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Holiday ideas to develop the brain while relaxing

Huge congratulations to parents, guardians and family members and your amazing sons and daughters. The end of term is just about here, or has already arrived for some of you. If the last 18 months has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected and to make the most of the good times because we just never know what’s around the corner. I hope you will be able to relax and enjoy some much needed R & R with your family and loved ones over the summer.

If you are in need of some suggestions on some activities to help your child develop their brain, even when they are relaxing, I’ve come up with a few ideas. The suggestions are equally applicable for adults, too:

  1. The advice that I see being given out by many Headmasters and teachers to their charges, is to read, read and then read some more . Not only does this help with increasing vocabulary but it also helps develop the right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for creative, social and visual skills and intuition. 3-4 books should be do-able for most children by September.

  2. If, as in my family, games like Monopoly are often best avoided for being too competitive, why not try a Rubik’s Cube. Whilst also being a great party trick** they are also brilliant for enhancing memory and concentration.

  3. Sudoku helps with problem solving skills and also aids with stress and anxiety by focussing the mind and blocking out distractions. I can confirm it is possible to do this while relaxing on a lilo wafting around in the breeze in the pool.

  4. I have never yet visited a school that did not have at least one chess board in every boarding house. This is a skill that you will never be sorry you learned – as well as being a great way to make new friends at school or to play with family members of any age, it can help increase IQ by giving both sides of the brain a good workout and it also helps stave off Alzheimer’s.

  5. Cryptic crosswords will boost the power and agility of the brain and, again, are something of a lifelong hobby and great for doing with other family members.

  6. A personal favourite of some of the TIEC team is Bananagrams. If you haven’t discovered it yet, it uses letter tiles like Scrabble but it’s a lot quicker, you can play it with one or many players and you only need a table, not a board. No counting or waiting ages for someone else to have their turn.

  7. And if games aren’t your thing, then singing – whether it’s Stormzy or Strauss, in the shower or in the car – is great for releasing endorphins, lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system.

Don’t forget that if you need help or advice, we are here during the holidays and can offer assistance with tuition, interview techniques, mentoring, personal statements and university admissions, as well as advice and guidance on schools.

Wishing you all a fabulous summer!

Jackie Walkom

1 July 2021

** The world record for doing a Rubik’s cube is 4.22 seconds, in case you are wondering

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