With summer right around the corner, many students are likely looking forward to time for rest and relaxation. While it’s important for children and teenagers to have some downtime during their summer break, it’s also  important that they don’t spend too much time watching television or on their phones.

Below are ways for kids of all ages to enjoy their summer days while also being productive and working toward goals.

Stay Active

Getting up and getting the body moving is highly beneficial to an individual’s physical and mental health. According to the CDC, children who take part in regular physical activity can improve their cardiorespiratory fitness, build strong bones and muscles, better control their weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce the risk of developing a variety of health conditions (including heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and obesity).

Keep a Clean Room

The summer is a good time for kids and teenagers to declutter their spaces and gain more organization skills while doing so. While it might not be their favorite activity at first, they are likely to see the advantages of having a tidy room and not having to search for items or articles of clothing that have gone missing in the mess. Learning to stay organized is a skill that will benefit students throughout the school year, teaching them structure and prioritization.

Set a Reading Goal

Reading during the summer is an engaging and important activity for kids and adolescents alike. Escaping into the worlds of different books not only fosters social-emotional development but also allows individuals to discover the joy of stories and further develop an appreciation of lifelong learning. Students would benefit from setting goals of how many books they would like to read over the summer and working toward meeting those goals.

Picking up a book while on vacation is a great way for a student to enjoy some relaxation while also stimulating the mind. Additionally, doing so will also help children and adolescents avoid feelings of boredom and rely less on their phones and other electronic devices to help provide them with forms of entertainment.

Spend Time with Friends + Family

Fostering relationships with others is critical for individuals of all ages, particularly for those still in their developmental years. Rather than playing games on their devices or spending time on social media, encourage your children to make time for their friends and plan activities that will allow them to spend time with family members as well. Studies have shown that people who spend more time with their loved ones are more likely to experience reduced levels of stress and anxiety, lead healthier lifestyles, and lengthen their lifespans.

Put Writing Skills to Practice

Similar to reading, writing also allows students to remain sharp over the summer and keep sparking their creativity on a regular basis. Whether they decide to take up journaling or make their own unique stories, children who continue to practice their writing skills during summer break will be more prepared when they return to school in the fall. It will also benefit them beyond the classroom, as quality writing abilities are needed in many professions and situations that they will encounter in the future.

Downey Unified School District is proud of all of our students for a wonderful school year and encourages  them to enjoy their time off while also finding ways to make positive progress this summer.