Kids love to dig in the sand — whether at the beach or in the sandbox in your own backyard. This summer, wherever they are playing in the sand, make it a learning experience. Supply your kids with containers in different sizes and shapes, as well as measuring cups to encourage early math skills. Also check out the Sift & Find Number Shells (Lakeshore Learning, $25) for your little ones to build number skills as they play in the sand. We also love the Around the World Sand Mold Set (Lakeshore Learning, $15) for teaching kids about some of the amazing structures around the globe.
Moms hate all those pesky bugs in the summertime, but for kids, they can be a whole lot of fun. Let your children go on a backyard bug hunt and supply them with some tools to catch their critters. You can start with a good old fashioned bug jar, or get a little more high tech with things like the Lazer Light Bug Vacuum (Amazon Prime, $15) and other gear from Backyard Safari Outfitters. Your kids will love all these cool tools, from the Mantis Mansion to the Land & Water Habitat. Catching bugs in your own backyard (or while hiking and camping) is more fun than any science class!
Even if you don't have the money to take a big family vacation this summer, your kids can still take a memorable trip. Visit your local landmarks and sightsee like a tourist, or head to the library to learn more about your city or state's history. Your children can also take a virtual trip across the country (or around the world) with Little Passports (LittlePassports.com, $11.95+ a month) — an educational subscription box service. Each monthly package is filled with plenty of fun goodies — as well as access to online games and hands-on activities — to teach your child about culture, geography, history and language in an enjoyable way.
Your kids don't have to wait until junior high or high school to learn a foreign language these days. In fact, children pick up languages much more quickly when they are younger — so experts recommend you start early. Many parents are considering educational options like Spanish-immersion preschool and language academies for their young kids. If you are thinking about introducing your children to a new language this summer, check out Early Lingo. These DVD sets (Amazon, $84+) are offered in six different languages and are geared toward kids ages 6 months to 6 years old.
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