Summers at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (giveaway)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

Tracking PixelI remember visiting the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry all the time as a kid… it was like the go-to field trip in school and I’m not even sure how many years my classes hopped on a bus for a day exploring. I haven’t been in YEARS… and it’s on our summer to-do list this year now that we have kids of our own! We want them to explore, be amazed, and have fun. Ryan will love it!

I’m glad we live within a reasonable distance to drive in and experience the Museum, but we don’t live close enough to visit frequently (we’re about 1.5 hours away). So, I am thrilled about the Museum’s Summer Brain Games that gives you fun and educational ideas to do AT HOME with your kids! Most activities include items you probably already have around the house, or you can improvise, so they’re easy to do.

summerbraingameslogo
Did you know that kids can lose 1-3 months of learning over the summer, resulting in what’s called the “summer brain drain?” Don’t get me wrong, I think summer breaks are awesome for kids to be kids and play and have fun, but I also think learning and education needs to  be built in, as well. What better way than with hands-on activities and games that make learning fun?

SummerBrain Game ActivitiesLet’s Go Fly A Kite!

If you want to register (it’s free!), you just have to visit their website and fill out a short form. Then they will automatically email you each week with a new activity! And… bonus!… you’ll also get a free pass to visit the Museum. Also, each week one lucky winner will receive a household membership to MSI to experience a whole YEAR of science and later on you can share your Summer Brain Games experiences for a chance to win a family tech package including a notebook computer, iPad, and digital camera!

We already signed up and so far we’ve done two activities. Don’t worry if you sign up “late,” they’ll email you a download with all the activities for the entire summer so you can go back and catch ones you missed or you can go ahead if you’re having tons of fun 😉

Reach For The Skyscrapers

tower building

The first one we did was about building a strong tower and having it stand to an earthquake (shaking the table), wind (a hair dryer), or even weight (placing heavy items on top). The Summer Brain Games guide talks about “dynamic loads” and what shapes make the most sturdy structures… Ryan is only 3.5 so we did our best and he LOVED building the strongest, tallest tower he could. He calls this one The Sticks Tower 🙂 I also improvised with materials… suggested ones include newspaper, cups, straws, etc.

Balloon Racers

balloon

Next up… balloon racers! Oh my, Ryan LOVED this one. Again, I improvised slightly… instead of string, I used ribbon and instead of a normal balloon, I used a water balloon (it was all we had!)… but it still worked wonderfully! You clip the balloon shut instead of tying it off and then you tape it to a straw on a string that’s taped across a room. Remove the clip and watch the balloon FLY!

balloon racers

Ryan was thrilled; we did it over and over and over again. We experimented with different sizes of balloons, blowing them up only a little bit or as big as they could go. We experimented with the amount of tape, wrapping it all the way around the balloon or just enough to attach it to the straw. Ryan picked out the balloon colors, helped me tape up the balloon, and then we took turns releasing the clip or standing on the other side and watching it fly. He liked doing both! So did I 🙂 The excitement on his face was awesome and the questions he was asking were adorable. He’s my Curious Ryan!

We can’t wait to see what activities The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry come up next with their Summer Brain Games! If you want to try some of these activities, my advice (as I have a young one) is to go with the flow (the games didn’t go quite as planned as I had to adjust for Ryan’s capabilities AND his interests… it wouldn’t be fun if I pushed it) AND to make the lessons fun. Ryan learned so much from these 2 activities and I don’t think he even realized it 😉

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is offering a fun and free online science program called Summer Brain Games. The eight-week program lasts from June 17, 2013-August 12, 2013 and features a weekly experiment or science challenge that can easily be performed at home with kids of all ages.

Visit msichicago.org/summerbrain now to register for Summer Brain Games and download your free Summer Brain Games kit. As an added bonus, registering automatically gets you a pass to come to the Museum for free this summer.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.

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