Summer is the ultimate time for outdoor activities and getting as much fun in the sun as your body can handle. Keeping your body active is great, but it’s just as important to keep your mind active and engaged as well, especially for when it’s time to hit the books again. Between marathon video game sessions, trips to the waterpark with friends and lazy days at the beach, it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to find ways for keeping your mind sharp. Here are five great ways you can easily keep your brain on queue and active this summer.

Cards and Board Games

You don’t have to reserve board games for rainy days at the cottage. Board games and card games are a great way to stimulate the mind, stay social, and have fun. If you haven’t tried a game like Settlers of Catan, Risk, or Trivial Pursuit, now is the perfect opportunity. You might be surprised when a trivia question you answered over the summer ends up on your science test (but Yakutsk is not a real country, so don’t write it on your geography exam!)

Cultural Festivals and Events

Living in the Greater Toronto Area, there are always a ton of great festivals and events dotting the summer calendar. These festivals and events are a celebration of cultural traditions, foods, and other delights. What better way to learn than by immersing yourself in a new culture, enjoying the sounds, tastes and learning something new at the same time? Grab the family and experience something foreign and new together.

Become a Tourist for a Day

No matter where you live, there’s always an abundance of information and history sewn into the roots of your hometown. Chances are you may not know as much as you should about where you live, so why not become a tourist for a day in your own region? Get out a map and pick a few spots that you’ve yet to explore and learn about – ask your parents if you can visit somewhere within driving distance, like Niagara Falls or the CN Tower. It could be a landmark, a museum, or even a few cool parks with a great history behind them.

Star Gazing

Summer offers you the perfect, clear night sky to partake in some epic stargazing. Look for a local observatory in your area, like the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, home to Canada’s largest optical telescope. Chances are they will be open for public events and informative sessions that teach about the constellations while you get to peek through the telescope. Or, just grab a few friends, head to a good spot and use any of the Skymap apps on your phone to teach you about the wonders of the night sky.

Avoid the brain freeze this summer by keeping your mind active. Incorporate some board games, explore your local landmarks, and use the wonders of technology to teach you about the world around you. You’ll find it’s easier than you think to learn something new and keep that mind sharp.