Here are some helpful ideas to fill in those long summer days.
1. Start some type of collection - Bugs are everywhere and once properly dried can be collected, marbles of every color and shape, coins or whatever interest them.
2. Record and catalog information - What type of birds they have spotted, wild flowers or animals. There is not enough science in schools and what better way to learn than from hands on experience.
3. Visit the Zoo - But don’t just walk through it and you’re done. Sit and draw the animals, figure out what they’re doing. Research where the animals came from and what do they eat. Have each child pick an animal to research and go back and visit the animal that their interested in several times. Try to come up with ways to raise money for that animal.
4. Visit the Museum -
* Art museum - Have them pick one of their favorite pieces of art and research the artist. Where did they come from and what other works of art are they known for?
* History museum - Research their favorite part of history and share what information they have learned. Build a model of that part of history.
* Science Museum - Find something that interest them in this area and have them research it. Build a machine or model of their interest.
5. Go to the park - Pack a picnic lunch, invite some friends and have fun.
6. Go fishing - Dust off that old fishing pole and take them fishing. Learn the different types of fish that they could catch. What types of bait to use. Don’t forget that fishing license.
7. Go biking - Pack a small backpack with water, snacks, and drinks.
8. Go hiking - Hit those trails and start walking. Find some trails that you’ve never been on before.
9. Study the architecture for buildings and walk around town. Take photos or draw the different designs. Research who came up with those ideas and are those designs still used today.
10. Go to the American Corners - They have many great things going on all summer long. And they usually have Air Conditioning on those very hot summer days.
11. Work on a skit or play with your neighborhood kids. Plan out a stage and costumes and invite the rest of the neighborhood for the production.
12. Go to the farmers market to see all the vendors and fresh produce.
13. Do community service work - Pick up litter in a park, work in a shelter serving food, or contact someone to find out where they would need help that the whole family could get involved in.
14. Visit the elderly in homes; make cards for them and fresh cookies.
15. Teach them how to cook and bake. Great learning experience is measuring and following the instruction on a recipe. The greatest reward is eating what you made!
16. Journals - Have them write down there thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Keep them in the habit of writing.
17. Write letters to friends and family. Especially if they don’t have email and send those wonderful works of art that are usually over flowing in your own home.
18. Play a game - There are so many great board games and lots of physical games.
19. Clean the house or organize a room. The kids love it when they make a list of what has to be cleaned. Each child loves writing down their name next to the item that they have cleaned. The list really motivates them and your not telling them what to do. Rewards are paid for all there great and hard work.
20. Plan a vacation or trip. Research together the area that you’ll be going and get feed back as to what everyone would like to see. Give them a journal and have them write down what they did that day. They won’t like doing it most of the time. When they go back the following year and read it they’ll remember certain events with fond memories.