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Keep kids learning over holidays

POSTED: December 14, 2011 9:30 p.m.
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Puzzles and word games will help keep children’s minds in good shape during the holiday break from school.

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Don’t let the fun and food of the holidays interfere with your child’s learning. Video games and flashy electronic toys may appeal to many kids, but often don’t work a child’s mind as well as non-electronic games and puzzles. Parents shouldn’t fret, however. There are plenty of toys and games available this holiday season to keep a child’s brain sharp and focused during the break and beyond. Here are some tips to help keep children learning and their brains sharp during the school holidays:
• Keep them problem-solving: Math and problem-solving skills are most likely to be affected by holiday-season brain drain, experts say. There are plenty of games available, however, that will make math and problem solving fun. Provide children with activities like mazes that challenge a player’s problem-solving abilities with numerous paths to choose from and hundreds of barriers to overcome. In addition to being entertaining, such games are valuable tools for cognitive development, encouraging children to exercise their problem-solving, motor and dexterity skills, as well as improving their hand-eye coordination. Experts say these games are just as challenging for adults as they are for children.
• Keep them active: It is widely accepted that there is a link between a healthy body and a healthy brain, so keeping your child’s body fit also will keep the brain fit and reduce the holiday season brain-drain. Physical activity can take place inside with video games that involve moment. Encourage kids to play outside when the weather is nice enough.

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