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4 Free or Cheap Ways Kids Can Prevent Summer “Brain Drain”

The last thing kids want to think about during summer vacation is school. And for good reason—they work hard during the school year and deserve a break. Summer also gives kids the opportunity to do activities that might not be possible during the school year, whether it’s a hobby or a new endeavor.

Still, summer isn’t an excuse for kids to plop on the couch and let their brain slowly melt out of their ears. There are plenty of ways to keep your child sharp this summer—and don’t worry—none of them require comprehension sheets or flash cards.

  1. Enjoy Free Summer Activities at the Library

Did you know that every library in Weber and Davis Counties offers free summer activities? Here’s just a sample of the activities offered at local libraries:

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For a full list of events, check out:

Davis County Library Summer Events Schedule

Weber County Library Summer Events Schedule

      2. Keep a Journal or Start a Blog

Some middle school and high school teens suffer brain drain when they could be writing something amazing. Summer is the perfect time to start a blog or journal: both are a great way to unleash creativity. Topics can be as simple as “A day in the life” or more specific to your child’s interests like a fashion blog or a definitive ranking of Marvel® characters. The purpose is to be creative and enjoy the writing process.

      3. Take Up a New Language

Learning a language packs incredible benefits for kids. Research supports the old metaphor of a young brain acting like a “sponge” when it comes to language acquisition. Children are in the “critical period” of language retention and brain scans indicate that understanding multiple languages opens up different cognitive patterns in the brain opposed to monolinguals. Plus, kids gain a lifelong skill that can help them succeed for the rest of their life!

Free resources are available online for children (and parents) who want to learn a new language.

Doulingo is a website and a mobile app for Android and Apple that makes learning a new language fun. With over three million 5-star reviews on Google Play, Duolingo provides language education with no hidden fees and no premium content.

utah duolingo.jpg

Best of all, Duolingo is fun and addictive. Kids earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level-up. The bite-size lessons help kids learn a new language effectively while enjoying the process.

      4. Crack open a book (or two or three!)

Encourage kids to keep reading throughout summer. Reading helps young minds stay engaged with new vocabulary and active mental connections. And did you know that local libraries offer reading programs to keep kids reading all summer long?

Check out Weber County’s Summer Reading Program

Check out Davis County’s Summer Reading Program

***

It’s impossible to overestimate the role parents can play in their children’s education. The summer break is an exceptional time for parents to reduce learning loss and get their children a step ahead for the coming school year.

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