While “summer school” may not be a reality for all of us, most of us want to continue to inspire our children’s learning throughout the summer months.
Core Skills, Summer Bridge, or Vacation Station books are one way to strengthen/retain our children’s knowledge base, but keep in mind that summer is the perfect time to introduce hands-on activities to our children and keep summer tedium at bay.
One popular summer activity is nature studies. Simply provide your children with a variety of jars and set them free outside to catch a few bugs or even pond critters. Once they bring you their treasured new pets, provide them with the resources to feed and care for them for a few days and then allow them to release them.
Are you squeamish about bugs and critters? Hand your children a MicroBrite and allow them to explore critters, flowers and even rocks. They will be amazed with what they will find! For the more creative, you could even hand them a sketch book (Wonders of Nature Sketchbook is a wonderful “how to” nature study sketch book) and encourage them to draw what they see. For further study, encourage them to look up what they have drawn and write basic information with their picture. With the help of a good encyclopedia or nature book they will be able to answer the: Who, What, Where, Why and How questions.
Homemade Ice Cream
The perfect end to a productive time outside is to eat ice-cream! (Of course!) While store-bought ice cream is always delicious, allowing your children to make their own ice-cream will be a fun treat at the end of the day!
Milk can become home-made ice-cream in just few minutes and is fun for children of all ages! This easy recipe is will make about 1 scoop of ice-cream and uses ingredients easily found at home or at your grocery store.
- 1 pint size “Ziploc” bag
- 1 gallon size “Ziploc” bag
- Ice Cubes
- 6 tablespoons rock salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup milk (or half and half)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
How to make It
- Fill the gallon size Ziploc bag half full of ice and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
- Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the pint size Ziploc bag and seal it.
- Place the small Ziploc bag inside the large one and seal it carefully.
- Shake (vigorously) until the mixture is thick (ice-cream), which takes about 5 minutes.
- Wipe off the top of the small bag and open it carefully. ENJOY!