Posts

Summer Fun – Good For The Brain & Body

Teens playing outsideThe summer slump can come on slowly. Symptoms are sleeping in until noon and spending much of the rest of the day in front of a computer or TV screen, or texting with friends.

None of this does much for the brain, or the body. But there is much parents can do to help their adolescents and teens avoid a summer slide. Last week we gave you some suggestions on how to get your kids to keep their brains and bodies fired up this summer, what is good for one is good for the other, and this week we’re back with more.

They are supplied by Beverly Engel, Program Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association®, Central and North Florida Chapter.

  • Research entirely new academic subjects—or brush up on familiar ones—by going to the Kahn Academy online. The Academy is a nonprofit focused on changing education by offering free courses to anyone anywhere. Check it out at khanacademy.org
  • For further brain inspiration, go to the website for TED, a nonprofit dedicated to presenting videos of “ideas worth spreading.”  Some of the most popular videos: how great leaders inspire action, underwater astonishments, the puzzle of motivation. These can inspire family conversations. Go to ted.com
  • Get involved with the Mid-Florida Milers. It plans and conducts walks in every part of Central Florida for all ages. Their goal is to provide events that are fun and challenging. Walks start in different locations. For more information, go to www.midfloridamilers.org.
  • Check out the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville which is home to more than 1,500 species of plants and animals. There is a wildlife drive, hiking trails and ranger- or self-guided tours. For more information, go to www.fws.gov/merrittisland.
  • Try your hands at a creative activity like making stained glass.
  • Get involved in volunteer work, which is not only good for the community, but according to researchers, good for brain health. Look for agencies, organizations or nonprofits performing work that inspires you.
  • Go to a movie together and discuss it afterward. Talk about moral lessons that were learned, for example, or what would have happened if a character had acted differently.
  • Other options include checking out local libraries to learn about an amazing number of activities ranging from hip hop lessons to book discussion clubs. There is even a Knotty Knitters club for all ages and skill levels at the Winter Park Public Library.
  • And lastly, but just as important, have fun together.

Summer Fun – Good For The Brain & Body

Teens playing outsideThe summer slump can come on slowly. Symptoms are sleeping in until noon and spending much of the rest of the day in front of a computer or TV screen, or texting with friends.

None of this does much for the brain, or the body. But there is much parents can do to help their adolescents and teens avoid a summer slide. Last week we gave you some suggestions on how to get your kids to keep their brains and bodies fired up this summer, what is good for one is good for the other, and this week we’re back with more.

They are supplied by Beverly Engel, Program Coordinator, Alzheimer’s Association®, Central and North Florida Chapter.

  • Research entirely new academic subjects—or brush up on familiar ones—by going to the Kahn Academy online. The Academy is a nonprofit focused on changing education by offering free courses to anyone anywhere. Check it out at khanacademy.org
  • For further brain inspiration, go to the website for TED, a nonprofit dedicated to presenting videos of “ideas worth spreading.”  Some of the most popular videos: how great leaders inspire action, underwater astonishments, the puzzle of motivation. These can inspire family conversations. Go to ted.com
  • Get involved with the Mid-Florida Milers. It plans and conducts walks in every part of Central Florida for all ages. Their goal is to provide events that are fun and challenging. Walks start in different locations. For more information, go to www.midfloridamilers.org.
  • Check out the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge near Titusville which is home to more than 1,500 species of plants and animals. There is a wildlife drive, hiking trails and ranger- or self-guided tours. For more information, go to www.fws.gov/merrittisland.
  • Try your hands at a creative activity like making stained glass.
  • Get involved in volunteer work, which is not only good for the community, but according to researchers, good for brain health. Look for agencies, organizations or nonprofits performing work that inspires you.
  • Go to a movie together and discuss it afterward. Talk about moral lessons that were learned, for example, or what would have happened if a character had acted differently.
  • Other options include checking out local libraries to learn about an amazing number of activities ranging from hip hop lessons to book discussion clubs. There is even a Knotty Knitters club for all ages and skill levels at the Winter Park Public Library.
  • And lastly, but just as important, have fun together.

Summer Fun For Brains And Bodies

Kids PlayingThose lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer—which officially begin June 5, the last day of school—can be costly to the brain. Educators say students can lose up to two months of reading and math skills during summer months, forcing teachers to spend multiple weeks when school resumes bringing student brains up to speed.

But there is much parents can do to help avoid a summer slide. Here are some suggestions to keep brains and bodies fired up this summer—what is good
 for one is good for the other. The list includes ideas supplied by Winter Park Consortium Healthy School Team Leaders.

  • Check out Find Active Fun at www.findactivefun.org, your source for hundreds of ideas for free and low-cost active fun for the family.
It is supported by Healthy Central Florida, a community initiative aimed at making local residents the healthiest in the nation.
  • Start summer with a family bucket list of activities members want to do and places to visit.
  • Have kids sign up for swim lessons or a summer swim team. Both exercise the mind and body. Or encourage them to learn to play tennis—or any sport they haven’t tried before. The brain loves new challenges.
  • Sign kids up for music lessons—great for building the brain and attention span.
  • Use sidewalk chalk to write letters on the ground and have children hop from letter to letter spelling words. (Movement helps retention of knowledge)
  • Check out the many fun activities at the YMCA of Central Florida.
  • Protect precious brains by making sure kids always remember to use a bicycle helmet and making sure it fits properly. (That includes parents too.) Also, teach them to never dive into water unless they know how deep it might be.
  • Read, have your children read, read along with them and read to them, or even better, help them create a summer book club with friends. To learn how to get started, go to the PBS Parents website: www.pbs.org/parents, then click on “education” and then “reading and language”
  • Visit local and state parks as a family and keep a log of where you go. Wear a pedometer and keep track of steps as well.
  • Get some exercise— and some healthy fruits and vegetables—by visiting one of the many farmers markets in Central Florida. To find out where they are located click here.
  • Go canoeing or kayaking together and see who can spot the most Florida critters.
  • Encourage kids to try out a new hobby. One idea—the Winter
Park Public Library has a “Knotty Knitters” club for all ages and skill levels.
  • And lastly, but just as important as all of the other tips, have fun together!