Summer is a time of freedom, exploration, and fun! But that doesn’t mean that young minds can’t be stimulated and nurtured all Summer long! Check out these fun ideas to keep your kiddo learning.
1. Summer Reading Programs
Summer reading programs sound boring and might bring up images of homework assignments but it certainly doesn’t have to be! Start a book club with your kids and encourage them to explore their own literary tastes. Or look for a more formal program. The Houston Public Library features a children’s reading program where kids who read 10 books, get a free book!
Or even better is the Museum of Natural Science’s Sugar Land branch features P.A.W.S. Reading club. It’s a chance for children to come read to trained therapy animals to practice out-loud reading with a fuzzy companion. Whichever way you go, the joy of putting down the smartphone and picking up a book will never be forgotten.
2. Explore Science and the Natural World
Anyone over the age of 25 has fond memories of childhood summers going on adventures in nature! But with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, we now find ourselves buried in technology and our kids are too! Get them out of the house and breathe fresh air this Summer with formal or informal nature walks and science programs!
You can take an interesting class at the Museum of Natural Science, participate in nature walks and summer camps at the Houston Arboretum, or simply take the family on an outing to one of the many state parks near Houston. Don’t miss out!
3. Video Games!
This might sound weird after our less-than-glowing reviews of Summer technology above but many video games nowadays get kids up, off their feet and moving, which is a great activity indoors for when the thermometer bursts. Not to mention, these can be fun activities for the entire family!
We promise, your kids will bust a gut laughing watching dad attempt Dance Dance Revolution. Many of these games encourage lateral hand-eye movements which engage both body and mind! We recommend Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Fit, Guitar Hero (or Rock Band), or Nike Kinect.
4. Cooking Classes
Cooking is a sneaky way to get children to learn during the Summer! They see it as hands-on and delicious fun but they are secretly learning…shhhhh! They’ll learn math and measurements, chemistry, and how to make delicious food.
There are many options in Houston for children or family cooking classes but we recommend urban chefs. If the formal route isn’t for you (you might be a master in the kitchen!), then ask them what they want to make and do it together! The reward is in the pudding (literally!).
5. All Things MUSIC!
Whether it’s seeing live music or learning a musical instrument (I think we can help you out if that’s the case!), music engages the mind, body, heart, and soul! And Summer is the best time to explore it! Discovery Green has a great lineup of children-friendly live music options, as does Sugar Land’s Town Square.
And with all your kiddo’s new free time, Summer is a great time to start to learn an instrument! Whether they want to be rock stars or simply to prepare for the middle school band, they will impress their friends with their new skills on the first day of school! We highly recommend Sessions Music for this (duh!). Check out our fun summer programs today!