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When the school halls empty out for the summer, kids still have plenty of great learning opportunities. These exist at home and beyond. The following tips will help inspire active summer learning that will also work to bring families closer together.

Create a Calendar of Events

Parents can check with the area’s Department of Parks and Recreation for activities such as camps and workshops. They can also learn about which exhibits, concerts, and events are happening in the area throughout the summer. They can talk to their child about their interests, and then create a calendar of events that they will attend.

Incorporate Reading and Writing in Daily Activities

One method parents can use to encourage reading is to designate certain hours as reading hours. Children can either read their own books, or parents can read aloud to them. Some kids may also enjoy writing. Parents can purchase them an inexpensive journal and help set a goal to record information about their day or week on a regular basis.

Start a Kids Blog

Teachers can arrange for a community that is safe and closed for students to engage in blogging over the summer. Two places that offer appropriate security and free blog space are Edublogs and Kidblog. Blogging does not simply give kids an outlet for writing about their experiences and thoughts, it builds community by sharing events with each other.

Try Geocaching

Families can get into educational adventures with geocaching. In this activity, families search for containers or caches that have been hidden by using handheld GPS tools or a GPS app on a smartphone. A variation on geocaching is earthcaching, where families seek out unique geologic features to learn about them.

Youth Book Clubs

Book clubs aren’t just for adults. Area parents can start a neighborhood book club and join together with other families for low-key, social learning in the summer. Meeting places can be more adventurous than a convenient living room. Try a picnic blanket or tent in the backyard for a unique spot to gather and discuss books in common.

Learn by Listening

Parents can also establish a summer program for listening. Listening is engaging, and a lot of kids love listening to such things as books, music, comedy routines, stage plays, and other works.

Just because school is out for the summer doesn’t mean kids should stop learning! These activities will help parents create a fun and educational environment.