Not surprisingly, most kids think what teachers and parents call “summer learning” is best when it’s disguised as fun. Luckily, there are many ways to discover new things and share teachable moments while enjoying family adventures. This summer, as you strive to keep your children’s minds active, try using trivia and pop culture to take history out of the textbook and onto the road. Chances are, you will find ideas for fantastic family field trips and opportunities for exploration right in your own “backyard”!
Local Pop Culture Shrines
You can start by searching online to see if your home state or city has a tourism website. Or, for something out of the ordinary, check out Roadside America, where you can look up the location of the World’s Largest Lemon and map a tour of Giant Muffler Men!
My own hometown, Appleton, Wisconsin, is legendary because of its most renowned resident, Harry Houdini. One story recounts the day a bashful rookie reporter named Edna Ferber interviewed the already-famous magician at the local lunch counter. As they talked, he leaned against the Coke machine in a pose that showed off his muscular physique. Afterward, he presented Ferber with a souvenir: the padlock he’d removed from the Coke machine. Although Houdini Plaza is under construction now, the Metamorphosis sculpture honoring Harry’s signature illusion will soon return to its rightful place in the center of my town.
Across the nation, small towns and big cities alike brim with opportunities to delve ...