Friday, June 1, 2012

Guest Post: How to Keep Your Child Learning This Summer by Blaine Milleford

Keeping your child learning during the summer can be a lot of fun. There are lots of things to do, starting with swimming lessons, visiting your local library, nature hikes, planting a garden and visiting local museums or zoos!

Swimming Lessons

Starting your day with swimming lessons is a great way to get out of the house and get your child exercise. Swim instructors teach everything from the basic stroke to advanced strokes, passing the local swim test to advancing to a swim team. Swim teams are a great way for teaching kids camaraderie, competitiveness, skill building and having fun.

The Library
The local library is a great place to go in the summer. Most public libraries have summer reading programs that track your child's reading progress, then at the end of summer, they give a prize or have a party for the kids that participated in the program. Many public libraries have special guests that do things for children like teach about animals, or do crafts in the library. Parents can sign kids up for trips or special events in their community.


Going on a nature hike is a great way to spend the day with your kids. Check your local map for hiking trails near your home. Many public parks offer nature hikes where the park ranger will describe the types of plants and animals in your community. Being outside and seeing the birds and trees on your local trail can great for your kids.


Starting a garden in your yard can be a fun thing to do. You can plant it in your yard with your kids or if you have a small space in the city plant some plants in containers in your house or deck. Tomatoes are a great vegetable to start out with and strawberries are a great fruit to plant. Taking your child to a U-pick farm can be a great way to spend the afternoon. It all depends on the place you live on the type of farms you can go to. Picking berries and vegetables is another great way to enjoy the outdoors with your children and connect with the earth.


Visiting your local museums is a great way to spend the day. Most big cities have children's museum. Children's museums can be a lot of fun they usually have great "stations" that teach your child information while playing. Some children's museums have musical instrument areas, art areas and pretend play areas like working at a super market. Some museums have a dinosaur area where you can dig for bones or read up on your favorite dinosaur. Train building areas are popular in children's museums and so are space themed areas. Check local listings to find out what is going on at your local children's museum.
Going to your local zoo can be fun for your kids. On a sunny day you can't beat a day at the zoo. Zoos are usually over a large area and are a great way to get exercise. Walking between animal exhibits and reading about what country the animals came from can be fun for kids without even realizing it. Many zoos have special displays going on during summer vacation. There are also special themed summer nights at many zoos around the country.


Visiting your local aquarium is a great learning experience about the ocean. Many aquariums have special learning programs for kids during the day. Children especially enjoy touching sea life in tide pools.

Keeping your child learning during the summer can be lots of fun. These ideas will keep things interesting during summer vacation, so look into them ASAP!

Blaine Milleford writes about education, finance & saving money at

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