School’s out for the summer! But just because your kids aren’t sitting at their desks in the classroom doesn’t mean that they can’t be learning. In fact, summer provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that learning is fun and can happen anywhere, at any time—it doesn’t only take place in the classroom.
“The summer is a great unstructured mass of time to try out new things and explore interests that don’t necessarily fit into the school curriculum.”
– Susan K. Perry, author of Playing Smart: The Family Guide to Enriching Offbeat Learning Activities for Ages 4-14
Take advantage of your children’s time off from school this summer to help them learn and explore new things. Here are some fun ideas from GreatSchools.org to get you started:
- Get to work in the garden: What better way to learn the basics of science and how things grow than to plant your own garden? You can start with seeds or small plants. Talk with your child about what plants need to grow: air, water, sunlight and nutrients. Vegetables are especially fun and educational to plant because your child will learn where food comes from and will also get to eat the end product.
The RootVue Farm from MindWare gives kids the opportunity to not only plant a garden, but to also watch that garden grow from the roots on up!
- Create a scrapbook: Whether you have a family vacation planned this summer or not, encourage your child to document all the fun adventures you go on this season. Snap photos of fun family time and collect postcards, brochures and menus from restaurants, museums, parks and zoos you visit. Encourage your child to write descriptions for each photo or memento.
- Create something new: Toy stores and craft shops are full of kits for making things, from bird feeders to model airplanes to mosaic tableaux. These projects teach children to read and follow directions, and offer the added benefit of creating a finished product.
MindWare has lots of educational building toys that will keep kids busy this summer and also give them the feeling of accomplishment that comes from creating something new. Chaos Tower, Structures and Monument Kits are all great options for educational play!
Let your kids play and enjoy summer vacation, but remember that learning can be easily incorporated into the summer fun with educational toys and games!