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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Children love to learn about anything and everything they can get their hands on. Whether their questions are about science, people, technology, art or animals, here are five fun ways you can get the whole family involved in their learning process.

Visit the Great Outdoors
Children of all ages enjoy being outside. Take a walk to your local park or have a picnic near the playground with the family. Getting your kids out of the house and into the sunshine pulls all of you out of your usual routine at home.  Take the time to point out the wonders of nature to children.  Explain why the sky is blue, why trees change colors, etc.  Find opportunities for learning in the environment around you.

Practice With Your Child
Is your child learning how to play an instrument? Ask them what they’re working on this week. Children love explaining to adults what they’re doing – especially when they’re the experts. Have your child give a small concert for the family. It’s a way for your child to share their musical piece with the ones they love.  Be sure to give positive feedback.

Make a Trip to the Museum
Kids who are obsessed with bugs, dinosaurs, or the solar system think that the museum is the greatest place to be. Go on and make a trip to your local museum. Whether you’re taking older kids or small ones along, the day is sure to be filled with tons of fun for the whole family. Someone’s bound to ask for a digital microscope from microscope.com once they see their first close-up of a giant bug!

Cook Up Something Special in the Kitchen
Here’s a brilliant way to get kids involved in the culinary process: clear out an afternoon and take on a recipe that little hands can help with in the kitchen. Cooking is all about chemistry, timing, and measurements. Explain the processes to your child as you create your delicious masterpiece.  You get help to make dinner and your family gets some time to talk and learn basic science.

Whip Up an Art Project
It’s amazing what kids can come up with once they have a few materials and some free time on their hands. Tell your kids that they can only use art materials they find in the house. Boxes, paper towel rolls, and wire hangers are all fair game. Provide some glue and tape and see what everyone makes before the night is over!

Learning opportunities don’t have to be big productions for kids to take notice. They just need to be fun. Education is always most meaningful when parents participate with children.  Go ahead and get the family together for teaching moments they’ll remember.

Eowyn Applegates is a proud resident of Fairfax, VA, where she lives with her Yorkie, Theseus. She enjoys cooking, reading, and hiking in her spare time. As a University of Virginia graduate, she bleeds orange and blue. Her ambition is to travel around the world and blog about the lives of the people she meets.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their kids to enjoy learning.