Just because it is summer doesn’t mean it is a time to be physically and mentally lazy. We support our kids as they participate in summer sports in addition to enrolling them in a park program so they’re outside and active. Last summer we did a few single day activities but this year we stepped it up. We enrolled them in a few different week-long educational camps and also have a visit to Space Camp on the schedule.
All those activities still leave heaping gaps in their schedule. As you know, we regularly play games, including strategy and educational games to keep their brains active. We’ve discovered some amazing ones that are not only enjoyable for the kids but also for adults. Sumoku, Ambiguity and Boxcars are among our favorites.
Unfortunately, we have work to do so we can’t be engaged with them all the time. We’ve set rules regarding screen time and as long as they are making choices of educational shows and apps we bend the rules a bit.
As I mentioned previously, the girls love watching documentaries with us. Together, we watch shows about gem hunting, outer space or shows demonstrating how products or food are made. Recently, sushi was the subject matter of the one. Documentaries offer real-life stories with real-life lessons. Blackfish, as well as a documentary about the life of a superstar: Katy Perry: Part of Me, are both on our Netflix watch list.
The kids need shows they can watch on their own so we can get something accomplished. Ever since Miss M first discovered radar, she has shown an interest in all-things weather. She regularly monitors it on her iPad as well as watching the news reports when storms are approaching. Despite living in the middle of the country, she’s well informed of what hurricane is where. Storm Surfers is the perfect show for her and one that she can stream while we’re doing other things.
Of course, we can’t forget the importance of learning about space, history and exploration. Netflix offers a great selection of informative shows such as Lewis & Clark: The Journey Out West, Walking with the Dinosaurs and When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions.
Young kids don’t need to miss out on educational shows. The Magic School Bus, LeapFrog Math and BusyTown Mysteries are just a small sampling of what is available for kids to stream during the summer months. Incorporate educational games like Robot Turtles into your schedule to help balance their screen time.
Encourage kids to be active, have fun and learn… even though it’s summer.