• Fun and Educational Ways to Ease out of Summer

    When it’s time to go back to school, you want your kids to be prepared. In addition to having the right school supplies, it’s important for their minds to be ready to jump back into the routine, easily getting back to completing schoolwork and homework. On the other hand, kids need time to relax during the summer months, not just physically but mentally. Fortunately, you don’t have to make your kids do heaving homework during the summer. In fact, there are some fun things you can do with them to promote learning and get them ready to go back to school.

    While educational games can be useful, games don’t have to be specifically educational to promote learning. Depending on your child’s age and stage of development, you can find fun games that promote various types of learning.

    • To teach strategy:
      • Clue
      • Mastermind
      • Monopoly
      • Mancala
      • Settlers of Catan
      • Chess
    • To promote literacy:
      • Boggle
      • Scrabble
      • Bananagrams
      • Hedbandz
      • Apples to Apples
    • To build math skills:
      • Yahtzee
      • Sequence
      • Rummikub
      • Qwirkle

    You can also promote your children’s intellectual development by engaging them in conversations and tasks that help them in everyday life. Talk about current events with older kids, encouraging them to express their opinions, draw conclusions, and problem-solve, thinking of creative solutions to the issues of the day. At any age, kids can help around the house and learn. Helping in the kitchen is particularly useful: measuring and counting, scooping, pouring, mixing and chopping help them develop math skills, reasoning skills, and manual dexterity. Another good way to productively interact with your kids is just to discuss the upcoming school year. In a low-pressure way, perhaps while engaged in a fun activity, talk about your child’s hopes, fears, and expectations.

    Making a habit of being active outdoors helps your children both mentally and physically. Being active together gives you and your kids an opportunity for quality one on one time, which strengthens your bond, builds memories, and allows you time to impart wisdom about the world. Being outside also helps kids connect with nature, and that is good for their brains. Unstructured time outdoors allows kids to explore the world around them, learning about the earth and receiving a kind of stimulation of their senses that they can’t get inside.

    As you’re preparing your kids to go back to school, don’t forget to enroll them in an afterschool program that’s challenging, interesting, and fun. Creative Learning Academy had one of the most sought-after afterschool programs in New Jersey, with a school-aged program that serves kids from kindergarten through eighth grade. Providing an integrated curriculum full of fun, engaging, safe activities, tailored to suit each age, grade, and stage, we give children time to relax and interact while still ensuring that their homework is completed and their education supported. For more information, visit our website or call 973.541.8241 today.

  • Getting Kids Back into the Groove in Time to go Back to School

    The summer is drawing to a close, and it’s time to go back to school- are you ready? You’re probably already in the middle of back to school shopping, looking for all the school supplies and new clothes necessary to make the transition a smooth one. Those things are important but even more important is taking the time to prepare kids’ bodies and minds to go back to school.

    Preparing your kids for school after summer

    • Preparing the body: This is probably the most obvious hurdle. All those lazy summer days make for late bedtimes, and day sleeping becomes more of a habit than it usually is. When it’s time to go back to school, it can be hard to get back on schedule. If you want to get a jump on things, it’s a good idea to reinstate bedtimes a week or two before school starts. After a couple of days of going to bed on time, start waking your kids up at the time they’ll need to be up for school, even if they don’t have anywhere to be just yet. They’ll grumble at the newly enforced schedule, but you’ll all be happier when school is back in session.
    • Preparing the mind: This is something not everyone considers, but the brain needs a minute to wake up after the summer, too. Hopefully, you and your kids have been reading- and reading together- all summer. If not, it’s not too late for a trip to the library, to get them interested in a book. Another fun way to get the brain working is by playing board games that promote literacy, math skills, or strategy. It probably goes without saying that you should follow up with your kids to make sure that they’ve finished their summer school work, but it’s a good idea to start preemptively limiting screen time as well.
    • Preparing the house: Your house is probably in full summer mode as well, but it won’t take long to whip it into shape! Before you hit the stores for school supplies and new clothes, clean out closets, cupboards, desks, and last year’s backpacks. This might end up saving you money, as you may find things from your list that you didn’t even realize you already had. Check out the school’s website, and transfer important dates to your home calendar. The end of summer is also a great time to designate the homework hub for the school year: a well-lit, well-organized space where kids can do homework, and important papers and notices can be sorted and filed.

    Being proactive about going back to school is a great way to make sure your kids get off to a good start this year. While you’re getting ready for the school year, make sure you find an afterschool program that supports their education and enriches their minds. At Creative Learning Academy, we have an afterschool program that uses an integrated curriculum for kids from kindergarten through 13 years old. Tailored to suit each age, grade, and stage, our program incorporates fun, engaging, and safe activities that give children time to relax and interact while still ensuring that their homework is completed and their education supported. For more information, visit our website or call 973.541.8241 today.