At Burgie MediaFusion, we not only help our clients with their marketing needs but we also want to help you as parents. More now than ever, we all have to stick together and find ways to entertain, educate and safely explore our surroundings with our kids this fall. Most schools appear to have adopted a hybrid approach with students attending school a couple of days and learning from home the other days. Or maybe you have chosen to homeschool this year. Since it seems most of us won’t be in school five days a week why not dedicate one day a week as an “Adventure Day” and disguise learning as fun?
What do you remember about summer camp and the fun you had every day? Tons of fun, collaboration, kitchen duty, arts and crafts, outdoor activities like archery, swimming and hiking, letter writing time, and more were all part of the camp experience. Unfortunately, many children missed out on the traditional camp experience this summer. So, we have gathered many ideas as part of a dedicated weekly or bi-weekly Adventure Day for you to hold with your children to supplement learning and have fun!
We embarked on a quest to find entertaining activities and adventures to help us all create novel and fun ways to provide creative opportunities for learning and exploring this fall. Some involve day trips, while others can be done at home. While some are truly “adventures”, others are disguised learning adventures. We hope you find value in this list!
A few extra thoughts:
Outside of Adventure Day, make a routine for as much of the week as you can once school begins. Kids thrive on routine and knowing what the day will hold goes a long way for their well-being. However, Adventure Day is just that—a day that doesn’t follow all the rules of the rest of the week. Choose if it’s going to involve learning or just be a fun day. We’ve complied many activities that easily are learning opportunities. We’ve also included a small list of educational websites for you as an added resource.
For all day trips, do your research beforehand to be sure areas are open, check if you need tickets and learn what safety measures are required.
- Hike at a Nature Preserve, Metro Park or State Park and observe trees, plants, birds, insects, creeks, or other features. Track mileage for an added math lesson. Take photos of unknown flora or fauna in order to identify them through a Google search when you get home.
- There are over 100 covered bridges in Ohio and a quick search will help you locate them. There are quite a few in Fairfield County and Union County. Knowing about the history of the bridge before you go will enrich the experience.
- Dawes Arboretum is a botanical paradise located near Newark. Between the Japanese garden, cypress swamp, and 12 miles of trails, you’ll easily find things to occupy your “students”.
- The Columbus Museum of Art is open (at the time of this blog) and waiting for you. If you have budding artists, this might be the time to visit.
- The Topiary Garden Park is sure to inspire discussions and creativity. You might even be inspired to create your own topiary at home!
- No season is complete without a trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Not only can you tour the gardens inside and out, but did you know there are walking paths behind the conservatory? Bring sketch pads and have your artists create their own interpretations of the plants. Or have them jot down an idea for a story based on one of the biomes.
- A trip to the Ancient Indian Earthworks will provide history, hiking, and amazement. A few of the better known sites include Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Serpent Mound, Seip Earthworks, Fort Ancient, and Newark Earthworks. Do a Google search to find information for each. Serpent Mound is not to be missed! Here is a website source for more mounds.
- Animals are the name of the game at The Wilds and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Make reservations ahead of time for both and revel in your kids’ excitement. Could this translate into a research project or story when you get home?
- Pick apples and then make pie, muffins, and jam. Combine a day of fun with some kitchen math.
- There’s something about waterfalls, wouldn’t you agree? Why not make it the fall of exploring Ohio’s waterfalls?
- “Fly” up to Mansfield and take advantage of the Ohio Bird Sanctuary. At this time, the Visitor Center is closed, but the Bird Display is open. Watch native birds and learn how they are being rehabilitated.
- Castles are an unexpected surprise in Ohio. Even if they aren’t all open, driving to them and exploring the grounds would be a fun day trip!
- A Storybook Trail is a fun way to hike and read at the same time!
When kids are at school, recess is an important part of their day. Outdoor play while schooling at home should be the same, whether it’s part of your Adventure Day or not!
- Leaves, chairs, outdoor toys, hula hoops, slides, branches, balls and more can become an outside obstacle course. If you’ve watched Netflix’s “Floor is Lava” you know exactly what we’re thinking. If your kids are old enough, involve them in the creation of the course.
- Put those tablets to work outside with some of these apps. Your kids will beg to go outside and “play”.
- Get out a timer and have your kids time themselves (and you!) while performing activities. How long can your child stand on one foot, bounce a basketball, jump rope, run across the yard and back? Involve your kids and have them come up with different movements and activities. It might be fun to create a chart and see if they can increase or decrease their times.
- Create a leaf or plant identification booklet from all of the leaves and flowers you find in and around your neighborhood (or from the photos from your day trip hikes.) Here is a fun idea to help you create your own plant identification booklet!!
- Download the Pocketsights app and choose your self-guided walking tour adventure. You’ll find new places to explore and learn some history as well. At each stop, you’ll read descriptions of the history and view other images. We found tours for Worthington, Walnut Grove Cemetery, the Route 33 Brew Trail (0K, parents-only for this one J), and Wildflower Walk in Dayton. There are many other sites listed, so if you’re traveling, check it out. Even if you don’t go anywhere, you can view photos and information about many places on the website. Bonus-your kids get versed in GPS!
- Organize a neighborhood scavenger hunt with your nearby parents. Everyone can locate interesting objects, plants, or other items in their front yards and send you the list. You could even involve the empty nesters in your neighborhood as well. Compile a list and send it to all of the kids in the area. The harder it is, the longer it will take, and the longer they will be outside having fun and learning. For younger kiddos, you could compile a list of photos for them to match to the real items.
- Why not create a neighborhood bulletin board near its entrance or in someone’s yard and post a question for the week? Once kids research and find the answer, they can post it to the board. It might be fun to have answers folded in half until everyone has had a chance to find the answer and post it. Then open them all up and show them off with fun stickers.
- Another way to share “facts” of the week would be to create signs in your neighborhood with something learned for the week. How much fun would neighborhood walks be with information to read on those nightly walks?
- Create pen pals within your neighborhood. Are there older people that would love a weekly note in their mailbox? Why not ask and see if they will be penpals with your kids? Maybe there are enough kids of similar ages in the neighborhood that can become pen pals. A weekly note placed in a custom made “mailbox” (art project!) will develop and enhance writing skills.
- Break down a large box and draw out a town, complete with roads and parking lots. Add blocks, LEGO houses, etc. to make it realistic. Practice right and left while “driving” to different locations. Identify north, south, east and west.
- Art class with trash: Get out the egg carton, boxes, or other materials and let the painting creativity happen.
- Hide math problems, words, or letters around the house on sticky notes. Use them to complete a task that is taped to the wall. For example, write answers to math problems on the sticky notes that can be matched with various math problems to be solved. Or, write sentences with missing words and the missing words can be found on the sticky notes.
- Facetime or Zoom with a relative or family friend and have your children read to them for 15 minutes. They don’t even need to read an actual book—check out these great things kids could read that go beyond books.
- If you have several children, have them create scavenger hunts for each other. Or, you create them! This engages both the brain and body. Make some of the clues open-ended, such as “something to stir milk with”. Create riddles as clues for older kids.
- Don’t forget the kitchen is ground zero for math and fun. Use these ideas to develop math and reading skills.
- Create a theme for the month and decorate the front door or windows.
- Use painter’s tape to create a hopscotch grid in the hallway or garage floor. Be creative and instead of writing numbers or letters, write words they can read while hopping. Or add up numbers when hopping.
- Empty plastic water bottles filled partway with some water, sand, or dirt can become instant bowling pins. Set up 10 bottles, grab a soft ball, and let the fun begin.
These are just a few of the many websites available to help your children explore and learn.
- We read about Wonderopolis over and over again—with good reason. These questions would be perfect to use for the neighborhood question and answer board!
- GoNoodle has some fun and interesting How To videos to spur learning and creativity. Click through to see even more ideas with games and more.
- ABCYa! Features fun educational games beginning with pre-K through 8th grade.
- Parents Magazine never disappoints and this list compiles some fun and interesting activities for your kids to try. We especially like the backyard spelling game and the egg in a bottle!
- Funbrain features fun educational games.
- Coolmath makes learning math fun. Games, lessons, and more.
Face it—science is either something we, as parents, are drawn to or it strikes fear in our veins. We found a few amazing websites to make science fun, inside or outside!
- Science Buddies asks a series of questions to find the perfect science project. This might really come in handy if your child’s teacher assigns a science project to be completed at home and then shared at school.
- HowStuffWorks provides simple explanations to all kinds of questions. Read it to younger students or challenge older kids to explore.
- National Geographic Kids is a fun way to learn about our planet and what makes it tick.
- Bill Nye The Science Guy explains science in a fun and engaging way.
- If you will be homeschooling for the first-time ever, check out these different models and unique programs that are available.
At the end of the day, we are all in this together and together we can do anything! We wish you the best this fall, encourage you to create some Adventure Days for your kiddos, and remind you to just breathe. None of this is easy. Reach out to each other, be kind, and always be supportive.