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Exposing your child to cultural activities

With spring finally here and the weather warming up a bit, everyone wants to get outdoors. One of the best ways for children to learn is to expose them to new experiences. Exposing children to many different experiences and situations helps to cultivate their emotional, mental, and physical health. Not to mention lots of educational concepts and skills. Spring can be such a fun time to get out and do things. When thinking of fun things to do with young children, don't exclude cultural activities. Those can be some of the best learning experiences at an affordable rate.

Here are five things you can do that may be local. Yet, don't let this limit you. The world is an oyster, go explore it!!

1. Museums are a fantastic way to explore cultural events and activities. The Newark Museum hosts many family programs that range from film festivals to musical showcases to physical fitness. In addition, just perusing the exhibits can be fun. How so, you ask? With children ages 5-8, you can bring along a sketch book and have them try and sketch a piece of art. However, just talking about color, lines, form, and texture helps.

2. Your local library is also a great resource. They host many family programs, and at times Newark Public Library hosts it right along with Newark Museum. The library has great reading programs to promote literacy and often provide hands on activities to engage and delight any learner.

3. Try road or day trips to unique places. For example, Yankee Stadium has an awesome museum.

4. When and if possible, travel with your child. Going to see other countries and experience new cultures, gives your child a broader sense of the world around them.

5. Lastly, don't be afraid to venture out to see performances. Local places like SOPAC and NJPAC all have great family/children shows. Now these will be a cost but if you budget accordingly, maybe you get to see two shows for the year. If you are really into the arts, take your child to an Off or On Broadway show. Websites like Groupon and LivingSocial are great resources for low cost tickets.

So basically I am saying, let's do more than just take our kids to the mall or movie theater. Let's educate them by giving them the gift of experiencing new environments.

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