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Your kids couldn’t wait for summer break, and now it’s finally here. You want them to be able to relax but you don’t want them glued to the TV or computer 24/7. Here are three screen-free ideas to keep your kids learning during summer break.
Visit your local farmer’s market
Nothing tastes better than fresh, local, and in-season produce. And that’s exactly what you’ll find an abundance of at your local farmer’s market. Most markets are open on weekend mornings, and many are also open one weekday. To find the market closest to you, search the USDA National Farmers Market Directory or LocalHarvest.
Encourage your children to select one new fruit or vegetable each time you go. Let them decide how they want to try it: raw, cooked, steamed, or in a new recipe. You never know what might be their next favorite food! And many farmers and growers love to talk about their businesses. If you visit the market during a quieter time, encourage your kids to ask the farmers questions.
Connect with a good book
One of the best things you can do is to encourage your kids to read over the summer. It’s great if you let your kids pick out the books, as they have so much required reading in school. If your kids need ideas, check with your local librarian, revisit classics from your own childhood, or peruse the New York Times Bestseller List.
Unless your child is very young, reading often becomes a solitary activity. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! The entire family can “read” an audiobook on your summer road trip. Older kids can form a book club with friends or neighbors. Getting multiple copies of a book at an affordable price can be a challenge. Check out an online retailer like Bulk Books to see what they have in stock. You can then host a picnic or pool party to talk about the book.
Go on a family-friendly hike
A leisurely, shorter hike is something the entire family can participate in. The website Only In Your State has a list of family-friendly hikes for each state. You can also ask on social media for recommendations in your city. In most cases, you’ll want to look for flat trails that are under 1 mile long. A bathroom at the trailhead is always an added plus. Trails that are marked wheelchair accessible will be suitable for all ages and abilities. To make your hike more enjoyable, apply sunscreen and bug spray before you leave the house. And don’t forget to pack snacks and water! If younger children get bored, you can always turn the hike into a treasure hunt. Ask them to look for and point at specific items like “a red flower” or a “white bird feather.”
School may be out for the summer, but with these ideas the learning never stops.