Cognitive Activities for School-Aged Childrenby Martha Scully • May 10, 2012
We often for get that while school-age children are in school all day, they still need to be cognitively stimulated at home as well, especially on summer break. Unlike younger children, these activities must be fun because it is much easier for the child to walk away from the activity if it's not interesting to them.
Tap into your child's interests with these activities:
- Herb or Veggie Garden: If you have a garden already, section off a portion for your child's garden, or plant a smaller garden in a pot on the deck or patio for them to care for. Growing a garden provides a child with lots of learning opportunities about growing plants, but it's also rewarding to see their efforts grow. Why not a try a rainbow garden?
- Card and Board Games: While this one is an obvious choice, many of us have board games in the home that are never taken off their shelf. At this age, a child may not take the effort to pull them out, but once you do it's a great way for your child to learn, and a chance for the two (or more!) of you to bond.
- Wizards vs Greeks: This is such a popular game for both boys and girls. Having any game about the Greek Gods or Wizards is going to hold their attention. These can be enjoyed outside or in. This may also trigger your child's interest in learning more through books, like Lightning Thief or Harry Potter.
- Computer Games: If your child already loves video games and the computer, try to make the time spent here more cognitively stimulating and challenging; even math games can be fun! Best of all, most of these games are free to use.
- Lemonade Stand: This can be done in so many different way. A lemonade stand is a great way to encourage the value of working hard for money. To ensure it is successful, ask a few friends and neighbours to stop by and purchase a cup.
- Geocaching: This is a great activity for the whole family to take part in during the spring and summer. It's a high-tech treasure hunt in your neighbourhood, local parks and forests. Using a handheld GPS device, you follow the compass to the listed coordinates to find the 'treasure', which is usually a tupperware box filled with small toys, keychains, etc. It's a great way to teach kids how to use a compass, follow directions, problem-solve, and sense of distance.
Kids have the greatest sense of imagination, and they should be encouraged to explore it daily. Tap into your own imagination and stimulate your children with fun activities they can do outside of school to keep their minds sharp.
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