Remember when ants were fascinating, back when our faces weren’t so very, very high up from the ground?
One of my earliest summer memories is sitting on the warm sidewalk in front of our house, watching the ants scurry, and making up little stories about their lives. While we of course had games and dolls and building blocks in the house, summer was a season ripe with exploration and creativity that many times stemmed from tidal waves of boredom.
How many times did we say, “Mom, I’m so bored”? And the response would come back: “Go find something to do.”
So we would head outside and suddenly find a spark of an idea in something we had been staring at while we pouted; a pile of dirt or sand…or ants. Some kids might make up stories, some might discover an interest in science, and still others might find inspiration to build something.
These days, we hear about summer slide; that loss of learning that happens when brains live outside of the classroom for three months. But keeping kids’ brains engaged doesn’t only come from the pages of a workbook or formal lessons. As you’ll see on page 40, a chance to learn a new life skill or do chores or dig in the dirt also keeps the synapses firing.
After you’ve empowered the kids to discover a few things on their own, look to the activities, camps, and trips in this issue to make them think in different ways. Maybe pick an art camp from page 27, a STEAM toy from page 16, or plan a trip from the list on page 30.
Whatever you plan to do this summer, please don’t forget the ants.