“School’s out for summer!” Alice Cooper may have made that phrase one that can no longer be simply pronounced but rather must be sung… however, as these last few weeks (in some cases days!) of the school year dwindle down students around the country are happy to oblige! Once summer break is fully underway, it would be a shame to let all their hard work wash away in a sea of video games and Netflix marathons, so Apex Leadership Company shares tips for parents and students themselves to stay sharp all summer long!

Be Realistic — Yes, it’s great to want the kids to study, read, and practice their handwriting or math facts skills on a daily basis… But it’s also important for parents (and over achieving students!) to remember that it’s called summer break for a reason. A rest from their studies is not only well deserved after a year of hard work, it’s also necessary for kids to relax and refresh so they can return to class in just a few short months — and not feel overwhelmed or burned out before they even get started on a new school year.

Pique their Interests — There are so many cool programs, day camps, overnight or multiple night stay camps offered that cover a wide array of topics and subjects from cooking to technology and LEGOS to sports… Engaging kids over the summer with an activity that they truly enjoy is not only a great way to expand upon a budding interest but also to keep them active and involved with other kids that share their interests.

Try Something New — Summer is a great time to introduce something new (a new family tradition of trying one new dish a week for family dinner, for example, or learning how to yo-yo or snap) — and encourage or even challenge kids to step out of their comfort zones with a new activity. They may be surprised that they like to garden or that they really enjoy a sport they’ve not yet tried their hand at. Parents can also use this time to help teach their children a necessary skill such as changing a tire on a car, sewing or prepping vegetables and fruit for the week’s meals.

Get Creative… without Much Cost — Summer activities can certainly come at a cost, but all it takes to have a little fun without breaking the bank is creativity and imagination. Go through the closets and do some good old-fashioned dress up or have children write a play then use the old clothes to make costumes and enlist all the kids in the neighborhood to play the parts. With a package of balloons and some glow sticks from the dollar store, kids can make some glow balls for nighttime games or pool partying. Spend the day at the library, take advantage of the free days and events that many local museums and attractions have for children during the summer, or stroll through a night-time food truck festival or indoor farmers market.

Maintain Some Routine — While it’s okay to get a little lax on the rules, bedtimes and schedules, many children of all ages enjoy the comfort of a routine. A few structured events throughout the summer can provide a sense of security to some children. It’s also a good idea to ensure that after a few late nights or sleepovers with friends that kids get back to their usual sleep patterns.

Regardless of how students (and parents and teachers, too!) spend their summers, Apex encourages everyone to enjoy the time spent together. Before long, it will be back to class… and Apex looks forward to returning to the classrooms, too!