School may be out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean your kids have to stop learning! These months are a time of freedom for kids, devoted solely to fun and relaxation. Still, you can encourage your kids to keep their minds sharp with fun, educational summer activities.
What could be more appropriate during June, July and August than time spent out in the sun? Let your kids enjoy the sunshine and get some exercise while learning something new. Nature walks are an excellent idea, as during the summer, the trees are all green, the insects are buzzing and creatures of all kinds are active in their natural habitats. While out walking through the wilderness, bring along a camera to take pictures to document the experience. Have your kids collect leaves and flowers that you can press later in a book. Take full advantage of this opportunity to talk to your kids about the different wildlife they are seeing, and foster their appreciation for the great outdoors!
Another great classic summer activity is camping, which, while also being an incredibly fun and memorable experience, promotes independence and a respect for nature in your children. The best way to do this is to go all out: have a campfire, make s’mores, sing songs and tell ghost stories. At the same time, have your children help with preparing food, setting up the tent, and reading maps when out hiking. While on your camping trip, you can take them fishing as well. All of these activities help them develop skills that will be beneficial to them later in life.
If you want a more structured summer, volunteering together as a family can provide your kids with a sense of compassion and a stronger appreciation for what they have. Of course, volunteering can feel like work and no fun to some kids, so the best approach is to take into consideration what your children’s interests are. A child who loves animals may fit right in playing with kittens at the animal shelter, while another with an avid interest in reading may prefer the local library. Each of these choices provides something different and valuable to learn. No matter what you choose, volunteering shouldn’t take over the entire holiday: a few hours a week is plenty of time for your children to learn something new, while leaving plenty of time for other summer fun!
Inspire your children to see the fun in science by concocting interesting science experiments as a family. Things that glow, explode, have bright colors or make noise are often so fun for kids that they’ll hardly realize how much they’re learning! Whether you demonstrate the power of a chemical reaction by putting Mentos in a bottle of Coke, or make your own lava lamps with food coloring, water, vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer, science experiments can double as exciting arts and crafts, while secretly being educational. You can even use a timeless summer favorite activity, flying kites, to teach your kids a little bit about aerodynamics and flight.
There are so many opportunities in children’s daily lives to teach them something about the world around them. Exposing your kids to as many new experiences as possible during these months of freedom, and letting them get hands-on experiences that they might not be able to get at school, will enrich their lives as well as give them amazing summer memories that they’ll hold on to for years to come. So get out there and find something your child loves, help them learn more about it, and most of all, remember to have fun! See also: 15 DIY Summer projects and activities for kids
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