FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Summer break may seem like a time when kids totally check out, but it actually is important for a lot of kids’ development.

“The language of play is how we learn and grow. And summer is a time of play,” said Emily Brandt, clinical chief officer and licensed professional counselor at Easton Counseling.

The role summer plays in the mental health of kids can be crucial. Emily Brandt says it’s important for kids to have a summer vacation.

“So summer break can be really helpful to allow our kids to experience new things and have less demands or expectations on their time or performance at school,” said Brandt.

Brandt says research shows kids need to take time off from school. Elizabeth Smith, a Siloam Springs mom who works from home agrees.

“So I think, anything you can do, especially in this age of when they’re like, you know, junior high to high school up just having fun with their friends and not being on electronics all the time and in their house playing video games or that type of thing. So I think just anything they can get outside and do is just so important,” said Smith.

Smith says the transition from summer to school, for her family is all about balance.

“Oh, I know it’s your summer and I need to get my job done. You can just go in your room and read a book or just try to be about doing stuff like this with. I’m so trying to find that balance is just really important,” said Smith.

Brandt also says the best advice to help your child transition smoothly is to be gentle and establish a routine.