Summertime is a time for children to stretch their legs, get out of the classroom, and change their daily routine. But it is also a time when learning habits and exercising can begin to dwindle. Aside from staving off boredom and getting kids away from the television, there are a great many benefits to helping them get moving during the summer months. Physical activity during summer vacation can help children retain what they’ve learned, exercise their brains, prepare them for the school year ahead, and encourage a love of physical activity that can last them a lifetime.
Help Prevent Summer Learning Loss
After school lets out for the summer, academic skills can begin to fade. But that doesn’t mean that children need to spend their summer vacation sitting at a desk. Studies show that kids who engage in 2-3 hours of educational activities per week can retain the skills they’ve learned during the previous school year. Movement can also help children retain what they’ve learned, enhance comprehension of concepts, and support the learning experience. Incorporating movement and education into the summer months, whether it be by combining cooking and mathematics or hiking and astronomy, can help your kids retain those critical skills they’ll need in the coming year.
Improved Brain Health
Recent studies have indicated that exercise can also substantially improve memory. In a study conducted at the University of British Columbia, researchers learned that aerobic exercise can actually boost the part of the brain that is responsible for verbal memory and learning. It stimulates blood vessels in the brain, helps protect cells, and helps grow new blood vessels in the brain. Physical activity also encourages to grow, adapt, and respond better to future challenges. Even 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week can be enough to improve your child’s memory.
Health and Well-Being
In addition to its physical benefits, moving helps kids build a foundation and fondness for exercise that can last a lifetime. When children exercise, their minds and social skills get adequate exercise as well. Getting kids involved in sports and interactive games helps them develop important social skills such as communication, collaboration and participation. It also helps them learn how to problem-solve, count, plan, and think strategically, as well as boost their emotional intelligence and develop lasting friendships.
Preventing summer learning loss, improving brain memory and development, and building a lifelong affinity for exercise are just three reasons to get children out of the house and exercising during summer breaks. There are many ways to get kids moving, including enrolling them in summer sports or interest-based camps, such as science camp. Look into local museums, parks and recreation departments, community centers, sports teams, and day programs for opportunities that will spark your kids’ interest and help them build a solid foundation for future health and success.