Kids vegging out in front of the tube too much this summer? Head on over to Montana Parent’s terrific website and check out my new article, “10 Ways to Prevent Brain Drain,” for expert tips on keeping your kids’ brains engaged during these lazy days. (They’ll have so much fun, they won’t even realize their synapses are popping, I promise.) Here’s a sample:
• Learn cool science tricks with the Surfing Scientist. At www.abc.net.au/science/surfingscientist/tricks.htm, Australian physics instructor (and surfer) Ruben Meerman shows kids how to amaze their friends by lifting a marble off a table by touching it only with a glass, making an ice cube necklace, turning an empty soft drink can into a twirling ballerina and much more. (Younger kids will need assistance.)
• Have fun with grocery-store math. Visit http://printables4kids.com/grocery-cart-math to turn a trip to the grocery store into a fun learning experience. Before you head to the store, ask the kids to use the printable worksheet to estimate prices for items on your list. Once there, have your kids check out the actual price for each item. Then get those math skills working as they calculate the difference between the estimated price and the real price. (And talk about a great way to teach kids the importance of family budgeting. With the price of groceries these days, you’d think Lucky Charms would come with a real pot of gold!)
• Take younger kids to the post office. Talk with your child about “snail mail” and how it’s different from e-mail. Tell her about the Pony Express (visit the Pony Express National Museum website at www.ponyexpress.org) and the different ways mail is delivered today — by plane, train, boat, etc., suggests Don Schilling, editor of The Stamp Collecting Round Up (www.stampcollectingroundup.blogspot.com). “Let your child pick out some stamps she thinks are interesting. When you get home, write a letter together and use one of the stamps your child selected,” Schilling adds. Talk with your child about starting a stamp collection.
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