5 Activities to Keep Your Child Engaged Over Spring Break Use these simple ideas to turn spring break into a fun, engaged week for your child. BY DR. ROBERT MELILLO
Let your kids rejuvenate and embrace their freedom over spring break.
“ Involving children is important, because letting them participate gives them agency and makes them feel empowered.”
Spring break is coming up fast, and busy parents around the country are trying to find answers to the age-old question:
How do I make the most of my child's break?
School breaks can be incredibly daunting for any parent. Plus, they get exponentially harder if the child has behavioral, social, or learning difficulties. And this leads to outbursts, tantrums, or full-on melt-downs. How do parents not only stop these tantrums from happening, but also keep their children productively engaged and occupied during the break?
Here are five simple activities parents can do with their children to guarantee a happier and productive spring break.
Tip 1: Get your child moving. There is a way to prevent your child from going stir-crazy and help them retain more information at the same time. Did you know that activities that involve motion help reading comprehension and information retention? The spring sun is shining—parents and children alike can enjoy outdoor gallery walks. If the weather is inclement, they can also take the fun indoors by going to exploration-style, hands-on museums.
Tip 2: Come up with a daily schedule with your child. One of the hardest parts of spring break is the loss of routine. It can be hard to get moving—or even get out of the house—when there’s no established schedule of activities that have to be finished every day. However, routines don’t just keep parents grounded—they’re especially important for children, and especially necessary during breaks. Parents should take time to sit down with their child and make a spring break schedule they’ll actually stick to. Involving children is important because letting them participate gives them agency and makes them feel empowered.
Tip 3: Spend time in the kitchen together. What parent doesn’t want help cooking dinner for the family? Fortunately, involving children in the cooking process helps them almost as much as it helps their parents. Parents should let children do simple activities like measuring ingredients, dividing up portions, and reading recipes. This allows them to practice their reading and math skills without intimidating them. And children get a tasty reward for using their brain power when the cooking’s all done!
Tip 4: Have your child start journaling. Children often have a lot of trouble attaching meaning to their school assignments. Having children write about their thoughts and feelings during spring break is a fun way to show them that writing can be personal—and even fun. Of course, any opportunity a child takes to write boosts their writing skills, and that will show in their school assignments. Maybe they’ll even be more willing to do their homework after spring break (no promises though)!
Tip 5: Let your children get their hands dirty. Sidewalk chalk and finger paints never go out of style, and they’re the perfect tools to stimulate a child’s tactile and visual senses. A great way to correct left- and right-brain imbalance is to develop fine motor skills and engage in sensory experiences. That’s why finger paints are exactly what the doctor ordered! Plus, they’re plain old fun—warning: parents might find themselves playing along with their child.
As a clinician, professor, brain researcher and bestselling author, Dr. Robert Melillo, Co-Founder of the Brain Balance Achievement Centers, an innovative, holistic, non-medical, and drug-free approach to addressing the challenges of behavioral, social, and learning difficulties; has been helping children overcome learning and developmental challenges for over 25 years. His areas of expertise include ADHD, Learning and Behavioral Issues, Processing Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders. In 2004, Dr. Melillo published "Neurobehavioral Disorders of Childhood: An Evolutionary Perspective," a working theory textbook on developmental disabilities. In 2009, Dr. Melillo’s published his best-selling book "Disconnected Kids" that brings a fundamental and new understanding of how to address these issues through his revolutionary Brain Balance Program. He has since published two additional best-sellers, "Reconnected Kids" and "Autism — The Scientific Truth About Preventing, Diagnosing and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders." His most recent released is