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Summer Adventures: Exploring the World

July 12, 2016
By Laurie Burckhardt, Middle School Teacher

There is no better time to explore the history that is all around us than over the summer! With so much time for adventures, it might be hard to fit in time to study history and geography. But using the world around you can be an easy way to keep your kid sharp, and maybe even teach you something new.

At Home

History is right around the corner and experiencing it could be as easy as getting ice cream. Old Town Scottsdale is full of historic buildings like the Sugar Bowl, Cavalliere's Blacksmith Shop, Farmer’s State Bank of Scottsdale (otherwise known as the Rusty Spur Saloon). You could always take a car ride through the many sites in Scottsdale or Phoenix. Learn about the history of these places together then experience the place where the stories took place!

One of the best ways to encourage your kids to learn how to read a map is a treasure hunt. Who in the world wants to spend time hiding treasure for said treasure hunt? Not me! Good thing some people have already done that for you. This Geocaching app can help your child learn to read maps and find interesting historical places right in their own neighborhood, all while hunting for hidden treasure. Another great way to learn history and geography is researching your family’s history together.

On A Trip

You don’t have to go far to find intriguing sites. Just slather on some sunscreen and head off to some of the nearby historic places. A few of the most interesting nearby sights to see are the  Hieroglyphic Trail, Goldfield Ghost Town, Rawhide, and The Tovrea Castle. All of these and plenty more are just a short day trip away!

Before heading out on your big summer vacation, read up on the history of your destination. Pick up a great historical fiction or non-fiction book for your child to read. While you’re there, visit a museum or two. Connect to curriculum topics that were covered in school the past year or preview upcoming history lessons.

Let your child help navigate the route to help practice map skills. Track your summer travels on a paper or electronic map to help your child learn geography.

Here are some free online map sites to get you started:

This summer could be one for the history books!