Before winter break, a teacher asked me for some ideas to provide enrichment for his two young kids. I quickly came up with some ideas to get him started. Even if you don’t live in Las Vegas, you can look for similar resources in your own community.
Volunteering in the community will introduce your kids to different people, perspectives, and community issues. There are a lot of organizations in town like Opportunity Village, Salvation Army, St. Vincent’s Shelter, American Red Cross, etc. that you can contact and find out if they need volunteers. If you want to do some outdoor volunteering you can check out getoutdoorsnevada.org.
If you have a chance to take your kids to the theater for a variety of performances, that’s a great way to enrich their education too. A little company we have in town is the Rainbow Company, rainbowcompany.org. Not only can you see productions there, but you can take classes too. There’s always the Smith Center and in the summer Super Summer Theatre at Spring Mountain Ranch, supersummertheatre.org.
I love the little planetarium at the College of Southern Nevada, www.csn.edu/planetarium. They do presentations on the weekends. There is usually some sort of educational movie and then a seasonal stargazing video. If the night skies are clear after the last performance, the presenter will take the group outside to view the stars from a telescope.
It’s also fun to visit the little towns in Nevada and different wildlife refuges. I have enjoyed short visits to Spring Valley State Park (http://parks.nv.gov/parks/spring-valley-state-park/) and Pahranagat Wildlife Refuge (http://www.fws.gov/refuge/pahranagat/). Make sure you check out the websites first and figure out the best season for your family to go and what little activities you may want to do.
Project kits are fun and educational too. Craft stores have them, like Michaels and Joanns. I recently found robot kits at Joanns for under twenty dollars.
There is a cool computer programming language for kids, Scratch (scratch.mit.edu). This program was created by the Lifelong Kindergarten folks at MIT. Once kids get the basics, they take off, creating their own stories, games, and animations. Here’s a link to a video that can jumpstart kids on Scratch, Scratch Crash Course at http://youtu.be/vz82Zcl-Ig4.
Have fun keeping your kids busy and learning.