The last end-of-day bell before the summer break is set to ring soon, marking the end of another school year. While the holiday provides children with more freedom and a much-needed break from formal education, experts say this time away from school is a critically important part of overall childhood development that contributes to their health, self esteem and overall learning. Here are three ways to ensure your child thrives this summer.
1. Leave time for unstructured play. Many parents rush to fill their children’s time off with scheduled activities, but don’t forget to leave space for unstructured play. A growing body of evidence suggests play is central to the development of the mental, physical and social skills kids need to achieve their full potential as adults.
2. Spend family time. A summer holiday is not only perfect for creating lasting family memories, it can also be incredibly valuable to support your child’s self esteem. When parents make time for one-on-one interaction with their kids, it can help reinforce their sense of self-worth, encourage de-stressing for everyone, and even support some areas of a child’s brain development.
3. Introduce your children to volunteering. Much of what young ones learn about community, integrity and generosity is learned from their parents. While busy schedules and homework can be an obstacle during the school year, summer vacation can be a perfect opportunity to engage your children in these issues through volunteering. To provide some structure and inspiration, organizations like Amnesty International offer a wide range of issues and activities for children of all ages to engage in with their parents.
Find more information online at amnesty.ca.