**This post has been sponsored by Trinity Christian Academy to bring you this experience.**
You may find yourself in a battle of wills this summer with kids who want to spend time on screens instead of enjoying the sunshine and lazy days at the swimming pool. Even though they may love playing outside, sometimes kids would rather stay inside and use one of the many devices we all have in our homes. Don’t despair! Time online doesn’t have to be spent on mindless video games; there are also incredible learning opportunities available to us when using technology.
One of the biggest responsibilities we have, as parents, is to teach kids to use technology wisely. Technology can be a great learning tool if we teach our kids to use it correctly.
Here are some amazing, educational things you can do with your kids online this summer:
- Take a virtual field trip: Using technology, you can tour museums or other sights around the world. Many museums and popular tourist sites offer virtual experiences. Try the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History or Scholastic’s Virtual Field Trip to Ellis Island. Amazing works of art and natural wonders can be at your fingertips!
- Become a filmmaker: Kids can create movies about what they are doing in the summer. Download iMovie or Apple Clips or another movie-making app. Kids can add in family photos and video clips from trips you take together.
- Help with cooking: Let your kids find a new recipe they would like to try, create a grocery list and then help you make it. Activities like this give you an opportunity to teach your kids how to navigate the web as they use search engines to find information they are looking for. You can also come up with your own food challenge, similar to what you see on the Food Network’s Chopped Junior.
- Start a blog: Give kids a creative outlet to share what they are doing in the summer with friends and family. Writing and publishing online provides many opportunities for families to discuss what it means to be a good digital citizen. Mashable.com has great tips on helping your child set up a blog. It even includes advice on digital citizenship.
- Learn something new: Websites, such as Khanacademy, offer hundreds of video-based lessons about topics ranging from science to math to geography.
- Teach yourself and your child to code: The website code.org offers several computer science lessons for kids to learn how to program computers, build apps and create digital art.
So, on those steamy summer days when it’s just too hot to be outside, sit down with your child and explore the world of learning online!
Kelli Duhaney is the Lower School Technology Teacher at Trinity Christian Academy. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Pepperdine University. She and her husband, Robert, have three children.
Holly Hatton is the Middle School Library Media Specialist at Trinity Christian Academy. She has a bachelor’s degree in classics from Baylor University and a master’s in library sciences from Texas Woman’s University. She and her husband, Carter, have two children.