Depending on how you see it, long summer holidays can either be a blessing or curse.
Some families and children relish the opportunity to spend endless days together, travelling the world, visiting relatives overseas and having new and exciting experiences.
For the majority of families, however, reality is very different with work commitments, limited resources, demanding children and the Dubai heat restricting what can be done in the eight weeks off school.
Time Out Kids UAE speaks with Wayne Howsen, principal at The Aquila School, who’s giving parents his top ten tips to keep children engaged, happy and learning during the long weeks of summer.
1. Children have had a long, busy year learning at school, so they need time to relax.
2. Spend time pursuing an interest. This could be something that the child already loves or a new activity such as drawing, painting, poetry writing, cooking, song writing or making a board game.
3. Children have plenty opportunities to look at screens, but it’s wise and healthy to limit this so they can pursue other activities and interact with other children and adults.
4. Create a journal of the exciting activities your children have been doing and the places they’ve visited.
5. Rediscover or foster a love for reading. There are so many wonderful books available in both fiction and non-fiction genres.
6. Spend time with family and create a family tree.
7. Decorate a part of the house or their bedroom. Children are very creative and love having a say in creating the environment they spend most of their time in.
8. Learn a new playground game that they can teach their friends next term.
9. It’s so easy to become sedentary during the hot summer months, so encourage children to have their own daily workout routine to keep their mind and body fit and active.
10. Stay up late as you can’t do it when school’s in season.
As with all things, balance is needed. Children spend many weeks working very hard in school so, just like adults, they need a break from routine.
At the same time, young minds are ripe for learning and we know that very often children start the school year in September appearing to know less and remember less than they did when they left at the end of the summer term.
Taking part in activities can help children carry on learning at home over the summer in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.
For more information visit www.theaquilaschool.com.