Middle of Summer
…and our brains are mush
Cloud School Kids love to look at clouds and find the “hidden” shapes and animals. Show them another way to look at the sky. Teach your tots what it means when the clouds are fluffy, wispy, or low. Show them how they can observe the sky in the evening and predict what the weather will be like the next day. The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research has great cloud lessons and games for kids on its website (eo.ucar.edu/webweather).
International Day Pick a country and try its food, dress, and even language for the day. “England Day” could feature fish sticks and french fries for dinner… but call it fish-and-chips and wrap it in newspaper. Have your kids try talking in a Harry Potter accent. Draw the British flag and find the country on the map. Next time pick an even less familiar country, like Morocco or Nigeria.
Factory Tours Who doesn't want to know how things are made? Factories across the country open their doors to curious visitors, who can watch things like kazoos and crayons being produced. Visit factorytoursusa.com and see what's near you…or what's worth a trip.
We've got to get outta here!
Imaginary Vacations Take your tots to the closest airport where you don't have to go through security to watch jet planes take off, and make up fanciful stories about where they're going and who's on board. Discuss all the places you'll want to travel to someday.
Anywhere But Here Familiarity can breed boredom, so try casting your net just a little wider. If your county has a parks system that includes a network of public pools, try going to one you've never been to before. Or pick a nearby town you've never explored and check out the parks, stores, and restaurants there.
Retro Amusement Parks Forgo the ginormous roller coasters—and long lines—of high-tech amusement parks for old-fashioned parks with smaller Ferris wheels, steam-engine train rides, antique carousels, and wooden roller coasters. Even big kids will appreciate how many more rides they can go on in a single afternoon. For a directory of theme parks and amusement parks across the country, visit themeparkcity.com/USA_index.htm.