I am not one of those mothers who refuses to have a television in my house or ban video games for fear it will rot my kidsâ€™ brains. I consider myself an â€œeverything in moderationâ€ type of mom.Â Of course, throughout the school year, itâ€™s easier for me to limit my kidsâ€™ intake of electronic media since theyâ€™re aware it needs to be balanced by their homework and studying commitments.
But on the weekend, all bets are off. Iâ€™ll be honest, sometimes it takes every last bit of willpower for me not to ask them to scoot over so I can join them on the couch.Â Still, even though their academic commitments are on hold, it doesnâ€™t mean as parents we have to let them fall prey to the weekend brain drain syndrome. By involving them in activities disguised as fun but rooted in education, we can help temper their love of all things vacuous with activities sure to keep their brain cells in top form. Check out these five tips sure to help you keep education alive and well all weekend long.
#1 Play your way to a better brain: Marbles: The Brain Store offers more than 250 products that strengthen and entertain the brain, including games, puzzles, brain teaser sets, books, CDs and more. All are hand-picked by a team of experts in brain health and many items are under $25.
One of our FAVES: Rory’s Story Cube
Roryâ€™s Story Cubes contains nine cubes with 54 images. Just roll the cubes and come up with a story that links together all nine face-up images. So, say you get images of a bumblebee, a turtle and a crescent moon. Your story might go like this: Once upon a time, there was a bumblebee named â€œTurtle,â€ which was a very unfortunate name for a bumblebee. However, his parents wished upon a crescent moon for a turtle and got a bumblebee insteadâ€¦. Hey, donâ€™t laugh. There are no wrong answers here. Just hours of creative play that can serve as an ice-breaker, literacy development, mental workout and more.
Brain Health Expert Says: “This game requires you to think on your feet to construct a creative, interesting story based on the images seen on the cubes. Brocaâ€™s area, responsible for speech production, and the temporal lobe, important for visual shape recognition, are activated when you play this game.”
#2 Enroll your kids is a foreign language class of their choice!Â Offer your kids an opportunity to learn something really cool and not typically offered during the regular school year in a fun way. For example, introduce the idea of a French language class and offer to take your kid to a hip French restaurant where they can order en franÃ§ais for the whole family. Or, give them capital to â€œinvestâ€ in a lemonade stand and teach them the basics of managing a business â€“ how to provide correct change and how to wisely spend the profit!
#3 Discuss topics that interest your kids and find books that match.Â Reading just one book over the course of a weekend can prevent brain drain ( and alleviate your GUILT about letting them play so many video games!).
One of our favorite new collections is available RIGHT now at Kohl’s which is offering classic Peanuts storybooks, plush toys of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and friends and gifts, for just $5 each that will leave the entire family grinning from ear to ear this holiday season thanks to the Kohlâ€™s Cares Cause Merchandise for Kids. Through the Kohlâ€™s Cares program, 100 percent of the net profit from this collection supports childrenâ€™s health and education initiatives nationwide.Now through late December, Kohlâ€™s offers exclusive hardcover editions of beloved Peanuts storybooks by renowned author Charles M. Schulz, along with coordinating plush toys. Kohlâ€™s also offers a cookbook, holiday CD and a Peanuts Jigsaw Puzzle â€“perfect gifts guaranteed to spread holiday cheer this season.Since the programâ€™s inception in 2000, the Kohlâ€™s Cares philanthropic program has raised more than $231 million for childrenâ€™s health and education programs in local communities across the country.
#4 Let your kids teach you how to use a computer. Using technology comes naturally to children who were born in the Internet age. Letting them be the teacher helps develop valuable comprehension skills they will need as they grow and develop.
#5 Have simple, fun and stimulating activities READY TO GO! Subscribing to a service like Green Kid Crafts is an easy way for families to ensure that their kids are exposed to a diverse set of fun and educational activities throughout the year. Each month, kids receive a Discovery Box filled with three or four craft and science kits, including all supplies and instructions, as well as additional extension activities and learning resources. The projects are designed by experts to promote creativity, build confidence and develop key skills while nature-related themes and sustainable materials encourage a childâ€™s love and respect for nature.
Their Discovery Boxes for kids pack a lot of fun into convenient, eco-friendly packages, perfect for giving or enjoying on a rainy day. Developed with experts to support key developmental skills for kids ages 3-8, each Discovery Box celebrates creativity and boosts confidence while giving kids a fun and educational experience. Each Discovery Box contains 3-4 Creativity Kits, fun extras, extension activities and a 20+ page themed Green Kid! Activity Guide. One of our favorites: Around The World: India, Japan, and Africa $29.95
The cultural crafts in this Around the World Discovery Box will take your traveler to three exciting countries: Japan, India, and Afria. At each stop weâ€™ll find a wealth of crafting inspiration as we learn about a unique culture and traditions while developing our appreciation for the differences that make the world, and its people, beautiful. Projects include making Diwali Candles from India, designing an African Mask, and making Japanese Lanterns. This box also comes with a Passport Sticker Book and a free issue of Green Kid Guide â€“ our new kids activity guide that includes 20 pages of additional activities, games, puzzles, coloring sheets, and much more.
Fun and enriching for kids ages 3-8, Designed by experts to support development and align with their Happy & Healthy Child CriteriaÂ
What are some ways that you help your kids avoid the WEEKEND BRAIN DRAIN?