5 Fun and Educational Family Activities to Try This Weekend

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by: Jessica Thiefels

As a parent, you want your kids to learn as much as they can outside of the classroom while also having fun. Instead of the typical go-to weekend activities of television and video games, try these easy and affordable ways to make weekends fun and educational for children of all ages.

Take a Hike
Take a Hike
The best way to disconnect and encourage learning outdoors is with a weekend hike.

Instead of using your cell phones to answer your nature questions, find a scavenger hunt template online that you can take with you. This makes it feel less like learning and more like a game. You can even offer a prize for finding or identifying every item on the list. Try this printable template.

Turn Your Kitchen Into a Pop-Up Restaurant
Turn Your Kitchen Into a Pop-Up Restaurant
Help your kids fine-tune their basic cooking skills, learn how to follow directions, practice their math skills, and develop organizational skills with a “pop-up restaurant” challenge.

Start on Friday night by creating a menu together — you can get ideas for appetizers, dinner and dessert with these kid-friendly recipes. Set a budget and go shopping on Saturday. Help your child organize all the food, and discuss timing of the cooking, how to set the table, what dishes will be needed, and any other small details. Finally, become the sous chef while your little one whips up dinner on Sunday for the family.

Visit Your Local Aquarium
Visit Your Local Aquarium
Studies have shown aquariums play a vital role in educating the public on the importance of conservation of natural habitats for aquatic creatures. Kids are able to experience a stronger connection to nature and can learn about their role in the environment around them. It’s also fun for them (and you!) to see the different aquatic animals that they’ve learned about in school.

Use this list of aquariums to find one near you, and check to see if your local aquarium offers teacher discounts.

Conduct Your Own Science Experiment
Conduct Your Own Science Experiment
Many kids learn best by making something happen with their own two hands. Plan an experiment around what your child is currently learning about in science class, or ask your child if there is anything specific he wants to test. This will encourage him to discover his passion rather than feeling like he’s just spending more time learning about classroom topics.

Most science experiments can be done at home with a few basic household items. You can also refer to Pinterest for an endless list of creative ideas.

A few fun categories include:

Plan a Vacation
Plan a Vacation
If you’re planning a family vacation, bring your child into the planning process. She will practice budgeting, research and reading skills, and being involved with the planning process will make her feel like she’s making big vacation decisions (how exciting!).

To start, decide where you’re going to go and what your budget will allow.

Give your child 2-3 potential vacation spots and have her research the potential costs of each location. Ask her to read reviews, check the landmarks or cities you will be traveling through, and create a presentation about what she’s learned.

Making weekends fun and educational is easier than you might think. The best part: you’ll be spending quality time together as a family.