The number one rule for keeping your kids' brains stimulated over the summer is to read with them.
During the summer vacation season, it's a challenge for parents to make sure kids stay engaged in the learning process, but there are summer learning tips to keep the kids sharp even if you're on the road.
The people at Charlottesville's LearningRx say you can make summer travel time both fun and educational. The trick is to look for learning opportunities that the kids will actually enjoy.
"Somewhere between 'Are we there yet?' and 'Don't make me pull over this car,' are some ideas that families can utilize that make that trip very pleasant and stimulating to their children," said Dargan Goggeshall, the executive director of Charlottesville's LearningRx.
Coggeshall said instead of putting in a DVD or giving your kids a smart device, play an audio book. That allows your child to visualize the story themselves, and you can ask questions throughout the story.
Another idea is to ask kids to make a movie in their head.
"While you're traveling ask them to start with a central character like a puppy," Coggeshall said. "Ask what does he look like, feel like, what setting, what is he doing, feeling? That is good for comprehension skills."
You can also quiz your kids while traveling by asking them about the billboards and signs they see. Other activities like memory games, rhyming and songs like the age old "99 bottles of beer on the wall" are also good.
The educational opportunities don't end once you get to your destination. Once you arrive at your vacation spot, Coggeshall said make sure you go on at least one educational outing to places like a nature center, library, or book store. The people there know vacationers will be coming, and they'll likely have expanded programming to accommodate families.
The number one rule for keeping your kids' brains stimulated over the summer is simple -- make sure to set aside time each day to read with them.
LearningRx is celebrating their three-year anniversary in Charlottesville with an open house May 20 from 8 to 11 a.m and 3 to 6 p.m. at the office located at 1441 Sachem Place #3.
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