It’s coming for your child! The dreaded Brain Drain: A sharp-fanged monster known for burrowing into your kiddo’s head throughout the summer months and removing up to sixty percent of what they learned over the previous school year by September (and you thought lice were the only pestilence you need worry about). Brain drain is particularly risky during the first few years of school, since tots who fall behind in the early years rarely catch up down the line.

Fortunately, like all monsters, the evil Brain Drain can be fought using that old Schoolhouse Rock slogan: Knowledge is Power! Here, Red Tricycle rounds up five fun activities the whole family can do over the summer that are also (shhh, don’t tell the little guys) educational.

Retail Brain Therapy

Not the outdoor type? No problem! Shopping can be educational, too. Give your budding fashionista or tech geek a budget and set them loose at Saks or the Apple Store. Challenge them to find the best deals and add up how much they'll save. Have them calculate how much it will cost to buy on credit versus for cash.

Take them to the grocery store and compare prices, figuring out if it's better to buy the large economy size or the tiny serving. Hit FAO and tell them to make a toy wish list - all below a certain price point. And, for the littlest Masters of the Universe, have them make change at the ice-cream stand, or when buying a movie ticket. Every little bit helps keep brain power going!

Photo courtesy of Rob Young via Flickr

– Alina Adams