Keep Them Learning All Summer Long

The last school bell just sounded, and your kids are home for the summer. It's a great time to focus on learning OUTSIDE the classroom.

To get started, invite your kids to the dinner table (or the local ice cream stand) for a planning session. You'll have more success if each of them has a voice, plus brainstorming works better when you're together.

List fun and educational activities that you can do all summer long. Don't skimp on your list -- the more ideas, the better!

Starter Ideas:
  • Zoos
  • Museums
  • State Parks
  • Aquariums
  • Historical Sites
  • Senior Citizens' Centers
  • Author's visits at bookstores
  • Television Stations
  • Beaches or rivers
  • Government Buildings
  • Kitchen
  • Planetarium
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Geo caching
  • Libraries
  • Public Art Displays
  • Gardens to learn about local plants & animals
  • Farms
  • Factory tours
  • Mountains
  • Small airports
  • Volunteer activities
  • Camps
Sub-divide the list to meet your family's style:
  • Rainy days/sunny days
  • Local activities/road trips
  • Free activities/save your pennies to go
  • Each person's favorite activities
Get out and Go!
Draw straws, go alphabetical, or flip a coin. Take turns deciding where you will go. On the way, discuss what you might see and learn.

Tip:  Give each child a journal or notebook and a disposable camera to record activities throughout the summer. Ask each person to write down 3 new things learned on the outing.

Friendly Final Exam
On the way home, talk with your children about the day. What did they expect to learn? What surprises did they discover? How might they use the new information? Encourage them to document or scrapbook their activities.