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If you’re a parent and… weather interrupts vacation

Posted by on June 16, 2014.

Today is the last day of school – let summer vacation begin!

Planning child care, camps, vacations, work obligations, and family visits has been a three month process. And we all know that despite these best-laid plans, our carefully structured calendar will be rocked by the unforeseeable – beach days interrupted by afternoon thunderstorms or rainy days at the lake.

So what do you do? We find a local museum.

Museums can be intimidating – expensive, big, quiet, and reserved – certainly not friendly to young children wanting to play and older children wanting to be far from their families. Here are a few activities to make the museum visit an easier sell and to boost reading and writing and fight the “summer slide.”

"Deer" and "Moose" journal entries from a trip to the Fairbanks Museum
Journal entries from a trip to the Fairbanks Museum (www.fairbanksmuseum.org)
  1. Bring crayons and paper. Setting your kids up to draw their favorite item helps build observation skills and inspires them to ask questions
  2. Tell a story. There are great books that tell the story of an object’s life. Have your kids pick an object and imagine what path it took to get to a museum. Or pick a painting and have your child tell you a story about what is happening.
  3. Make it a game. Come up with an easy list of things for your children to find – examples might be something blue, made by hand, made by machine, worn on your body, or used in the home. When they finish, have each child show the family what they found.
  4. Check out Visual Thinking Strategy. The strategy is based on asking questions – we all know how good kids can be at this. I would rather have them ask questions at a museum than asking me when the weather will improve!

For some great museum-related books, check out our book list. Happy summer!

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