It’s summer! Tis the season for long lazy days, splashing in the pool and, admittedly, probably too much “screen time.” But summer doesn’t have to be a complete vacation from learning. In fact, there are lots of ways to sneak learning disguised as fun into every day! Apex Leadership Co shares some ideas for keeping the education going until the first bell of the fall school year rings!
Sign up for Science — Today’s science centers are so much more than the quiet, look-don’t-touch museums of yesterday. Science centers in nearly every town around the country have specific exhibits and areas just for kids including hands-on experiments. So a day at the museum can be a fun way to get kids interested in all kinds of scientific subjects.
Go Stargazing — Turn a quiet night at home into a night under the stars by laying out some blankets on the lawn, bringing out some popcorn and ready-made smores and get comfy! There are some great apps that help users detect constellations, but good old-fashioned star charts are fun too, and no fancy telescopes are needed. Beginner stargazing can be done with a simple pair of binoculars. For those that live right in the heart of a big city, a drive out to a less light-congested area will make for better viewing. Choose a clear night when the moon isn’t full, then lean back, relax and learn all about the stars!
Take an Informational Journey — When vacationing in a new city or just exploring one’s own town, there is always something interesting to learn about every location. When vacationing, find out the history or what the town is known for, then plan activities around that. For example, for kids that are into ghost stories, look for ghost tours that tell a little about the city itself and its history along with a little “fear factor.” For those that are into outer space, a tour of Area 51 could be worked into some summer travel. Regardless of the destination, a little digging is sure to result in some interesting tours — with some fun education!
Camp Learning — With the amazing array of day camps and sleep-away camps available, there is a theme or topic for every child’s interest. And even though they are designed to be fun, these camps provide a lot of learning opportunities, too! From educationally based camps to traditional camps that teach important outdoor safety, it’s not just “fun and games” — but the kids will think so!
Livin’ in a Gamer’s Paradise — Speaking of games… they are a great way to sneak some education into some summertime fun. Zingo, Brain Games for kids, Scattergories and Cranium are just a few popular ones, but even classic card games engage the mind. So plan a family game night and get learning! For those that just love that aforementioned screen time, there are some educational videos games and apps, too! With a little research and a well-selected (secretly educational) video game, parents can hand over the tablets without any guilt!
There’s no need to force educational opportunities during the summer — kids and parents need the break! However, these things are fun, easy and just happen to offer an element of learning that the kids may not even recognize as “educational.” Win-win!