KEEPING THE LEARNING GOING

Summer Time Educational Activities That Your Kids Will Love!

Finally, the sun is shining, the grass is getting greener, and school is almost out for summer! Just because school is coming to an end, does not mean that learning has to come to an end as well. In fact, summer break is a great way for children to discover new hobbies and have time for outdoor exploration. Below, you will find a few activities that you and your children can do together to keep the learning going.

4-27-15 gardening-with-kids-landscape-design-landscaping-tips-ideas-3648x2736The first activity, a garden tour, requires little to no preparation and is a great way to get your kids engaged. If you have a nice variety of plants in your backyard, you are ready for the tour! The three simple materials you will need are wooden Popsicle sticks, a permanent paint pen, and a book from the library with pictures of various types of plants. Your children will then walk around the area and try to guess the plants they see. It is encouraged for them to match up the plants they see to the pictures in the book. Then, they can use the popsicle sticks and pen to label each plant and place the popsicle sticks in the soil accordingly. Next time guests come over, your children can lead them through their own personalized garden tour right in your own backyard!

4-27-15 compost binThis next activity, will surely keep your children busy. Nothing makes a garden grow faster like rich and fertile soil. Instead of going out to the store to buy a bag of fertilizer, why not use items you can find in and around your home to make your own fertilizer, courtesy of a compost pile. A compost pile is a collection of natural waste, which will be broken down in two categories, brown and green waste, that decomposes with the help of microorganisms.

In regards to the two types of waste, brown waste are dead, dried plant parts like leaves and pine needles. While green waste are fresh, living parts like grass clippings, vegetables scraps, and other types of plants. You simply start with a layer of soil at the bottom of the bin, which will collect all of the nutrition that is being decomposed from the brown and green waste. Once you and your child have put a layer of soil at the bottom, add layers of brown and green waste. After completing the green layer, water the compost to make the bin inviting to the microorganism. Complete the layering process of soil, brown waste, green waste, and water until the bin is full. Compost piles can vary in size, especially if size is an issue for you. You can make a large one using a gated compost bin, or smaller size by using a milk-jug. The variations are endless!

Since summer break will be here in no time, it is important to keep educational summer plans for your children in mind. With these fun, hands-on activities, your children will appreciate the summer sun, while most importantly, keeping the learning going!

SamarSamar Dabneh
Illinois State University

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