Summer is just around the corner, which means long days of fun for you and your kids. You don’t want them to spend endless hours in front of the TV or doing other mindless activities. Many teachers lament the “emptying of the brain” that takes place over summer vacation. But you don’t need to sit them down and run math tables to expand their intellectual curiosity. Check out these fun, educational ideas  for  great new learning experiences with your kids.

  1. Go on a nature walk: Take your kids out into local woods and see what you can identify! You can find lots of nature handouts online, especially ones that are tailored to your area. You can even do leaf rubbings and flower pressing to make a scrapbook of your time.

  2. Prepare meals together: Get your kids involved in the task of feeding the family! Let them help with everything from planning to preparing the food. This can also be a great nutrition lesson in addition to a fun family activity.

  3. Visit museums: See what museums are nearby and take a trip! There are some really cool places you can discover and make some awesome memories in the process. Be sure to check local magazines, and even blogs, for places in your area because there are some hidden gems in every city. Even if it’s a “toothpick” sculpture museum, the stories you will get out of the mere journey getting there are worth the trip.

  4. Put on a play: Pick a classic and do it from your own home! Make your own costumes, and let your children add their own personalities to the characters. This is a great way to get a mix of both theater and literature into the mix.

  5. Visit the farmer’s market or a local farm: Go to a local farm and pick your own fruit or vegetables! Many farms have that option and it’s a great way to teach kids about nature and agriculture.