Family Life


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Fun and educational activities for summer

Girl in science centre - fun and educational activities for summerThere are a million fun things for your kids to do during the summer, from camping and slumber parties to hiking and biking to beating the heat at the public pool. And there’s a good chance that the majority of the so-called “wasted” days of youth will go by during the long summer months. 

While kids may be perfectly content to let the time slip by without so much as a backward glance at the school that steals three seasons of their lives each year, you, as a parent, must think of their scholarly pursuits, namely the fact that they won’t be pursuing them for the next several weeks. There is certainly cause for concern, considering how many children return to school in the fall having failed to retain much of what they learned the previous year. So how can you keep your kids on track during the break without derailing their summer fun?

You no doubt have plans to spend time with your kids while they are on hiatus, so instead of going to the beach or taking in an afternoon movie, opt for activities that are both fun and educational.

  • If the great outdoors sounds like just the ticket, take in some sun with a nature hike. Many public parks offer guided tours that provide information on the local flora and fauna, and sometimes even historical footnotes. Or look online to see when meteor showers are happening during the summer and plan a mini-camping trip in your backyard for a little late-night stargazing.
  • If you’d rather avoid a sunburn and stay indoors, check out museums in your area. A natural history museum is always fun and informative for kids, but many art museums also offer fare for the youngsters, from specialized tours to art-appreciation activities. Or sign them up for a summer theater program where they can make some new friends in person (instead of on Xbox Live, Facebook, or whatever other faceless social network they’re frequenting).
  • On the other hand, you don’t really have to leave the house for fun summer learning. If your child is more of a homebody, look into a summer reading program. The Scholastic Summer Challenge, for example, encourages kids to read by allowing them to track their progress online, with thousands of others, in an attempt to break the world record for reading. Barnes and Noble also has a summer reading program in which children who read eight books (and submit a short report detailing their favorite parts) will be rewarded with a free book. They also offer fun activities (word puzzles, story games, trivia, etc.) for download via their website. 
  • If your kids are among the many that eat, sleep, and live video games, you can find a wide range of educational games online (for free) and on iTunes (available to download for your iPod, iPhone, or iPad, with prices ranging from free to about $5).

Summer can be both fun and educational for your children if you provide them with activities that do double duty. You don’t have to let them lounge in front of the TV all day or while away the time texting their friends and following Ashton Kutcher on Twitter. 

So use the resources at your disposal (mainly the internet) to help you come up with fun ideas or to seek out local attractions and events that fit the bill. When your kids return to school prepared to continue learning, you’ll be glad you made the effort.

Fun and educational activities for summer
was originally posted by Our Kids is Canada’s trusted source for information on private schools and summer camps.

a man carrying two children

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