Summer is always a nice break from school, but it is still important to keep those little minds working. Come up with fun activities that encourage learning and exploring! You could choose one day each week that you will try a new educational activity. Don’t reveal the activity until the day of to keep your kids guessing. The variety keeps it fresh and the different activities each week will keep your kids wondering what the next one is!
Practice cloud appreciation. Set up blankets in the yard, bring snacks, and lay out. Have cloud grids and ask the kids to identify the different clouds (cumulus, cirrus, stratocumulus, cirrocumulus, etc…) You can also look for shapes in the clouds and start a game of I Spy (I spy with my little eye… a cloud shaped like a horse!) Everyone else in the group can take turns looking for the shape in the sky!
Go on a camera scavenger hunt. First choose a theme, like Ten Things That Move or A Dozen Signs of Summer. Then send kids out with cameras (disposable, digital, or cell phone cameras) to grab some images. Encourage them to find creative, funny, and unusual ways to interpret the theme. Pop the photos up on the computer screen or take disposable cameras to a one-hour processing shop. This will get kids thinking creatively and looking for details within their environments.
Investigate solar power. Make solar prints by arranging objects on photo-sensitive sheets in a SunPrint Paper Kit, then set outside to print like magic. Assemble your own solar cooker and make lunch using only the suns rays for heat.
Keep an art bag ready for kids to use whenever inspiration strikes. Spread a blanket under the tree and start your own water coloring station. You will find that this activity will become a powerful magnet for children of all ages. This is good encouragement to keep kids using artistic modes of expression.