While the holidays are now officially over and your kids are likely still on winter break, that doesn't mean they should be giving their brains a break. This is the perfect time for parents to step up and keep kids learning and growing with engaging activities.
Charlottesville's LearningRx is speaking out about keeping your kids active.
The first step is to turn off the TV and start engaging them in fun activities that will help with both physical and mental exercise.
The director of LearningRx, Dargan Coggeshall, says over protracted breaks like summer or the holiday season, kids have a "brain drain" and it's hard to transition back into their academic environment.
Coggeshall offers some simple tips. First, sleep is critical. Try to avoid letting children stay up late and sleep into the morning because it's hard to get back to a normal school schedule.
Also, make sure your kids maintain a healthy diet over the holidays and encourage them to do some reading for fun.
"So those are some ideas that parents can use when the quarters seem cramped, the children seem full of energy and there's no typical schedule," Coggeshall said. "Do some of these things to energize their brains and it will make for a much more peaceful and sane holiday."
Another thing that is critical is moving and exercising. Our brains require oxygen for proper functioning so if you can get your kid's heart rate up periodically throughout the day it gets more oxygen to the brain.
The LearningRx encourages parents to take their kids outside and do activities. Even if it's cold outside, put coats on them and get them to run around. An interesting idea might be to host a scavenger hunt. Go outside and hide things for your children then let them go find them. Not only will they have a great time, if you make the clue's challenging they'll have to use their brain to find the items as well.
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