When we have kids, we want the best for them. We want them to gain a high quality education. This will allow them to become intelligent individuals who can happily and easily pursue a career that interests them at the same time as allowing them to make sufficient money to lead a good quality of life when they reach independence and adulthood. But at the same time, we want our kids to have fun. We want them to let their hair down and relax and really have a good time. But what’s to say that these two things have to be mutually exclusive? So many people make the mistake of thinking that their kids’ education and their kids’ enjoyment have to be two separate things. At the end of the day, you can make education fun and you can make fun educational. There are various ways to achieve this and strike this balance in your little ones’ upbringing, but for now, let’s focus on how you can make family trips and days out an educational experience for your children!
One of the first things to spring to mind when it comes to educational days out is museums. Museums are an educational playground for children. They are filled with old artefacts that can set their imaginations running wild and spark all sorts of interests. Just think how many kids go through an Ancient Egyptian phase, where they marvel over pharaohs, pyramids, and scarab beetles. Or the sheer number of children who get deeply invested in Ancient Greek mythology, reading about Zeus, Apollo, Hermes, and Dionysus. There are likely to be a few small scale museums in your local area to get the ball rolling, but if you really want to go all out, why not schedule a day out to one of the larger and more notable museums with more elaborate exhibits. A few favourites include:
- The Natural History Museum
- The British Museum
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- Science Museum
- Oxford University Museum
Teaching your kids a thing or two about art can have a profoundly beneficial impact on them. Art can convey all sorts of hidden messages. It encourages your little ones to view the world in a different way, or scratch beneath the surface for subtle meaning conveyed through colours, textures, and patterns. It can also teach them a lot about different time periods and how different thought and ideologies were understood or spread across different eras. Art galleries are sensory and stimulating. Here are just a few to add to your list:
- The National Gallery
- The Tate Modern
- Barbican Art Gallery
- Walker Art Gallery
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Trips don’t always have to be within the shores of the country you live in. Your kids can gain a lot by travelling overseas. They can experience new cultures, hear new languages, see stunning landscapes, and try previously unexperienced cuisines. So, why not arrange a little getaway. Whether you incorporate seeing some local culture into an annual holiday to a hot location where you’d otherwise spend all of your time splashing about in the pool, or take an exclusively educational trip to Russia, they have a lot to gain from these new experiences.
Chances are that your kids are eventually going to have to read a play or two as part of their education. It’s highly likely that they will come up against some Shakespeare, alongside reading J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls, Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, and Teechers by John Godber. Now, it’s all good and well sitting down and reading a play. But these pieces of work were created to be performed on the stage. So, keep an eye out for listings of plays that could cater to your little one’s level of education and tastes. Seeing a play performed live can give a whole new understanding to the text.
Historical Days Out
There are various sites that have either been preserved historically notable settings or have been recreated to give people an insight into how things used to be in the past. So, why not take your kids along to experience life in another age. You can generally find these kinds of sites through the National Trust who work to preserve sites of historic importance or value. Some fun days out of this nature include:
- Iron Bridge
- Warwick Castle
- The Tower of London
Sure, education isn’t always fun. But there are various days out that you can take your little ones out on that make history, literature, and geography a whole lot more enjoyable and accessible!