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Learning can be fun with the Summer Brain Games! #MSIsummerbrain #ad

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

As a kid, when summer hit I was all about having fun and getting in as much outdoor playtime as I could. I did attend summer school classes, but I only picked ones that were fun for me; like camping and orienteering. Even though it felt like I was just having a good time, I was actually learning useful skills.

Preventing Summer Brain Drain

Research shows that kids can lose one to three months of learning over the summer in what’s called the “Summer Brain Drain.” But the thing is, learning can be fun and kids don’t even have to realize you are teaching them something if you pick activities they will enjoy. Summer Brain Games, such as the ones offered through the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, are a great way to combat “summer brain drain” by keeping kids thinking and learning over the summer in a fun and engaging way.

Image Credit: Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Summer Brain Games

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is offering up a fun and free online science program called Summer Brain Games that will keep kids learning this summer and prevent the “summer brain drain.” When you sign up, you’ll get a pass to come to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry for free this summer.

Each week there is a new experiment or science challenge that can easily be performed at home. After registering, you can download the entire Summer Brain Games kit for free. My kids and I chose an activity out of the kit and tried our own hand at some fun brain challenges.

We skipped ahead a little and decided the pinhole viewer would be a great activity for us. My son (6yrs) and daughter (3yrs) had tons of fun putting the viewer together, and then viewing the images. As they were creating their viewer (with some helpful instructions from mom), I explained to them how cameras used to work before we had the digital ones we have now. As a science teacher, I of course wanted to divulge into light rays, etc.; but I didn’t think that it was something my two young kids were quite ready for so we stuck with the history of cameras. They were both fascinated to know that they could basically make their own camera.


Austin constructing the pinhole viewer

Austin constructing the pinhole viewer


Isabella looking at images in the viewer

Isabella looking at images in the viewer

We had a great time looking at trees, the mailbox, other houses…all which appear upside down when viewed through the pinhole viewer. We then took a walk down to a local church to try something a little bigger. I tried to capture an image of what you can see on the inside of the viewer, but it is tough to get an image of an image that is inside a box.   🙂

Pinhole viewer images

The next activity we tried was the homemade rain gauge. This was a project that I thought my 3yr old could complete without much difficulty, and one that both kids would have fun with as they measured how much rain we have received. We actually received so much rain over the past week that our gauge overflowed, and we didn’t have a chance to get any measurements. One tip to keep in mind….be sure to check the gauge every day if you are planning on getting accurate results. This is something we didn’t plan out very well, and are now starting over to try again.

Register for the Summer Brain Games

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.

Win a Family Four Pack (value $76.00) of Tickets

Win a family pack of tickets to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The tickets are valid through the end of 2013 so you have plenty of time to plan a trip to the museum! Simply enter on the form below (US 18+)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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19 Responses to Learning can be fun with the Summer Brain Games! #MSIsummerbrain #ad

  1. Karissa June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    How fun for the kids. I know they can get bored so fast, I am glad you are finding ways to keep them entertained! Look like a great program! Thanks!
    Karissa recently posted…Jamba Juice has Fruit and Veggie Smoothies {Review}My Profile

  2. Anne Younger June 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    We’ve been working on projects like these this summer as well since we’ve had a lot of rainy days. Glad to see your’s are having fun too!
    Anne Younger recently posted…Aeromax Astronaut Space Pack Super Soaking Water Blaster Review & #Giveaway – Ends 7/8My Profile

  3. Danielle June 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Love this idea! My kids are very hands on and I’m sure they’d love to try these out.
    Danielle recently posted…Finding an Alternative for Recipes with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter #CookWithSpreadsMy Profile

  4. Sharon June 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    Love watching the kids have water gun fights in the backyard! or playing with glow sticks before bed!
    Sharon recently posted…The Story of the Miracle KittenMy Profile

  5. Jennifer Williams June 25, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    I love this, my oldest son hates that I make him continue learning over the summer. His teachers actually told the kids they need a break which infuriates me. This week we are studying the environment, I do try to make it fun like this sounds and tomorrow is a hike where we will take pictures of plants and bugs to come home and look them up on the internet.
    Jennifer Williams recently posted…The Color Run 5kMy Profile

  6. Tammy @inRdream June 26, 2013 at 3:58 am #

    What a very cool science project! I have a little girl who loves science and learning, I will be checking out their summer brain games. If I was closer I would enter 😉
    Tammy @inRdream recently posted…Debunking My Personal Summer Camp Myths #PioneerCampMy Profile

  7. AlannaB June 26, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    We love playing in the water to keep cool 🙂
    AlannaB recently posted…Enter To Win A Layette From Burt’s Bees Baby! (Ends 6/28)My Profile

  8. Anne Sweden June 26, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    We like to swim!

  9. Ashley S June 26, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Go to the park!
    Ashley S recently posted…Southwest Jalapeno Tacos #Recipe ~ Inspired by #LoneRanger + FeaturettesMy Profile

  10. Julia Potvin June 26, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Keeping kids entertained can be tough, I think its great your coming up with fun ways and they are learning as well!
    Julia Potvin recently posted…Vonage Mobile Free AppMy Profile

  11. Kayla June 26, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Swimming for sure! Great exercise, too!

  12. Sarah Levels June 26, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    This is very unique…wish I had this when Growing up. Favourite activity to do this summer is either swim, walk as a family or play mario on Wii
    Sarah Levels recently posted…Tourists in Disaster ZonesMy Profile

  13. Maggie Smith June 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    We love camping in our family! SO much to do and so much fun!

  14. Brittany June 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    During the summer, I love to go to the beach with my family.

  15. Julia August 9, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    It looks like you guys have had a great summer!


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