Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Weekly summer staycation adventure!

Mt. Rainier, Washington. Image from publicdomainpictures.net.

Several factors--a lack of funds for vacation travel, my daughter's daycare teacher being short-staffed on Mondays this summer, and the advice of educational experts--led me to plan what I'm calling our "Weekly Summer Staycation Adventure!"

Instead of taking a week or more off from work, I'm going to take every Monday off to do something fun and educational with my daughter. There are tons of low-cost places to visit in the area, many of which we've never been to. And educational experts advise that one of the most effective way to help your children learn during the summer is to reinforce experiences with reading, writing and other learning activities. Having a different experience each week, rather than cramming a bunch of experiences into a short time frame, will give us quality time to do that.

Here are the experiences we have planned (not yet in any set order):

1) The Hands-On Children's Museum in Olympia, WA.

2) A visit to Alaffia's factory in Lacey, WA.

3) Fort Nisqually Living History Museum in Tacoma.

4) Port Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma.

5) The Tacoma Nature Center's Discovery Pond.

6) A trip to Mount Rainier (this may be a weekend event, because I want hubby to join us). Mt. Rainier is the impressive peak that looms over Western Washington, but is only visible when the sun is out. If you're new to Washington State and you arrive when it's overcast as I did three years ago, the first time this huge mountain appears in your vista is indescribable.

7) Stewart Heights Pool and Water Park in Tacoma. (This one is just for fun!)

8) Maybe even blueberry picking at Charlotte's Blueberry Park in Tacoma.

9) Perhaps a visit to a farm in the area.

We may add others as we discover them. For each experience, we will get books from the library to learn more, we will write stories and do art projects, and if I can be creative enough, incorporate math and science. I'll blog more about this throughout the summer.

Each of these locations is relatively low-cost (admission is either free, or less than $10, except for the zoo), I plan to pack our lunches, and for the Tacoma locations, I hope to take the bus.

BTW, all praise to Metro Parks Tacoma, the muncipal corporation that manages every single one of the Tacoma locations above, making available incredible opportunities for recreation, the arts and nature for the people of Greater Tacoma!

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