School may be five days a week, but when it comes to learning, no one should ever take a vacation. Even
on the weekends, when you’re home with your kids, there are fun and educational activities that you can
do. You don’t need a lesson plan, just a little bit of inspiration to point you into the right direction.
Take a Day Trip
Zoology is the study of animals. Why not take the kids to the zoo? If they’re in a science class, it’s always a
winner to visit a science museum. Maybe their teacher is educating them on botany (the study of plants).
If so, there are more and more places that are erecting community gardens. Or maybe they’re in an art
class. If so, when’s the last time that you checked out an art exhibit at a local gallery? The fun thing about
options like these is that while in a school setting, kids are often sitting at a desk and reading about
various subjects, an educational outing with the family, gives them more of a hands on experience in more
of relaxed setting.
Create Your Own Card Games
A little bit of construction paper can go a really long way. If you want to help develop a child’s memory,
get some magazines, cut out some pictures and glue them to some 5×7 index cards or cut some pieces
of paper down to that size. Turn the pictures over one at a time and then flip them back. See who can
remember which pictures were where. Another idea is if you want to help them learn how to read better,
another set of cards can be made with words on them that teach spelling, enunciation and the definitions.
For each word said and defined correctly, give a point and at the end of the game; to whomever has the
most points, give a prize. Another cool way to use handmade cards is to create your own scavenger hunt
that has instructions on the front like “Look in the hallway closet” or “Check underneath the kitchen table”
for items. What are your kids learning? How to follow directions.
Check Out Some Sports
OK, Dad will probably love this option, but there is a greater purpose in it all. Sports, from an
observational standpoint, are used for our amusement; however, both on and off of the field (or court),
they also teach valuable lessons about playing with others, how to win and lose well, the value of healthy
competition and it’s also physically beneficial to one’s health. As children get older, parents may consider
enrolling them into football or soccer; maybe even swimming or skating. Whatever the case may be, it
doesn’t hurt to take a child to a professional basketball game or tennis match. In seeing how the pros
do it, it can provide them with some firsthand insight on what do to or not do once they are playing for
You don’t need an MBA finance online degree to be able to teach your children one of the most valuable
things they will ever need to learn: how to be smart with money. Board games like “Monopoly”, “Payday”
and “Money Bags” are classic tools for teaching about finances and spending, but there are other creative
approaches. MoneyInstructor.com provides printable worksheets for teaching younger kids how to count
money and PracticalMoneySkills.com has a wealth of money-centered activities for teens.
If there’s ever an up close and personal way to learn about survival, it would be to go camping. If you
do it the old-fashioned way (with as few connections to technology as possible), one of the first things
that camping can teach a child is that there is actually life beyond a cell phone and laptop. Once they are centered in on nature, you might be able to instruct them on how to fish, build a fire, pitch a tent and all
kinds of other things. You never know, after a weekend without electricity, you might be surprised to see
your kids actually turn out lights in rooms they aren’t using. Or, after a day without Facebook, they might
prefer reading a book every once in a while. If camping can teach those kinds of things, it’s definitely
worth roughing it for a few days, right?