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Summer Field Trips to Keep Young Minds Active

Summer is a great time for continuing your child's education. Whether your students are in school or at home, it's important to prevent boredom by keeping their young minds active. Taking field trips is an exciting way to inspire both curiosity and creativity, even while on break from school. Students can gain knowledge while enjoying the time spent bonding with friends, family or classmates. Here are a few field trip ideas to help beat the heat and promote learning throughout the summer:

1. Science centers

Science centers allow children of all ages to explore different phenomena in stimulating ways. Many science centers not only have spaces to walk around and read about science and technology, but they also provide hands-on activities for students to engage directly with the material. These centers often use new media and interactive technology to help students enjoy learning about science and engineering. Check if your local center has any rotating exhibits in the summer that may call for more than one field trip. Some science centers have costly entrance fees; inquire about group rates or discounted days to help reduce costs.

2. Museums

If you look up your city's local museums, you may be surprised at the diversity you find. Museums of all sizes and topics are available to entertain and educate kids. Art museums not only help reinforce knowledge of art history and artistic principles, but they can also help introduce students to concepts in history. Look for free or low-cost art museum activities that nourish children's creative interests. Young children and adults alike are often amazed by natural history museums, where students can see dinosaurs and examples of evolution, anthropology, archaeology and the environment. You may also discover that your city provides tours of historical homes dedicated to events or people related to your area. Don't forget to seek out children's museums, which encourage exploration and manipulation of exhibits in a fun, informal environment.

3. Your state capitol

A field trip to your state's capitol and legislative buildings can be exciting and educational. It can introduce your young student to concepts of governance, the legal system, laws and civic duty. You'll likely see several monuments as well as art around state capitol buildings, which provides an opportunity to discuss important historical figures and events that shaped your state's history. Most state legislatures offer information online about tours. You can generally complete a self-guided tour for small groups, but try to schedule a formal tour to get the most information out of your trip. Depending on when your state legislature is in session, elected officials may be in the building. Stop by your local official's office to teach your child more about how the public can influence public policy.

Brenna Tonelli is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a platform for private academic tutoring and test prep designed to help students at all education levels achieve academic excellence. The company operates a curated marketplace for high-quality tutors and builds mobile learning apps, online tutoring environments, and other tutoring and test prep-focused technologies.