Puzzles Help Keep young Brains Active During Summer

Keep Those Brains Active

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

During the pandemic, many conversations came up about gaining the “quarantine 15”.  (We might have all fell prey to some sort of weight gain!) There were months of more sedentary days. Just as our bodies get flabby and out of shape, our minds can get out of shape over the summer if we don’t engage them and keep them active.

Jigsaw Puzzles are a fun way to challenge the brain.  Young children learn the concept of fractions of the picture being a part of the whole.  They also learn shape recognition and fine motor skills.  Research suggests puzzles aid in increasing concentration and sharpening memory.  My mom typically got out a jigsaw puzzle in the cold winter months, but why not summer.  They are a fun way to give the brain exercise while also boosting our mood.

Learning a New Language is a great way to keep your brain active and challenged.  Today, there are many apps for young and old alike to learn a new language.  My 10-year-old granddaughter is doing this and has partnered with one of her friends as they challenge each other to complete 5 lessons each week.  This keeps both of them on track and in the process, they are learning French! A couple apps to consider are Duolingo and Gus on the Go.

Dance!  Dancing releases endorphins, improves coordination, strengthens muscles and is just plain fun!  Learning a new line dance or joining a dance class will keep your brain remembering the moves and sequences of the steps.  There are many tutorials on YouTube for learning a line dance.  May I suggest the Cupid Shuffle, a personal favorite.

Be the Teacher.  Teach a friend or family member how to do something, such as making a craft, playing a card game, or playing a musical instrument.  Being the teacher keeps your brain thinking of how to put yourself in the student’s shoes remembering when you learned.  You will have to recall each step in the process and think through the “how to’s” that will help them be a success.  Patience will be needed in seeing mistakes and knowing how to correct them.  Reverse the roles and have them teach you something.  Of course, learning exercises the brain every time.

Above are just a few of the many ways you can ensure that your brains don’t turn to mush over the break.  You can return to school knowing your brain is in shape and ready to learn. Follow Benjamin Franklin’s advice and make some investments in knowledge!

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