The noise of excited kids fills the air, their cheerful laughter, and bickering, the clutter of books and toys take over your living room, and their non-stop requests – It is the holiday season.
Kids are precious, their disposition a novelty but you see, your kids are valuable and should be taken care of deliberately. This holiday, do something beyond summer classes to add value to the time your kids and younger siblings spend outside school.
Here are some exciting things you can engage them in to make this Holiday Memorable.
Book Your Kids
From time immemorial, reading has been a source of solitude: whisking one from reality and broadening the imagination, but what if I told you that interpretation has proven to do more than that scientifically? In a 2009 report, brain imaging of 72 children from ages 8 – 10, showed that the quality of white matter, a brain tissue that conveys information between regions of grey matter where data is processed is influenced by reading. Put simply: reading rewires the brain, develops it cognitively and helps it to process information efficiently.
There are lots of great books out there for kids, take them to a library (Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba, if you are in Lagos), read with them and for the older kids, give them assignments from the books they just read – maybe a review, summary or a spec script and you will be on your way to raising an Erudite!
Explore their interests through gifts
Albert Einstein was not a regular child: he was slow in verbal development, rebellious in the face of authority, his teacher was even famous for saying little Albert will not amount to anything – we all know how that declaration panned out. Einstein’s slow speech development made him interested in space and time. At age five, Einstein’s father bought him a compass and with that his interest in magnetic fields began. So, forage malls and online stores for the perfect gift for your children – something unique that will spark a new interest in them!
Teach them a new language
According to researchers, Multilingualism forces the brain to resolve internal conflict. In a study by Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee, monolingual and bilingual preschoolers were given a task with a computer to sort blue circles and red squares by colour into two digital bins, marked with blue circles and red squares. Both groups accomplished this with ease. The next task, which was more challenging was to sort the objects by shapes. The bilinguals finished the job ‘quicker.’
Being bilingual does not only make your kids smarter, or able to cross cultures with ease, or communicate with more people, it also guides against dementia in old age. Buy that Chinese book today, or better still, teach your child an indigenous language or two this holiday.
Take them on adventures
Elizabeth Alexandra, a famous poet, said in her recent article, ‘How to Make a Life From Scratch’, that critical thinking develops “when you go outside of your comfort zone when you eat a different bread from the one you grew up with.” So take your kids outdoors, let them see the world. Empirical evidence is essential to understanding the world: you cannot know what you have not witnessed. During this holiday, transverse parks, libraries, markets, stadiums. In doing so, you honour your child’s growth process and in the process, revere yourself.
All the best as you make this holiday count!