Those who spend their days helping children learn and thrive naturally know a thing or two about enriching a child when school's not in session.
Two Georgia education experts —one a teacher at Lifespan Montessori and the other an advocate and blogger for Gifted Atlanta —shared their ideas for great educational activities around Atlanta with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution just in time for the start of the school year
Here are their top picks for educational things to do with your kids anytime:
Get artsy at Treehouse Kid and Craft
Drop-in classes start at $10-$12, other activity prices vary
533 W Howard Ave. Ste A, Decatur. 470-355-8305
815 W Broad St., Athens. 706-850-8226
Art projects abound when Meredith Seibert interacts with children as lead primary teacher with Lifespan Montessori in Athens. She still encourages parents to offer even more arts and crafts on the weekends. One convenient way to keep the creativity flowing is with classes at Treehouse Kid and Craft, with locations in Athens and Decatur. "Many parents bring kids back to school on Mondays talking about how fun their projects are," Seibert said.
She also appreciates Treehouse's drop-in classes Saturday mornings. "That's particularly good if other plans fall through or you need a treat," she said.
Get splashed at Sewell Park Pool
Children 2-17, $3.50; adults $4.50; seniors $2.12
2085 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta. 770-509-2741 or 770-528-8465
While the kids and parents near Lifespan Montessori in Athens favor Athens-Clarke County Splash Pad ($1 admission, 200 Trail Creek St., Athens. 706-613-3589), splash pads in general are an enriching idea for active kids, according to Seibert. "It's great for kids to play around with water sprays and watch the way the water catches light," she said. "Our parents and kids really love splash pads."
Take a whole day at Tellus Museum
Adults $14; seniors 65 and up, $12; children 3-17 and students with ID, $10; active military with ID, free (their dependents 1/2 price with ID)
100 Tellus Dr., Cartersville. 770-606-5700
Dori Kleber is founder of GiftedAtlanta.com, a non-commercial website that helps parents of gifted kids find resources and ideas. For kids 9 and up, she recommends Tellus Museum with its natural history exhibits, solar house and fossil exhibits, just to name a few. "It has so much to see and do, you can spend a whole day there," she said.
Visit for free at Fernbank Science Center
Admission and parking free, separate charge for Planetarium activities
Fernbank Science Center, 156 Heaton Park Drive. 678-874-7102
Tellus Museum may have a bit too much going on for kids under age 9, says Kleber. "I'd take them to the Fernbank Science Center instead," she said. "It's small enough that little kids can tackle it." One particularly appealing educational activity is the science center's live animal exhibit. It includes poison dart frogs, snakes, turtles and spiders. Parents should be particularly careful not to confuse Fernbank Science Center with Fernbank Museum of Natural History. "People do that all the time and the Fernbank Science Center is at a different location," Kleber said.
Hit up Home Depot on Saturdays
Seibert also recommends the free kids' projects offered at all Home Depots in the area on Saturdays. The projects are hands-on, give kids time to bond with a parent and introduce children to the idea of tools and building. "One great aspect is that the kids get to keep what they make when they finish," Seibert said. "That's a nice reminder to try more projects at home."