Summer is here, and while summer offers a great time for kids to relax and have fun, you don’t want them to lose all the progress they’ve made during the school year. It’s important to make sure your child stays involved in activities that keep his brain in great shape. Here’s a look at some great summer activities that are mentally stimulating for kids while ensuring they have plenty of fun too.
1. Cooking Classes
Send your kids to cooking classes or do your own cooking classes at home. Cooking with Kids is a great site with step-by-step cooking lessons and fun recipes for your kids to follow. The site also includes safety tips, measurement information, or more. Another idea is to look for cookbooks at your local library, using them to have some cooking fun together as a family. Measuring ingredients, reading recipes, and trying new things will keep your child’s brain stimulated.
Geocaching is a fun activity that’s a lot like a scavenger hunt, and the whole family will enjoy getting in on the fun. This activity is perfect for kids of any age, and you can let your kids combine the use of GPS devices and maps, so they’ll be learning while they have a great time. Earthcaching, which is a form of geocaching, also adds some earth science to the mix, bringing you to special areas where you can see some unique geological features as kids learn more about our earth.
3. Photo Journal
Get a reasonably priced digital camera for your kids and have them take pictures throughout their summer, whether you’re on vacation or just having a routine summer day at home. Let them use the pictures to create a photo journal of their summer activities, whether it’s an online digital journal or you print out pictures and have them create a traditional photo journal. Have kids write a bit about what’s going on in each photo.
Gardening is another great activity your kids will enjoy during the summer, and it will keep them physically and mentally active. Let kids get involved in planning the garden, planting it, and watching it grow. You can even have them read up on gardening, encouraging them to keep a summer garden journal where they write down their observations each day.
5. Creating Musical Instruments
Music and art are both mentally stimulating, and you can combine the two by having your kids make their own musical instruments from materials you already have around the house and some basic art supplies. Paper plates can be transformed into maracas; and a box, pencil, and a few rubber bands can be turned into a guitar. A cardboard tube can be made into a rainstick. Let kids get creative with the materials they use to create and decorate their own instruments.