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Five Ways To Prevent "Summer Slide" From The Minnesota Historical Society
Fun, educational experiences from the Society help kids stay mentally engaged this summer
School’s out and educational, summer fun is in! With millions of kids on summer break, it can be easy for students to fall into the “summer slide,” favoring “fun-only” activities over activities that are both fun and mentally stimulating. The Minnesota Historical Society offers five ways for families to prevent “brain drain” with resources and activities this summer that are not only educational, but entertaining.
“Education is at the heart of the Society’s mission,” said Joanna Danks, education marketing manager, Minnesota Historical Society. “Whether it’s a trip to one of our many historic sites across the state or diving into an online resource via our website, we offer many ways to keep kids’ minds engaged over the summer.”
1. Then Now Wow A Minnesota History Exhibit, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul: “Then Now Wow” is the first Minnesota History Center exhibit designed especially for children and families. Enter a mine and drill ore, explore a modern tipi, climb and crawl through a new version of Grainland (boy in Grainland, photo, right). Get a preview at minnesotahistorycenter.org/exhibits/then-now-wow.
2. Family Field Trips Rediscover history in your backyard. More than two dozen historic sites are within a day’s drive from every corner of the state. Step back to 1899 at Historic Forestville near Preston, Minn., and learn about life more than 100 years ago. Or, explore history, archaeology, astronomy and geology at Jeffers Petroglyphs near Comfrey, Minn. Learn more at visitmnhistory.org.
3. Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Kit Introduce kids to Ojibwe culture, history and arts, both past and present with a hands-on shoulder bag activity kit and accompanying educational materials, based on stories from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Central Minnesota. The kit features a pre-printed bag which can be designed, colored and decorated in one day (see photo, right). It is based upon authentic beaded Ojibwe bandolier bags. The bags, a popular classroom project, can now be purchased for kids to create at home at http://shop.mnhs.org/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=3503.
4. www.mnhs.org Spend an afternoon (or two) diving into the myriad online resources available on the Minnesota Historical Society’s website. Research everything from the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 at usdakotawar.org to your own family genealogy at www.mnhs.org/genealogy. Or, see the Society’s vast collections and engaging historic photos at www.mnhs.org/collections. Learn about all the historic sites before visiting them by checking out their history at visitmnhistory.org. It’s a great way to engage kids online with a trusted, educational resource.
5. History Live Team up! Summer camps, day care providers or any group of kids can access museum educators via live video conferencing lessons throughout the state—any location with video conferencing equipment can participate. Ten award-winning History Live lessons are available for students in grades 2-12, covering topics ranging from science to social studies. Learn more at historylivetv.org.
History Live and Then Now Wow are made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008.
This summer explore more than 500 museums statewide with the free Minnesota Museums app, brought to you by the Minnesota Association of Museums and the Minnesota Historical Society. Browse Minnesota museums by name, category or location; create an itinerary, check off museums you've visited and upload favorite museum photos; plus the app will also suggest museums based on geographic location. The Minnesota Museums app is made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, the Society preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.
The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.