Summer holidays offer a much-needed break from the previous school year, and provide an excellent opportunity to recharge. At the same time, it can be difficult to find activities that are both physically and mentally stimulating. This is especially true in the UAE, where high temperatures limit the number of outdoor options.
Our daily routine changes in the summer. Many children shift from a structured schedule to a relatively unstructured one.Screen-time tends to increase, while outdoor play tends to decrease during the scorching summer months. These changes promote a sedentary lifestyle and limit mental stimulation.
Dr Sarah Rasmi, family psychologist and parenting expert for social app Play:Date, shares five activities that are stimulating and fun for the whole family.
GET MOVING INDOORS
Research shows that people who are physically active have better outcomes than those who are not. Exercise boosts memory, brainpower, coping skills, happy hormones, and self-confidence. At the same time, it reduces anxiety, depression, and stress. Soft play areas are the perfect choice for young children as they allow them to run and play in a controlled, cool, and safe environment.
Stimulate little minds by taking a trip to the aquarium or an indoor animal habitat. These excursions are both educational and fun for kids (and parents too!). There are so many wonderful options in the UAE and across the region.
Going for a swim is a great way to beat the heat. Practicing different strokes – or simply splashing around – is a fun way to get active.
MAKE A SOCIAL DATE
Schedule an indoor playdate for your little one and their friends! Are their buddies all out of town? No worries! Apps such as Play:Date help you connect with parents in the community whose children share similar interests to your child. This is a great way to build new friendships, boost confidence and communication skills, and promotes learning in children as young as six months.
START A PROJECT
Whether it’s planting a small garden or working on a complex Lego set, a project is a great way to teach children important life lessons and the value of discipline, determination, and effort. It also encourages patience and problem solving.