Harness the fun of Halloween to introduce your child to new possibilities
Halloween is right around the corner, and costumes are a great way to think creatively about becoming someone new—if only for one spooky, candy-filled night.
The best part? All that pretending doesn’t have to be just for fun, and big dreams don’t have to end when Halloween is over. This season is an ideal time to get children thinking about “characters” that could lead to career paths!
Here are a few ways to help your child try on some exciting new identities that just might lead to life-changing interests and marketable skills:
- Take a Coding Class. Give your tech-loving kid a learning adventure that will provide life-long skills including problem-solving, persistence, mathematics and abstract thinking. They might enjoy an online class rooted in the wildly popular Minecraft universe or an in-person class with Code Ninjas. Either way, with a foundation of coding, they can open the door to a wide range of STEM careers such as computer engineering, app development, network systems administration, web development and software development. Along the way, they just might design their own video game!
- Schedule an Animal Encounter. If your little one is wild about wildlife, consider an immersive, hands-on experience at a zoo or aquarium. At the Miami Seaquarium, visitors can go behind the scenes and learn how trainers care for harbor seals and dolphins. At ZooTampa at Lowry Park, your budding veterinarian, marine biologist or animal behaviorist can get up close and personal with a Southern White Rhino or observe the team’s efforts to rehab sick, injured and orphaned manatees.
- Visit Local Firefighters. Who better to explain this demanding job than one of your very own neighborhood heroes? For instance, the Tallahassee Fire Department welcomes visitors and will happily answer questions about fire safety and day-to-day operation of a fire station. And firefighters are great examples of adults who eat healthy and keep in shape. In addition to traditional firefighters, the outing can introduce your child to paramedics, emergency medical technicians and fire inspectors.
- Go on a hike. If your child has an interest in characters that love the outdoors, a visit to one of Florida’s 11 national parks or 175 state parks is a great way to introduce them to careers in land conservation, wildlife protection, fire management, historical preservation and so much more. At Everglades National Park, ranger-guided programs and educational opportunities abound.
- Explore the Night Sky. If your kid’s head is in the stars, connect with local astronomy groups and planetariums like the one at Cox Science Center in West Palm Beach. At Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, your future astronaut or astrophysicist can dive into Mars Rover robotics, simulated spaceflights, engineering builds and botany lab vegetable growth.
Whatever your child dreams of doing in the future, it pays off to invest in their imagination now—through hands-on experiences as well as a Florida Prepaid College Plan or Florida 529 Savings Plan. Not only are these plans flexible, but they can serve your student at one of Florida’s 12 public universities and 28 state colleges or even at an institution out of state.
You can open an account in only 15 minutes. You’ll need to provide your address, date of birth, SSN, and a bank account if you want automatic withdrawals. You’ll also need the student beneficiary’s address, birthdate and SSN. Open your new plan now.
We know it feels like there are many Halloweens left until they’re truly trying on a career path starting with college enrollment. But the earlier you save, the less scary those college expenses will be later.