting sufficient sleep. Staying up a little later is all right. But if your child suddenly is staying up 4 hours past their normal bedtime and allowed to sleep until noon, that first school day back is going to be brutal... for you both! So make a place for flexibility, but not at the expense of school’s very quick return.
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