It’s coming for your child! The dreaded Brain Drain: A sharp-fanged monster known for burrowing into your kiddo’s head throughout the summer months and removing up to sixty percent of what they learned over the previous school year by September (and you thought lice were the only pestilence you need worry about). Brain drain is particularly risky during the first few years of school, since tots who fall behind in the early years rarely catch up down the line.

Fortunately, like all monsters, the evil Brain Drain can be fought using that old Schoolhouse Rock slogan: Knowledge is Power! Here, Red Tricycle rounds up five fun activities the whole family can do over the summer that are also (shhh, don’t tell the little guys) educational.

Museum Meandering

Stepping into another time, place or even a whole new galaxy is a snap for NYC kids, thanks to the embarrassment of riches that are the city's museums.

You can run through an ancient Egyptian temple, enjoy a soothing Japanese garden, gaze up at a towering Rodin sculpture and swim among Monet's water lilies (in your mind) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on one of their absolutely amazing Start With Art Family Programs. Your kids will get lessons in color, composition, listening, sketching and, even lining up and walking quietly in a straight line.

If dinosaur bones, frogs from across the world, life-size whales, animal dioramas, out of this world space shows and towering teepees are more your thing, visit the American Museum of Natural History, where kiddos can employ their reading (every exhibit is labeled), matching (how did this creature evolve into that one?) and not getting lost in a giant building skills.

Only a few blocks away is the Children's Museum of Manhattan, which not only has Play Works specifically for literacy and learning, but also classes and a space dedicated to music by Bjork.

Other family-friendly options for learning include The Jewish Museum, the New York Hall of Science in Queens, and The Museum of Mathematics (did you know that kids lose math skills above all else over the summer?).

Image courtesy of AMNH\D. Finnin

– Alina Adams