December 12, 2017

5 Neighborhood Learning Activities (When You Don’t Have Much Time)

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My kids have been busy the past few months with a bunch of sports activities (soccer, basketball, tennis). While it’s great to keep them fit during the winter months, it also means that our weekend time together is limited. There’s very little time to drive into the city to visit museums and monuments. So, when I know I may only have an hour or two to do something with the kids, here’s what I like to look for right in my neighborhood:

Home Depot Kids Workshops: These monthly workshops are a great way to get the kids off the couch and using their hands to build something with real tools. I took my girls to do this on Saturday and each one built a wooden race car using a hammer and nails. It was a fun way to spend an hour and each walked away with a sense of accomplishment.

Kids in the Kitchen: Our local grocery store, Wegmans, holds monthly hands-on kids events with food. The next event, “Fruits and Veggies Take a Dip,” will teach kids how to prepare their own fun snacks, while also teaching about the importance of fruits and vegetables. Check to see if your local grocery store offers a similar kids class.

The Knack Events: Michaels offers a variety of hands-on craft events for kids. This month, kids can make a butterfly clay pot, a yarn doll and t-shirt totebags. We’ve gone to these free events several times and they’re a great way for kids to express their creativity and show their individual artistic capabilities on each project.

Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinics: Similar to The Home Depot, Lowes offers regular Saturday clinics during which kids can make wooden creations. This month, kids can make a Carnival Hoops basketball game (March 10) and an Art Station with a chalkboard and chalk (March 24). 

Public Library Events: My older kids have outgrown storytime at the library, but I still look to the local library’s events calendar for engaging events. For example, at the end of the month, they’ll have a Harry Houdini’s Birthday celebration to promote books and share magic tricks with the kids.

So, when you know you’ll only have a couple of hours, what types of local events do you look for to spend quality time with your family? Let me know in the comments.

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