Kids reminded to exercise their brains

Monday is National Summer Learning Day, a day set aside to remind kids to keep their brains busy and entertained during the summer months.

Here are a few ways to help make education a part of daily life even when school isn’t.

Science: The Western Colorado Math and Science Center, 2660 Unaweep Ave., offers science camps and a variety of exhibits to peruse during a day trip. While camping or hiking in places such as Grand Mesa or Colorado National Monument, be sure to take a detour to the visitor center for lessons on wildlife and geology.

English: Libraries are a great place to get out of the sun and into a good book. The Mesa County Public Library summer reading program offers everything from reading and writing clubs and storytelling to lessons on henna and water safety.

Art: For days of art immersion, enroll for a week or more at The Art Center, 1803 N. Seventh St., which offers a summer art camp from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 13. Each week is $90 for members and $115 for non-members. For fun at home, break out the sidewalk chalk or buy a craft kit.

Math: Any moment can be a teaching moment, from counting out change for an ice cream cone to operating a lemonade stand, which can teach kids about addition, subtraction and measurements while gaining a bit of sales experience to boot.

History: The Grand Valley has a system of museums that offers something for every kid’s taste. The Museum of the West, 462 Ute Ave. in Grand Junction, traces local history through the years. Cross Orchards, 3073 F Road in Grand Junction, also delves into the past with a focus on pioneers and agriculture, since the site used to be a fruit orchard. Dinosaur Journey, 550 Jurassic Court in Fruita, has animatronics, videos and displays devoted to the days when dinosaurs roamed the valley.


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