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Learning Activities for Your Kids this Summer

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Just because school's out doesn't mean your kids' minds are on vacation until June. Try one of these for a little brain teasing.

Fossil hunt: take kids to a nearby lake, brook or wooded area and have them search for fossils. You may be surprised by what they uncover.

Nature walk/Scavenger hunt: supply kids with a list of things to hunt for: maple leaves, dogwood bark, a gray rock, a pinecone. Then let them loose for an allotted period of time. Have a special award waiting for the first one to bring back all the items on the list.

Stargazing: borrow a book on constellations from the library and teach kids how to study the summer skies. Make your own colorful maps. Rent or borrow a telescope.

Rainy-Day Fun

When the outdoors are off-limit, it can be a perfect time for kids to:

Try their hand at baking: with supervision, kids can easily knead bread dough, make drop cookies and decorate cupcakes.

Make a sculpture: help kids make their own play-dough, then let them fo to work. Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup salt, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon cream of tartar, food coloring. Directions: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until it forms a ball (about five minutes). Cool slightly and knead on countertop until smooth. Store, wrapped tightly in plastic, in refrigerator. The dough (unlike the commercial kind) hardens on standing - great for making permanent treasures.

Build housees out of playing cards: make it a contest to see who can build the highest one without knocking it over.

Decorate T-shirts: paint colorful designs on plain T-shirts or sneakers with fabric paint or markers.

Make hand puppets: out of paper bags, paper plates, fabric scraps, buttons and other odds and ends.

Create jewelry: by stringing macaroni O-shaped cereal and buttons on cotton twine or shoelaces.

Design doll clothes: from leftover fabric scraps.

Make puzzles: from old photographs or magazine pictures. Glue the art to sturdy cardboard and cut it into jigsaw- shaped pieces.

Create stationery: Provide blank paper and evelopes, stickers, press-on letters, ribbons, rubber stamps.

Make cards: for Father's day or Grandma's birthday. Supply construction paper, glitter, markers or crayons.

Visit a museum: Pick one that'll suit your child's interests. Science and nature museums are good bets.

Source: Camp Mom Woman's Day


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