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Summertime has arrived, but with that comes the struggle of getting kids to practice and retain all the new information that they learned during the school year. While the traditional math practice books and assigned summer reading can be a way to get the job done, there are more subjects to explore and exciting ways to do so. Check out a few ideas below on how to keep your kids invested in learning over the summer.
Adventure into nature. Whether that be a hike along a trail or just a trip to the backyard, encourage kids to take a closer look at the natural world. Plant flowers and have your kids figure out how much water and sunlight a plant needs in order to thrive. Examine animal tracks along your hike and see if you can figure out what animal it came from. After it rains, see if you can spot a rainbow and see if your kids can hypothesize what causes all the bright colors. A little investigative discovery can go a long way with piquing an interest in science.
Take a trip to a department store or craft shop and find a project for the day (or the week)! Many stores have ready-to-assemble projects, such as complex Lego sets or plastic and wood models, that are not too expensive. Not only is a small construction project a great way for kids to practice problem solving skills and to express their creativity, it is also a fun way to foster an interest in engineering and creation. And to add to the fun, your kids will have a cool end product to be proud of!
Take a Trip to a Museum
Most cities have a museum, either big or small. Museums are a fun way to not only spend the day, but to have your kids learn something new without them even realizing it! Explore a history museum, an aquarium, or even a planetarium. Most museums nowadays also have interactive activities rather than just solely artifacts in a glass case. This is a great way not only to capture your kids’ interests, but also to have them explore new facts and subject matters.
Make Homemade Ice Cream
Everyone loves a cold, refreshing treat in the midst of the summer sun and humidity. Why not mix it up by making your own homemade ice cream! Scour the internet for your favorite recipe, and create your own ice cream concoction. With the science hidden behind the sugar, kids will learn about the ingredients needed to create the reaction that forms their favorite sweet treat. Homemade ice cream can not only be a science experiment in disguise, but can also produce a delicious end result.
Explore a City
Get out of your house and explore your hometown or nearby city. Cities are often inundated with history and cool facts, such as the Water Tower in downtown Chicago, some of which you and your kids may not know! Find a few historical sites you have yet to visit, or some famous restaurants and local shops. Exploring new places is always fun, and a little local history along the way doesn’t hurt either.
Summer is an amazing time for kids to explore and to grow. Help education continue to be a part of their daily lives, even when the school year is over, and encourage them to try new things and to investigate the world around them!