- Education and Science
Fun Activities This Summer That Also Educate Your Children
Summer can be a challenging time for parents when the kids are out of school. Sometimes you can just let them play, but too often leaving them to their own devices can turn into vegetating in front of the television or getting into mischief. Here are some ideas for parents who want to not only keep their children entertained but motivate them to learn as well.
Grow A Garden
Summer is a great time to get outdoors. Planting a few seeds, learning to tend and cultivate a garden are great skills to develop. As the child watches their garden grow, they not only develop new skills and learn about where food really comes from, but seeing the fruits of their own labor take shape instills confidence and self-esteem. And don’t forget: this is an excellent opportunity to discuss good nutritional choices as well.
Build A Bird Feeder
Because the weather can make being outdoors so enjoyable during the summer, it is a great time to observe wildlife. If your child has an interest in animals or the environment, placing a bird feeder will attract the wildlife right to your own back yard. Having or helping your child build a feeder will encourage him to develop creative skills and be attentive to detail. And it is also a project that can be adjusted to the age and ability levels of each child. A bird feeder, for example can be as simple as slathering peanut butter on a pine cone, dipping it in birdseed and hanging it in a tree; or it can be as complex as measuring and cutting pieces of material to build a feeder that can be filled time and again.
Go On A Hike
Hiking is the best way to observe nature and wildlife and get exercise. If you want to increase the educational value of your hike have your child carry a camera and a collection pouch for specimens. He may collect rocks, leaves, pinecones or bugs. His collection can later be mounted, displayed or studied.
When people think of summer, they often think of outdoor activities, however, sometimes the weather just will not cooperate. In those cases, there are plenty of educational activities that can be conducted indoors. While children love video games, many parents are concerned about the time their children spend playing them. Offering your child educational games can take some of the sigma out of letting them play. If parents have internet access, they can find a wide variety of games for free. Parents can go to sites like pbskids.org or nickjr.com to find a wide selection.
Hiking With Children
Video games are not the only indoor activity that can be enjoyed during inclement
weather. If your child has a strong scientific interest or even if you would just like to encourage one, you can provide educational toys and materials for that purpose. A microscope, for example, is a fascinating way to get a different view of seemingly everyday, ordinary things. It could also allow your child to study some of the items he collected while hiking.
Similarly, a telescope can allow is a great way to look at things that your children see every night, but to see them in a different way.
Keeping your child entertained during the summer doesn’t mean you have to allow mental entropy to take over. Encourage your children to be curious and explore their world with educational activities.