Avoiding the Summer Brain Drain + Virtual Schooling + Unplugged Play

[amazon asin=1620576112&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Nicole Green, VP of Communication, Carson-Dellosa Publishing, publisher of Summer Bridge Activities
Topic:
Preventing summer learning loss.
Issues: Reading comprehension; multiplication and division; social studies; grammar; character development, and more.


[amazon asin=1250035856&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Laura Overdeck, author of Bedtime Math.
Topic:
Making math fun.
Issues: Clever, smart ways to get kids interested in math; teaching math through stories; why it’s never too early to start math; why we should do math with our kids just like we read to them.


[amazon asin=B005MZDBL8&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Lisa Gillis, coauthor of Virtual Schooling.
Topic:
Optimizing your child’s education.
Issues: How to ignite your child’s passion for learning; easily and effectively improve your child’s current school work; powerful learning resources that can help kids excel; the proper use of computers and technology in education.


[amazon asin=B00BUA90Q4&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Bobbi Conner, author of Unplugged Play.
Topic:
Battery-free, plug-free, electricity-free games and activities for kids of all ages.
Issues: The importance of unstructured play; coping with “I’m bored,” low-tech fun that can stretch the imagination, spark creativity, build strong bodies, and keep the kids busy while you’re making dinner…

The Science of Dreams and Nightmares

[amazon asin=1442213302&template=thumbnail1&chan=default] Kelly Bulkeley, co-author of Children’s Dreams
Topic:
Understanding the dreams and nightmares of chdlihood
Issues: The science of dreams and imagination; the purpose of dreams; dreams of early childhood; dreams of middle and late childhood; interpreting dreams; dreams as play.

Imaginary Friends

My three-year-old daughter has an imaginary friend named Maggie. She talks to her all the time, draws with her, and “reads” her favorite books to her. I even have to set an extra place at the dinner table for Maggie or my daughter won’t eat. Is this okay or should I be concerned about my child’s sanity?

Having imaginary playmates is a pretty normal part of growing up–especially in the toddler years-and they serve several important functions:
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Want smarter kids? Have them play with dad.

One of the most classically dad things is playing–physically–with the kids. Now along comes another study that proves that imaginative play with dad is good for kids’s brains too. When you encourage your children’s imagination, their vocabularies are larger and they do better in math.

What’s unique about this particular study, which was done at Utah State University, is that the researchers went to the trouble of, gasp, including dads. Most previous play studies had looked at mom-child interactions.

So how do you boost the amount of imaginative play? Start by encouraging make believe and fantasy. Then, when your reading stories, don’t be shy about acting out some parts or talking about what’s happening in the illustrations or why particular characters are doing what they’re doing. Plopping your kids in front of the TV (or even watching silently with them) or reading books straight through from beginning to end without any commentary won’t help.

A bit more detail on the study here:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=19524630&title=study-shows-playtime-with-both-parents-crucial-to-child-development&s_cid=queue-6