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Happy Family Habit #6: Teach Your Kids Something Cool - part of an awesome series on how to be a happier family 21 days at a time.

Happy Family Habit #6: Taking the Time to Teach Your Kids Something New

We took a brief break from our Happy Family Habits series in July because a lot of you guys (and a lot of our team) were vacationing with the fam, and that in and of itself is a happy family habit to be celebrated!  But we’re back now with habit #6.  Ready to give it a go for the next 21 days?  (And if you’re new to this series – check out all 6 Happy Family Habits here.)

Summer is a blessing and a curse.  You don’t have to be out the door at a certain time and there’s no lunches to pack.  But managing all that energy for 12 hours a day can be a little challenging.  When we are home for the summer, I try to be strategic about planning our days.

Down time is great, but too much of it can lead to boredom and bickering.  Planning in a few new activities stimulates the kids.  They might even forget they are learning something new!  Just like school, but without the classroom.

This summer, the new things we’ve learned  range from pretty simple to a little more involved.  One day, we shopped at an Asian market instead of our local Ralph’s.  It was an adventure and we ended up looking up all the interesting fruits and vegetables we saw.  Did you know the jack fruit can weigh up to 80 pounds!?

Exploring your own neighborhood is another great way to teach the kids something new.  We live close to Signal Hill and I know the area has a lot of rich history.  So, we took the hike and the kids took turns reading the signs that talk about what Long Beach was like decades ago.

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Visiting museums is a perfect summer activity to teach new things.  To really make it a purposed learning activity, I like to create a scavenger hunt list for the kids.  They especially like it when I put the list on their mobile devices.  To make the list, I look up the museum’s website and find out about the current exhibits.  We usually have to drive a bit to go to a museum, so I end the day at a new ice cream place and we talk about what we learned over a fun treat.

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Teaching something new can also be meaningful.  One day we helped package meals with Kids Around the World.  The representative taught us about hungry children around the world.  We learned about what went into each meal packet and how it would help the children around the world.  My kids still talk about that experience.

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Planning these events in advance help ensure they will happen.  Because summer is a blur and before we know it, we’re back at school.  Take the time to plan in a new activity each week and you’ll make this summer memorable!

 

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P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and connect with your family?


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Kristin is a former teacher turned children’s photographer in southern California. Visit her website to read all about her adventures in photography, cooking, and her love of style.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jenskidsadventures August 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Thanks for the great suggestions for finding teachable opportunities. Even as an adult, I try to learn something new every day. It never stops.

Jack Fruit… 80 pounds?! Check it off for today!

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angela August 3, 2013 at 7:32 am

Did your kids try the jack fruit? We currently live in Asia and this fruit is pretty good but my kids won’t eat it. Did your Asian store have any Durian fruit? It is probably one of the smelliest (read stinkiest) fruits I have come across and definitely has a love it or hate it flavor!

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