Summer is the time to take your family outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weather, but it is also the time for large lightning storms. Many children find lightning exciting, while others are scared of its power. June 23 through June 29 is Lightning Awareness week. This week is held the last week in June each year to help instruct children about lightning, its dangers and safety techniques. During this week, spend some time educating your children about lightning. Below are four ideas on how you can make lightning awareness fun for your children.

1. Make it a science project

Educate your children about how lightning works with a science project. You can create many simple projects that are educational and fun for children. One project, from EnergyQuest, involves an inflated balloon, a piece of wool clothing and a metal surface like a door knob. Inflate the balloon and then darken the room. Rub the balloon several times against the wool item. Then, move the balloon near the metal item. A spark should jump from the balloon to the metal object, which is similar to how lightning works.

2. Invalidate the myths

There are many myths out there that can scare your little ones. Help them learn what is fact and what is fiction regarding lightning. The National Weather Service's website provides a variety of lightning safety myths and facts. You can go through each of these with your children. Make it a game and see if they can determine what is a myth and what is a fact and provide them with a prize at the end. This is not only a fun way to spend the time, it is also a great educational experience.

3. Find activity pages to complete

You can find a variety of coloring pages, crossword puzzles, games and more by doing a search on lightning safety online. There are activity pages that are targeted toward all age groups, so no matter what age your children are, there is something for them. Additionally, most of these activity pages will teach your children as they play. Your children will have fun while completing the pages that they won't even realize they are learning.

4. Create a plan

When a large lightning storm hits, it will help calm your children if they know what to expect and have a plan in place. Sit down with your children and go over the basics of lightning safety. Then, ask them to help you create a plan to ensure your family is safe during a large lightning storm. By asking for your children's help, they will be more excited about creating a plan and when a lightning storm does occur, they won't be as afraid because they are implementing a plan they helped create.

Lightning can be frightening, especially if it occurs in the middle of the night. Prepare your children for a large lightning storm by educating them during Lightning Awareness week. The more prepared your children feel, the less worried and scared they will be.

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