Secrets to sneaky summer learning - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Secrets to sneaky summer learning

(WFLX) - Whether they're 6 or 16, if you want your kids learning over summer, it helps to be sneaky by making sure that toy you offer up appears more fun than educational.

Take crayon physics, for example, which requires certain science skills to be mastered as the child moves up in levels. "It feels like it's all just a little game that any kid would play," said one teenager.

Even younger kids can up their IQ, says toy insider mom Laurie Schacht, with the Leap Pad, and it's new e-books. "Their progress is actually assessed as they go through different activities and different games and the books will auto adjust to their level," said Schact.

If you're worried about too much computer time, the Kurio tablet comes loaded with controls that limit access and minutes and can be set for up to eight different people.

A new option that may amaze your kids: augmented reality. You'll all have a hard time shutting down the new animal planet game. "They can watch a 3d version of behavior of in the habitat. Then, they can go in the library," said Schact. "They can get all kind of facts about the animal."

"I learned that the Bengal tiger can be three to five feet tall, and they can weigh up to 300 pounds," said 12-year-old Mackenzie Stulack.

Getting the kids up and moving matters to moms, too. "An active body leads to an active mind," said Schact.

The Plasma Car provides 360 degrees of fun, and the Descender puts a different spin on a skateboard. But the Rockboard scooter really gets them going. "It is a scooter, but with a platform that you actually have to pedal forwards and backwards," said Schact.

Some other outdoor fun that's a little more cerebral? There's the green thumb garden set and Growems. Solar energy panels could be a bright idea. Have a history buff in the making?

The Kreo battleship Missouri, which survived three wars, transports them back in time. "They're going to learn. They're going to have fun, and they're going to role play," said Schact.

The game Suspend is the sneakiest teaching toy of all -- requiring a steady hand and strategic mind. "What kids are going to learn about is cause and affect and balance," said Schact.  

"When someone knocks them down, sometimes, we laugh," said 6-year-old Daily Miller. "You learn a lot."

Cool Summer School Programs for South Florida

Palm Beach Zoo Camp
Each week offers a unique wildlife theme as participants experience zoo keeping activities, behind-the-scenes tours, scavenger hunts, enriching conservation education activities, and interactive fountain time. Everyday participants will enjoy up-close animal encounters, animal exhibit visits, crafts, games, and much more! We offer programs for ages 5 – 17 years of age.

AdventureMike's Aquatic Camp
Mike Bacon, a local professional underwater photographer, leads a variety of outdoor activities, including daily boating, fishing, snorkeling, water safety, marinelife collection & identification, island hikes, nature walks eco-tours and more.

Everglades Youth Conservation Camp, Florida Atlantic University
Residential summer camp on 252 acres in western Palm Beach County and managed by Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, Florida Atlantic University. Our six-day, five-night program features a unique environmental education theme with outdoor adventure activities in the Florida Everglades. Activities include fishing, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, archery and camping.

South Florida Science Museum Summer Science Camp
The South Florida Science Museum is offering 10 one-week sessions for young scientists. From outer space to the depths of the oceans, from dinosaur digs to wizarding adventures, each week will feature a different theme - with hands-on science exploration. Days are filled with fun learning, exciting labs, crafts and outside activities - all led by expert science educators.

Palm Beach County Library Summer Reading Program
Go to your local branch at any time during the FREE program to register.

YMCA of the Treasure Coast Summer to Discover Camp
At the Y kids build self-esteem, values, and leadership skills. You'll know they're growing and exploring their potential.....They'll think they're just having fun!

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