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Summer is here! Teens across the country recently closed their books, put down their pencils, and adjusted their inner clocks to the unstructured hours of summer.  While it’s a necessary break from the routine of school, summer can also be a great time to find fun ways to keep kids from losing what they’ve learned. Summer can also be a time when teenagers participate in drug and alcohol experimentation. Keep your kids busy – and safe – this summer with a few of our helpful hints and fun activities.

Maker Camp is a free virtual summer camp for your kids to attend every single day for a month. It requires you to create a free Google plus account.  Here’s how it works: you log onto the internet every morning between July 7 through August 15. Each day there is a new virtual field trip or a project to be done or a science experiment or a discussion to be had or a lesson to be learned. Every single day provides activities which are a great way to keep your kids learning. Most of the activities provided by Maker Camp are geared towards younger teenagers (13-15), but kids under the age of 13 would probably enjoy the website too. Just make sure that you, as the parent, are monitoring your child’s activity online.

More websites to check out:

Educational Sites

FunCrafting Activities

The internet can be a fun place to play for even very young children –  as long as you know where to go. Check out our list of the best websites for younger children. They will be entertained while learning how to count and read.

1. Build-a-Bear – This website allows you to play a game or two with your favorite bear.

2. Nick Junior – Blue, Dora, and all the gang are waiting for you to come and play.

3. The Wiggles – Hang out with the Wiggles, Dorothy, Wags the dog and the rest of the gang and have wiggly fun.

4. Scholastic I Spy – This website lets you search for items in a twist on the classic game of “I Spy”.

5. Fisher Price Online Games – Plenty of fun memory games and your kids can even download pictures to color.

6. Webkinz – A kids world where you adopt, desig,n and play with your own pet.

7. Starfall – Whether you have an independent learner or a by-your-side type, kids certainly get ahead with their reading by spending time on this site.

Children who do not engage in any type of mental activity during the summer can lose up to a third of what they have learned during the course of the school year.  The gates of school may close but there is no reason that a child’s mind should follow suit! Keeping a child’s mind working during the extensive summer holidays will help them avoid experiencing brain-drain! It will also keep them busy and off the streets.

 Guest post contributed by Jill Erickson