From the crazy, chaotic stress and pressure of a hectic adult’s “business” world, we should know that kids today need a break. Instead of consistently pondering “how to keep our children busy during the summer” (is adding more to their year better…) shouldn’t we wonder if they can involve themselves in unstructured activity – creatively.
How about engaging in merely free play, perhaps understanding socialization, or maybe we need to know our kids can simply chill out. There’s plenty of time to participate in what is “adult-driven,” let the kids have a crack at leading, creating their games from materials lying around the house or yard, or just being in nature. Don’t life’s best moments start here, in these moments? Allow them to take advantage of them.
Kids don’t need their summertime vacation planned. It doesn’t have to cost money or involve personal development. Look for some new goggles or pool accessories and let the kids plan a neighborhood party. Choose to take advantage of personal days and visit the library or the museum. Give your child a journal as a way to express themselves. Enrichment comes in many forms. It doesn’t need to feel like work.
Why Kids Need The Release Of A Summer Break
Summer signals a break from the structured regimen of the school year and the stresses it can bring. It’s a time when kids can enjoy creative play and days spent with friends and family, perhaps lazing by the pool.
The chance to relax and rest with no pressure or requirements, only free time, allows the return to the next year with a refreshed mind prepared to consume new information without any fear of burning out.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t enrichment opportunities. Those moments can come in many forms, from allowing a child to plan social activities, visiting interesting locations, encouraging journaling for personal expression. Go here for guidance on summer activities for kids. Some ways a summer break can be a good release for children:
Physical health improvements
Pressures to do well in school can increase a child’s stress with little opportunity for relief of that pent-up energy due to the level of homework and studying required to keep up with grades to strive for college.
Not only have there been restrictions due to the pandemic with many children being home-schooled and isolated to their house with the computer but even when school is in session, recess and gym make up a small portion of the day’s activities.
Summer is an opportunity to break free from thoughts of studies in favor of swimming, friends, and play. It’s a chance for kids to get much-needed exercise in the outdoors, helping improve overall physical wellbeing.
Parents can encourage creative play by allowing their children to plan social activities among their varied friends’ homes.
Mental health improvements
Chronic exposure to stressful situations has the possibility of bringing bouts of depression and anxiety since stress can alter the brain’s structure. More children are experiencing these mental conditions with the amount of work they are exposed to and the pressure to do well early due to the need to move on to college.
The mind gets the chance to heal over the summer when stress is replaced with calm and relaxation. That allows the child to return to their studies with a refreshed brain in the next school year, ready to intake new information and, again, deal with the volumes of work that will be the requirement.
Family and Friend Relationships
Developing a social circle and enhancing family relationships are crucial to overall wellbeing. It’s challenging when everyone is consumed with a schedule to find a minute to spend quality time together. Learn details on summer play at https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/06/summertime-playtime/
In the summer, the days are somewhat more casual, with kids enjoying their break and parents not feeling so rushed to get them to school and activities, often taking time off themselves to enjoy the moments with their children that won’t come back around.
And when kids go off with their friends, they spend hours just getting to know each other, talking about nothing or everything, developing bonds that often last a lifetime. That’s tough to do in the fast pace of a school day.
Burnout Is Less Likely.
Without the benefit of a summer vacation, children would have no relief from the pressures that plague them from an early age of attempting to learn all they need to know to begin a life of sustenance.
The moment there is knowledge of a child, we start practicing the ABCs and 123s so the baby can recite these early. Plus, say mommy or daddy, spell their name, and always be the first to do so.
If that pace were to continue year-round, these little people would not have the opportunity to relieve their minds of what can prove to be intense pressure to continually learn, work, and progress. As adults, we understand that leads to burnout ultimately, and no one wants that for young people. Right?
The moment the birds start singing in the spring and the weather begins to get warm, everyone’s brain wanders to time away from the stresses and pressures of the hectic day-to-day.
Instead, many people dream of lounging by the pool, perhaps with a barbecue, and all the outdoor equipment needed for entertaining the kids and their friends. Summertime is the opportunity for kids especially to step away from all expectations into a few weeks of pure simplicity.
The break improves physical and mental wellness for the child and further develops essential relationships, but it also merely makes kids happy. The benefit of time spent doing unstructured yet creative activities with no time limits, guidance, or instructions from adults is enriching in itself.
If you think about it, children will take empty boxes and build forts with no coaxing, merely imagination. Provide materials, toys, nature, and the kids will have a blast – stress-free and go back to school motivated for another year.