10 Exciting + Educational Ways to Prevent Summer Brain Drain
School’s out for the summer, and the kiddos are oh-so excited. We know the little ones worked hard all spring and they probably want to relax a little bit. But let’s not forget that relaxing doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t keep learning. Many children suffer a learning loss caused by a long summer break without educational activities, also known as “brain drain.” According to a study by Carson-Dellosa, “85 percent of teachers have to spend the first two weeks of back-to-school re-teaching their students.” Summer learning can be so much fun, and with those kiddos being curious about everything, it can also be super entertaining to watch. Read on for some tips to combat summer brain drain this year.
1. DIY Felt Vegetable Garden: Teaching them the importance of farming will ignite their scientific curiosity. If you have room to plant your own vegetable garden, then by all means, go ahead. But if you don’t have the room, don’t worry — you can still try this learning project by sewing your own vegetables. They’ll go back to school knowing where food comes from and might teach their peers a thing or two about it. (via A Beautiful Mess)
2. Earth Cake: If learning always included cake, then we would probably be up for it all the time. You can further your young one’s planetary knowledge by providing this super fun visual experience… that they can also eat ;) (via Table Spoon)
3. The Human Body App ($4 on iOS): We should all learn a little bit more about how our body works. The bright and colorful illustrations on this app keep children entertained and wanting to learn more.
4. Constellation Activity: Who isn’t inspired by the stars and the sky in general? Next time you go stargazing with the kids, they’ll be able to point out the Big Dipper, no prob. (via Kids Activities Blog)
5. TenMarks Math (Free on Amazon): Math can be a tricky subject for all of us. Some of our little ones LOVE math, while others can’t stand the sight or thought of it. Either situation presents a perfect opportunity to sharpen those math skills.
6. Make an Instrument: There’s a little musician in every child just waiting to come out. Spark their imagination by helping them create their own instrument. Maybe they’ll want to join a band once school starts again. (via Alice and Lois)
7. Rosetta Stone for Kids (Free on Amazon): It’s easier for kids to learn a new language than adults. So why not allow them to expand their horizons by learning a different language over the summer? This will be a great foundation for your future world traveler.
8. Kiwi Crate: Most of the time, we are too busy to pick up crafting supplies for our kids. Kiwi Crate is a subscription service that delivers DIY supplies right to your doorstep. It’s just what you need to keep the kids excited and learning with their hands all summer long. (Photo via Bluebird)
9. Enhance Literacy: Help your child advance their reading skills with the interactive games on websites like PBS and FunBrain. This allows them to take a tiny break from reading, while practicing in a different way. (via PBS Kids)
10. Building Skills: Get your kid’s creative mind going with this building activity. A child’s imagination is vivid and can come up with many ideas, so give them some handy tools to make something they are proud of and can play with. (via All for the Boys)
What are some fun activities you do with your kids to combat brain drain?
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)