5 Tech-Savvy Tricks to Stop Kids’ Summer Brain Drain in Its Tracks

Watching netflixIt’s already started. The kid has been out of school for less than two weeks, and we’re already fighting the “put down that gadget and go get some fresh air” fight. Welcome to parenting a kid in the new millennium. We had swingsets. They have gadgets.

You can kvetch about the summer brain drain and how technology is turning your kid’s brain into a vegetable with the rest of the old fuddy duddies … or you can do something about it.

Go ahead … guess which one I’d suggest you pick …

I’m going to let my kid have her gadgets, but I’m trying to make them count. Take her Netflix watching. I have taken to adjusting our queue so it reflects not what she wants to watch, but what I want her to watch. Yes, I realize, I’m the parent. I control what my kid does with her summer. I don’t need a lecture on how I should just parent my kids.

Because the fact is, while I could take the gadgets away entirely, I don’t see a reason to. Every heard of everything in moderation?

While there are drawbacks to technology, our kids also have advantages we didn’t. We couldn’t just “look something up” on Google when a question popped into our brains. We had to actually wait to go to the library, and — on the slim chance we actually remembered the question — dig out an encyclopedia.

We could play video games. Our kids can spend an afternoon holed up actually designing one. And we could watch whatever it was that was on TV on one particular day. Our kids can watch thousands of things on who knows how many topics.

Don’t want your kid’s brain turning into a popsicle this summer? A few tech-savvy suggestions to beat summer brain drain:

5 Tech-Savvy Tips to Fight Summer Brain Drain

1. Load your Netflix queue (I know you have one) with shows that teach them something. A few suggestions from Netflix Stream Team:

2. Help your video game player become a video game designer. Some games, such as Disney Infinity, have a game-designing component. You can also check your local library or community center to see if they have a game design class for kids!

3. Give them a camera. Technology doesn’t have to mean sitting in one place. Get them up and moving around with a camera that lets them capture their unique view of the world. Then set them up on a computer to edit their work either with your own photography program or a cheap freebie site like PicMonkey.

4. Let them take video. Akin to #3, this gets them off their behinds, gives you a sneak peek at what it is they are thinking, and well, it gives them time with your phone that they covet while forcing them to be creative.

5. There’s an app for that. Seriously, did you not see this one coming? The e-marketplace is loaded down with crazy creative stuff that actually makes kids think in ways we non-teacher type parents can’t even imagine. And since I know you want specifics, I’m going to send you to the experts — the moms at CoolMomTech have reviewed some killer educational apps and come up with ones that are both mom- and kid-approved … and won’t end up costing you an arm and a leg in in-app purchases.

So there they are … my best ways to fight summer brain drain WITH technology. Still want to go the Luddite road?

How do you keep your techy kid engaged in summer?


Have you “liked” Inside Out Motherhood on Facebook yet?


Disclaimer: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team, and receive free Netflix. I’m not otherwise compensated, and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.


  1. Andrew C. says:

    Trying this for sure!

  2. I love the camera idea! Last weekend my son and I went on a photo scavenger hunt while running errands. Before we left the house we made of list of things to try and find a photograph. It made our day really fun!

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