The summer months provide a great time to teach your kids what it means to be a lifelong learner. Just because they aren’t in the classroom doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of ways for them to get enrichment that comes with learning something new. You can be the guide, as you help your kids turn from boredom and become whizzes at using their time creatively. Here are ten ways to get your kids some educational entertainment and keep them learning throughout the summer:
1. Visit a Museum
If your kids haven’t been to your town’s infamous educational hotspot, then it’s your duty to show them what makes your area so special. If your town boasts little more than a three way intersection and a stop sign, take a trip to a city near you to find out what it has to offer. For us in the city, be sure to check out the American Museum of Natural History.
2. Participate in a Summer Reading Program
Many local libraries provide reading programs for kids during the summer. Sign your kids up and watch as they push themselves to read as much as they can for the summer to obtain cool prizes. As participants, they’ll also be included in programs that focus on creativity and the power of literature.
Once you’ve started the summer learning process, it’s a good idea to document all the fun you’re having. As your kids complete activities, make sure they get some photos of the event so they can create a scrapbook or memory book of what they’ve done. Watch your kids get creative cutting and pasting their pictures into books you’ll treasure forever.
4. Take a Class
Sign your kids up for a class that’s a little less heavy on the textbook and a little more focused on fun. Try a swimming program at your local Y or a kayaking class like our very own Downtown Boathouse.
5. Explore Science at a Nearby Technology Lab
Try exciting your kids’ appetite for learning with a fully interactive technology center, such as the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. It’s a step up from any ordinary museum visit. It’s filled with classes and exhibits that give hands-on experiences to teach your kids how to get the most out of their digital camera.
You’re sure to leave the building with a budding photographer. Perhaps your kids would also be more interested in learning about robot technology in hopes of building one to do their homework. They can dream, right?
6. Start a Garden
Teach your kids how to plant vegetables and fruits from the ground up. Show them what it means to farm your own crop. Considering our city offers limited space outdoors to start a family garden, consider starting one indoors with planters full of herbs like sage and mint, which can later be used for cooking.
7. Get Them in the Kitchen
Speaking of the kitchen, help your kids become culinary artists with recipes designed for kids, like these from KidsHealth.org. Some supervision is required, of course, but you’ll have a little help with meal prep by making it a fun new experiment for your little ones.
Volunteering is a great way to promote a feeling of community to your kids. Find a local non-profit who may be in need of some help and sign your family up to give a little of your time to others. Who knows? Maybe by volunteering, your kids will discover a field of interest that will lead them to their life’s career.
9. Learn a New Sport
Sign your kids up for a new sports program or summer camp that will teach them all about an activity that they’ve never done before. Whether it’s swimming, basketball or water polo, you’ll be pushing them to experience something new and be part of a team.
10. Tour a Factory
If you’ve ever wondered how crayons are made or how baseball bats get shaped the way they do, try taking a tour of the factory. The Crayola Factory in Pennsylvania will open your kids’ eyes to a whole new world of color, while a trip to the Louisville Slugger factory in Kentucky will make them appreciate what goes into the makings of a World Series home run.
This summer, try these 10 ways to keep your kids learning, even outside of the classroom, and you’ll ensure that you’ve helped your kids become lifelong learners, a trait that is sure to help them later on in life.