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The Learning Zone

The endless free time of summer seems fun at first, but often after several weeks of sitting around the house, kids get restless.   Parents get tired of kids constantly watching TV or playing video games.  We want to help them avoid the summer backslide that often occurs between June and September, but there are only so many answers to the question, “What can I do?”.    As a parent, it can be challenging to come up with new ideas each day.  So to help you get through the rest of the summer, I will be posting three activities each week that you can do with your kids around the Burg.  They will be fun and educational but will not break the bank.  I hope they help you to make it through the rest of the summer with your sanity intact.

Canal Path/Heritage Trail


In Fredericksburg the Canal Path/Heritage Trail is a great place to take the kids for some exercise.  The Canal Path is 1.8 miles and the Heritage Trail is 1.6 miles.  They connect together to make a 3.1 mile loop.  The loop is paved and has a bike path.  Not only is this path scenic, with most of the path running along the water, it is also a great place to learn more about the history of Fredericksburg.  Along the path, there are many markers and signs that tell about landmarks and explain historical events.  In addition, it is easy to make a stop at the playground at Old Mill Park for a break or Carl’s for a sweet treat!  Here is a link to a video tour of the Canal Path/Heritage Trail:



Bowling is a great way to get kids out of the house to do something active, but did you know it can be a good way to practice math as well?  Try to let your kids score their bowling game the old fashioned way and then check their math on the screen.  Directions and a worksheet can be found here:  You can try this out at a local bowling alley.  Liberty Lanes has a $2 bowling special over the summer for kids and parents if you sign up with an email:  You can also bowl for $2 on Thursdays without signing up.  Need to stick around the house?  You can also give this a try at home if you have a kids bowling set or some empty soda bottles and a ball.


Central Rappahannock Regional Library


If it’s rainy or exceptionally hot, then it’s a good day to stop by your local branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.  Browse for books or participate in one of the many programs or events offered over the summer.  The library has a summer reading program for children of all ages and grade-levels:  When children sign up for this program, they can log their reading minutes to win prizes.  Just for signing up, which can be done online, your child gets to choose a prize from the treasure chest at the library.  Then, with your help, they track their reading minutes online to win additional prizes and recognition.  Here is a link to a video tour of the England Run Library:

I would love to hear any ideas that you have.  What educational activities do you like to do with your kids around the Burg?  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.



-Nina Parrish, M.Ed.

Parrish Learning Zone, LLC  
@parrishlearning | | Like us on Facebook
(540) 999-8759

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About Nina

nina parrish

Nina Parrish graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Following graduation from the University of Mary Washington, she received the Project PISCES scholarship to attend North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where she completed her certification in Special Education for K-12 students with learning disabilities, mental retardation, and emotional disturbance. After obtaining her license, Nina earned a Master's Degree in Education for School Counseling in grades Pre K-12 from Virginia Commonwealth University. Nina taught in the public schools in North Carolina and Virginia for 7 years. Nina currently owns, Parrish Learning Zone, a K-12 local tutoring service with her husband Jay, who is also a teacher. They live in Spotsylvania with their daughter.


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Cooking Autism, Inc. is driven to help children with neurological disorders (including autism) learn how to cook. Participants are encouraged to pick up critical communication skills, learn how to work as a team and be more independent. They can build skills in math, reading, and science, and learn about cooking-related topics such as health and nutrition. 



The opinions and/or views expressed on this blog represent the thoughts of individual blogger and not necessarily those of Fredericksburg Parent & Family Magazine or any of its employees or staff.