I recently listened to a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson regarding educating our children. He made the argument that in order for kids to learn, you have to engage their curiosity, individuality, and creativity. He then went on to make this brilliant analogy: Death Valley is the hottest, driest, and lowest place in the United States. No life is able to grow there, hence the name. However, in the winter of 2004-2005, Death Valley had massive rainfall. That spring, it was brought to life with a field of wild desert flowers. The seeds had been dormant, just below the surface.
Our children are uniquely wired and talented. They have their own passions and things that fill them with excitement. We need to help spark their curiosity so they can discover what gives them energy and their creativity can flourish. You can do that with the following kids’ activities. Here are 12 things you should do with your kids every year.
1. Go to a science museum.
“Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.” – John F. Kennedy
2. Go to a live performance.
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo
3. Volunteer with the less fortunate.
“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta
4. Experience an outdoor adventure.
“I am not fearless. I get scared plenty. But I have also learned how to channel that emotion to sharpen me.” -Bear Grylls
5. Visit a college or university.
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” -George Washington Carver
6. Take them to a sporting event.
“I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light a match.” -Mia Hamm
7. Visit a memorial or historic site.
“Not to know what happened before you were born is to remain forever a child.” -Cicero
8. Go to a zoo or aquarium.
“Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.” -Jack Hanna
9. Road trip with a hotel stay.
“Not all who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
10. Visit a government institution.
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.” -Abraham Lincoln
11. Take them to an art museum.
“The world is but a canvas to our imagination.” -Henry David Thoreau
12. Let them shadow you for a day.
“The apple does not usually fall far from the tree.” -Unknown
Sound off: What are things you think are important to do with your kids every year?
Huddle up with your kids and plan one of these activities.