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Three Topics for Your Kids to Explore This Summer

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Written by Monica

photo by me'nthedogs

Just because summer is here doesn’t mean the learning stops. Instead, it provides parents with a wonderful opportunity to let their kids explore subjects they may not normally be exposed to in school. Here are three topics your child may have fun learning about…

The Beach
Even if you don’t make it to the coast this summer, your children might enjoy discovering fun facts about the beach. From sand dollars to tidal waves, lighthouses to sea glass, this coastal habitat is full of exciting organisms and other objects. Beef up your child’s science skills by thinking up ways to extract salt from seawater, or let your child practice his math skills by letting him sort seashells.

Resources:
Seashore(One Small Square) by Donald Silver and Patricia Wynne. One Small Square is an excellent series of books featuring beautiful, full-color illustrations of each habitat and its creatures, as well as experiments and activities. Each book in this series is a picture field guide of the habitat for children and includes a glossary-index and resource list.

Seashore(Eyewitness Videos) by DK Publishing. DK’s award-winning Eyewitness Video series, now on DVD! From crashing waves and blasting winds to placid tide pools, discover what makes our coastlines so alluring to the masses of wildlife and humans who gather there in this video.

Seashore Life Nature Activity Book: Educational Games & Activities for Kids of All Ages (Children’s Nature Activity Book) by James Kavanagh. Designed to complement the K–12 curriculum, this entertaining activity book features dozens of nature-related games, quizzes, and classroom activities that engage children in seashore life, nature, and natural sciences.

The Stars
Exploring space is always a fascinating topic for kids. Learning about the planets in our solar system (Did you know Pluto is no longer considered a planet?), or the life of a star can capture a child’s imagination instantly. My children really love learning about the constellations and the stories behind each one.

Resources:
LeapFrog Tag Solar System Adventure Pack – If you have a TAG reader, this pack is a lot of fun and teaches about orbits, dwarf planets, comets, and much, much more.

The Magic School Bus: The Secrets of Space by The Young Scientists Club – This fun activity pack lets your kids construct a night-vision flashlight, design a solar system mobile, build a constellation box, and draw constellation cards.

Leap Into Space (Kids Can!) by Nancy Castaldo. An out-of-this-world book with intriguing experiments, engaging illustrations, amazing facts, photographs of space, and lots of ideas for things to do. Perfect for children ages 8 – 13.

The Ocean
Down in the ocean lies an underwater world full of beauty and mystery. Help your children explore and discover the amazing creatures that live in the sea, as well as learn about how oceans are formed and why they are important for our planet.

Resources:
Professor Noggin’s Life in the Ocean – Card game that explores underwater life.

1-2-3 Draw Ocean Life by Freddie Levin – Each step is carefully shown and finished in full color.

Oceans: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9 by Nancy Castaldo – You don’t have to be near the ocean to complete all of the activities in this book! Kids can carve a polar bear in soap, play an echolocation game, and test various ways to clean up an oil spill.

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Monica

Monica es la fundadora y publisher de MommyMaestra.com, un sitio para familias latinas que hacen educación en casa y también familias con niños en escuelas tradicionales que quieren un rol activo en la educación de sus hijos. Ganadora del premio "Mejor Bloguera Latina de Educación 2011" de LATISM.

  • Mia C

    You’re so right about this. I’ve noticed lately my girl likes to go out on the deck at nights and just look at the stars. I was planning to surprise her with a telescope, but I think I’m going to get her started with your recommendation, the LeapFrog Tag Solar System Adventure Pack. If I can get her to actually spend some time on learning about what fascinates her, then the next logical move would be to get her a telescope. I’ll try to make this summer a fun summer for her, but I’ll make sure to make this a learning experience as well.

    • http://www.MommyMaestra.com/ Monica

      Great Mia! I hope everyone realizes that learning doesn’t mean boring! My son loves the LF Solar System Adventure Pack so much. And a telescope would send him over the moon. :)

  • Ramon

    My vacation’s coming up and I’m taking my kids to the beach this summer! I’m going to buy the book Seashore and make it our little guide for the summer on the beach. I might just grab a used metal detector to make things more fun and interesting for my kids. I never thought of turning our vacation into our own little science trip, but this summer’s definitely going to be different.

    • http://www.MommyMaestra.com/ Monica

      A metal detector is such a good idea! Wish I had listed that. Have fun on vacation!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenna.tomaszewski.35 Jenna Tomaszewski

    I’ve never heard of sea glass, now I have something to look into as well. I’m excited to see what those
    activities are like to see if I could use them for my preschoolers! I do love the beach theme, could certainly carry into the school year. 

    • http://www.MommyMaestra.com/ Monica

      I have never seen sea glass in person. But I have seen some beautiful pictures! And yes, this is definitely a theme that could be used in the classroom…