Ten Cheap Educational Activities For Children

Educational activities for children that are inexpensive, imaginative and fun for the entire family. Ten great ideas from an elementary teacher!

Want to get your child interested in learning? Afraid that the cost of summer camp is beyond your budget? Can't afford to spend lots of money on educational software? Don't worry. You don't need money to participate in fun, imaginative, and educational activities with your child.

Here are ten great ways to have fun and expand your family's knowledge base!

1. Tune into a classical radio station. Play it loudly outside in your backyard. Encourage your children to imagine that they are the music. Have them dance to it. Have them march to it. The louder the better! Alternate radio stations. Listen to classical for a while and dance to it, then find a jazz station. Dance to that. Now, find a rock station. Dance! Dance to a country western station, too. Discuss how the different kinds of music made you feel and dance. You've just danced your kinds through a music appreciation 101 class!

2.Attend summer story hours at your local library. These are generally free. Then, get a family library card and check out some books!

3. Most local libraries now carry educational videos. Find one that you all want to watch and check it out. There is usually a small fee for this, but most libraries return the fee when you return the video on time.

4. Go to the beach. Collect seashells, driftwood, feathers, etc. Take them home. Now, create a found art project with your treasures. Encourage your children to get create with these projects. Have an "art show" when everyone finishes. Serve tea, juice, and cookies. Discuss each artwork and then, hang them in the family art gallery. (Ours is our refrigerator.)

5. Visit a state park. Make arrangements to meet the rangers. Most have free activities for junior rangers. Have a picnic when you're done!

6. One of my all time favorites, this is not for the faint of heart. It's messy, but totally cleanable. Spray shaving creme all over your kitchen table. Write poems in it. Play hangman in it. Draw pictures in it. Get it all over you. Laugh. Take photos. Clean up.

7. Buy a few inexpensive packets of seeds. Plant them. Keep a family plant journal. Experiment with the plants. What happens if you put one in the sun and keep one in the shade? Water one a lot and one a little?

8. Watch Bill Nye the Science Guy on television. Recreate some of his experiments. Be ready to laugh, sigh, and oooh and aaah over the wonders of science.

9. Go out late at night and lay in the grass. Look up at the stars and find the constellations. Name as many as you can. If you don't know any, get a book on astronomy from the library. There's nothing more magical than staring up at the stars on a warm summer night!

10. Look into local history. Visit your chamber of commerce. They often have lots of free pamphlets on interesting local topics and tourist attractions. Learn about your own community! You might discover more than you realize.

These are all easy, inexpensive ways to foster a love of learning in your child. Try them out. I guarantee that if you start at number one and work your way down, not only will you learn something, you'll have a great time!

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