Summer vacation is here, which means time for fun in the sun in much of the country. In Arizona, however, temperatures often exceed 100 degrees, and too much sun exposure could prove dangerous, especially for our younger children. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways you can have fun inside this summer when extreme temperatures keep you from the pool or other traditional summer activities. Beat the summer swelter and make summer special for your children by trying one of these enriching indoor activities.
Or at least get children making cool treats. Research shows that children who participate in the food preparation process are more likely to try new things and eat a well-balanced diet. We know how important healthy eating is to attentive learning in school and memory retention, so get your creative juices flowing. Some of our favorite ideas include homemade popsicles with fresh or frozen fruit, hand-squeezed lemonade, and parfaits with fresh berries and cream. Let your kids get creative, pick out their own produce at the grocery store or farmers market, and pick a recipe!
Take a Field Trip
Tucson’s local cultural attractions offer a reprieve from the oppressive summer heat and will engage your children’s minds. The Tucson Museum of Art is a great place for older children, while preschoolers and early grade schoolers can try hands-on activities at the Children’s Museum of Tucson.
If you’re looking for an option that’s totally cost-free, try enrolling your student in a summer reading program through the Tucson Public Library system. Libraries run enrichment programs throughout the summer months to keep kids engaged and to spark a love of reading.
Try a DIY Day
STEM and STEAM projects don’t have to be complex or complicated. Children can learn about the basic properties of science and math while using their imaginations – and having fun in the process! Make your own water wheel, create a batch of (safe!) fireworks for the Fourth of July, or even create magic sand. These activities open great conversations about physics, nature, and even fire safety. Find your perfect STEM project.
Get Involved in the Community
Summer can also be a great time to encourage your children to become active members of the community. Have them choose a favorite cause – whether it’s helping care for dogs at the local animal shelter or giving food to a food bank – and help them create positive change in their own neighborhood. Some of our favorite ideas include donating some of their old toys to others in need or hosting a garage sale and donating the proceeds to a favorite organization.
Indoor summer fun doesn’t have to equal screen time and boredom. Get your kids engaged this season by involving them in enriching, cultural, and imaginative activities. They’ll have a blast – and won’t even realize they’re learning something new. Happy summer!