Summer is here. The kids are out of school. As we near the beginning of a new school year, parents may worry that the lack of structure during the summer may have caused their kids to forget what they learned the previous year. We call that the summer brain drain. Science shows there is some reason for concern.
Our brains are plastic, meaning they change and grow throughout our entire lives. If we stop learning, our brains get in a rut, and neuroplasticity stops. That’s why it’s important to experience new things and continue to learn new skills even in summer.
Learning new things is good for your brain. Practicing something new increases the white matter in your brain responsible for learning and functioning, activity, and communication between different regions of the brain. So keeping an active brain is important to brain function overall.
Learning something new or doing routine tasks in a new way also stimulates new neural pathways in the brain, building that neuroplasticity we’re all looking for, as well as making those connections faster and stronger so our response time and problem-solving abilities are faster and stronger. Building strong neural connections is also a great way to prevent dementia and age-related decline and starting early is a great way to ensure a strong brain later on in life.
Some benefits of learning a new skill during summer break are:
There are so many ways your child can increase brain power over summer and avoid brain drain. Here are some of our favorites!
Just taking the time to engage with your kids and encouraging them to do their best at any activity is a great way to keep the brain engaged in any activity and will encourage neuroplasticity during the summer so they are ready for whatever the new school year throws at them. And that is the best way to beat the summer brain drain.
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