Summer Family Tips from UT Experts

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In May, kids will be out of school and ready for summer activities. Our UT experts provide tips to keep your kids engaged in learning, safe and having fun during the summer months.


5 Fun Ways to Keep Kids Learning

from Becky Cox, associate professor in educational studies at UT Martin

  1. Learn more about Tennessee. From the state motto to famous Tennesseans, the summer is a great time to teach your kids more about the state.
  2. Go to a festival. Tennessee offers festivals of all kinds, ranging from the Riverbend in Chattanooga to the Secret City Festival in Oak Ridge to the Music and Heritage Festival in Memphis.
  3. Play outside! Summer is a great time to explore the outdoors.
  4. Visit museums—virtually! The Smithsonian website offers a glimpse of many of its exhibits online. Go to
  5. Read with your child. Share your favorite books from your childhood or read your child’s favorite books.


5 Free Activities for You and Your Child

from Jamie F. Harvey, assistant professor in the Health and Human Performance Department at UT Chattanooga

  1. Any outside activity is fun during the summer. Bike, swim or walk—just don’t forget to apply sunscreen and drink lots of water.
  2. Cook at home together. Although the cost is at the store, the free fun is at home teaching your child to cook, bake and grill.
  3. Plant a garden.
  4. Throw down the blanket on a warm night and look at the stars.
  5. Let your imagination take you where you want to go.


5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe During Summer Travel and Activities

from Matt Devereaux, associate professor and child development specialist with the University of Tennessee Extension Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

  1. If you are staying at a friend’s or family member’s house, discuss the importance of creating a safe environment for your children. Ask that they take the necessary precautions, such as a self-closing, self-locking gate around a swimming pool or hot tub.
  2. Secure all loose items in the car, as they can become projectile objects in the event of an accident.
  3. Purchase ID bracelets ahead of time if planning a trip to a crowded destination, such as an amusement park.
  4. Designate a central meeting spot in the event a parent or child is separated from the group during travel or at a crowded destination.
  5. Teach and visually show your children who the proper people are to ask in the event they are lost or need help.