Looking for more to do this summer? Our guest blogger Jenny Baisly shares some fun, creative and educational activities in Saratoga County. Check out her top three local attractions!
Summer is here and as a Mom I am lining up my calendar with fun educational activities for my daughter. It’s so important that we as parents help our children retain the information they have learned in school during the warm summer months. We want our children to appreciate and value the education they receive and to provide them with meaningful learning experiences.
There are several local attractions where important learning can take place for your child. Here are just a few!
Keep your child’s interest in local history by visiting the Saratoga Battlefield. Take some books out at the library about The Battle of Saratoga, go for a hike and read the informative boards they have all around the beautiful National Park. Get a map of the park and teach your child about the significance of the areas that you are walking. There is a great museum at the Battlefield where you and your child can learn more about the area. Be excited about what you’re learning too.
Young children emulate our feelings. Be interested, ask questions that you really want to know, and figure it out together.
The battlefield is also a great resource for helping your child learn about nature. Have him or her create a nature journal. Take cardstock paper and punch holes in it, tie some yarn through the holes and the child can wear it around his neck, so he has his hands free to explore. Have him or her draw what they see. Bring dollar store magnify glasses, gloves, etc. I recently purchased an old Polaroid camera for a dollar at a second hand store. I stashed it a way for when my daughter is older so she can take pictures as she explores and put them in her journal. Bring anything you can find that will encourage your child to become an excited nature explorer.
There are several activities that you can do at home to reinforce the concepts your child learned about The Battle of Saratoga. Make a Venn diagram on Poster board about the difference between now and then. For example you could focus on transportation. Cut out a picture of a horse and a car to put at the top of your Venn diagram, have your child note the differences and similarities, you could do this with the weapons they used or the clothes they wore in battle. The options are endless!
Your local farmers market is a great way to teach your child many concepts! Your first-grader learned about the parts of a plant in her science class this year. Make a list of the parts before you head out and make it a fun game to find all of the parts as you visit each vendor. Look for the lettuce, carrots, spinach, radishes, and sunflower seeds. When you go home label each part you found on a poster board! You could turn this into a cooking project and have your child assemble his salad with each part of a plant.
Write a recipe for him to follow before you head out. By following the recipe and letting your child be responsible for money transactions on these trips you are reinforcing very important math skills.
When at the farmers market you can also encourage your child to ask questions to the farmers. Ask questions yourself. Again, what you find interesting your child will find interesting.
The Wonder Room
The Wonder Room is a place that as a parent I was so happy to find. It is located in Ballston Lake. The Wonder Room is a family-friendly place that offers young children opportunities to learn through free play and art.
Children are given the chance to freely explore and learn by using manipulative materials, art supplies, books, and imaginative play objects. The Wonder Room is geared for children age 3 and older. However, I love taking my 19 month old to The Wonder Room. She loves using the art supplies, creating with the play dough, and taking on the challenge of completing a puzzle. As long as your child is supervised any age is welcome.
The Wonder Room gave me some great ideas for home. In the manipulative material room there are wooden letter blocks with cut out pictures on the block of objects that start with that letter. What a great way to teach a new talker or new reader letters and the sounds those letter make. I have used poster board at home to create teaching boards that imitate the boards I have seen on the walls at The Wonder Room. These boards teach feelings, transportation, colors, etc. This is a great place to take your preschool graduate the summer before Kindergarten. We want to keep our children’s’ interest high and keep important concepts and skills alive in their minds!
Each area at The Wonder Room carries a different theme and offers plenty of opportunity for endless learning. It is also a very budget friendly business. It costs $5 to play and you could stay the entire day if you’d like.
We have the power and responsibility to offer our children meaningful learning experiences. The above mentioned are just a few of many places that provide an environment conducive to learning and exploring. Think outside of the box. Know what your children need improvement on and plan a trip that will help him or her work on those skills. Make it fun! Create memories! They will only be young once.
Hi! My name is Jenny Baisley. I am from Troy, NY but have found solace living in town of Schaghticoke. I am happily married and a stay at home mom to a curious, mischievous, beautiful twenty month old girl, Callen. I hold a Masters in Educational Psychology and I love to write. I’m always looking to learn more about parenting and to meet other Moms. I am so excited to be a guest blogger on SaratogaMama.