It’s no surprise that when summer rolls around, kids find themselves with a ton of free time.

They’re able to play outside, swim all day and stay up all night. The summer is a wonderful time to hone in on favorite hobbies and visit new places, but anyone who has a rugrat at home knows it’s just as enticing—if not more—for them to plop in front of the television or the iPad and lounge the day away. Yes, summer is a time of relaxation and recharging but come August, if all your kiddos are able to recite is the theme song to their favorite Disney show, then they’re in for some difficult transitions. At Linked, we understand the importance of educational stimulation which is why we’ve provided three ways to keep your kiddos sharp during the summer months.

1. Read, read, read—No matter their age, reading with or to your children is incredibly significant for their brain development. Reading builds confidence, so take some time to research different books that will tickle their fancy. Taking a 30 minute brain boost with reading is a great way to structure some time into their day. If the house is a bore, take a trip to the local library and let your kids pick whichever book sticks out to them—yes, even if it’s a comic book. This ensures they’ll be invested in their story. In their attempt to pen the next great novel, your kiddo’s new love of reading could spark additional journaling. One book may turn into a 7-book series and the next thing you know, they’re hooked! 

2. Get outta’ town (or just out of the house)—It’s a fact, the more you allow your kiddos to experience, the easier they’ll adapt to various situations as they age. Keeping them cooped up all summer is a recipe for disaster—and a crazed mom and dad. Take a day trip somewhere new. This doesn’t mean an extravagant destination that costs major cash. It can be as simple as walking to a new nature park and trying to identify birds or plants, walking through a local museum or exploring new books at a library or local bookstore. The world is full of rich, memorable experiences and all it takes is a little preparation and some coaxing to persuade your mini couch potato out of his or her lair. Chances are, you’ll learn something new, too!


3. Make them your sous chef—It may sound a little funny, but allowing your child to cook (or assist in cooking) not only provides cheap entertainment but it also helps them improve their problem solving and math skills. Have your tiny tot start from the beginning and find a recipe, create a shopping list, follow the list (through sequencing!) and measure out and add the ingredients. You can even do a little extra research and discuss the science behind some of those beloved recipes. Not only will your kiddo have to stay sharp in order to manage the kitchen, but he or she will have a tangible (and tasty) product to present to the family.