by Fran Connors
(Kansas City, USA)
Nobody ever said that having fun couldn’t be a learning experience as well. There are so many inexpensive ways to have fun with your kids and educate them at the same time. Learning together makes for smart kids and fond memories.
Your local library is the obvious place to start. Books provide unlimited knowledge and avenues to unknown destinations. Libraries offer lectures, movies, and storytellers for all ages usually for free or a modest admission charge. Be sure and ask about the annual librarybook sale. You and your children can amass countless books for almost nothing.
Take your children to a museum and you take them to discovery. Most towns have numerous museums exhibiting a wide range of subjects including natural history and art. Some of the more modern museums offer hands on or interactive exhibits. You can visit these museums often and see something different each time. Of course, don’t miss aquariums to teach your youngsters about creatures of the sea.
County or State Fairs are also filled with fun and learning. A visit can be very inexpensive if you avoid the rides and midway. Many free shows are presented each day ranging from swooping birds, dogs chasing a Frisbee to military bands. The various exhibits can be quite educational and include new cars and energy of the future. Check the fair’s website for special days when kids get in free.
Make a worm farm. This is a learning experience that could turn into a business. Worms can thrive in a properly made container and multiply quickly. They eat waste from the garden and table scraps. (Not meat or dairy.) Worms are easy to care for but you do have to keep the soil moist and provide good drainage. Your crop is excellent for fishermen and gardeners.
Children can learn a lot about life by visiting a nursing home. They don’t have to know anyone there. Most homes are asking for volunteers to come and visit with residents who are lonesome and have no family. It would be nice for visitors to bring greeting cards or some other small token to be given. Your visits would be appreciated.
Enroll your child in special classes such as art, dance, music or learning a new language.
Let the child’s obvious talent be your guide or encourage the youngster to step out of his comfort zone and learn a new skill. Many of these classes are held at community colleges or libraries and are free or reasonably priced.
Teach your children some of the games of your day such as throwing horseshoes or washers. These games can still be family favorites and cost nothing to play. Invite the neighbors over for family contests.
Become your kids’ favorite storyteller by relating tales of your childhood and theirs before they can remember. Tell them for instance what happened on the day they were born. Sharing is teaching; and families that learn together enjoy being together.