Mid-Summer Pop Quiz! 10 Fun Activities to Boost Your Brain

By: Tricia Cornell

It’s summer, so there’s no time limit and there’s no class schedule, which means you can dig into new subjects as much as your heart desires. If something catches your interest, keep looking and learning!

Go ahead and use the Internet — or maybe even the library — to do your research. But you might want to set a timer to remind you to refocus if you start surfing mindlessly.

1. In what country do people build a lõke to celebrate Jaanipäev? What other traditions surrounding this holiday can you find? What is this holiday called in three other countries? Using what you learn, organize a fun Jaanipäev party for your family and friends.

2. Who holds the record for the fastest mile hopped on one leg? How fast did she hop? How far can you hop one leg? Can you work up to a whole mile?

3. What is a surya namaskar? Have you ever tried something like this? Learn how and teach your friends to do it with you. Can you challenge yourself to do this every day?

4. How many teaspoons in a gallon? Before you Google, think about the steps you could take to figure it out on your own, e.g., teaspoons in a tablespoon, tablespoons in a cup, etc.

5. Could you win the Bocuse d’Or? Learn about this prestigious event and organize something similar with your friends. Invite your families to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

6. Where is 19.4167° N, 155.2833° W? According to legend, who lives there? If you can borrow a smart phone or GPS device, use latitude and longitude to organize a scavenger hunt for your friends.

7. What is Taraxacum officinale? Can you find one in your neighborhood? I bet you can. Then look for: Acer rubrum, Bellis perennis, Cichorium intybus, Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus, Myosotis sylvatica, Ranunculus sardous, Rudbeckia hirta, Solidago virgaurea virgaurea. Which of these are edible? Can you find some good recipes?

8. What is the mathematical word that describes repeated shapes that fit together infinitely with no spaces in between? What artist is most closely associated with this phenomenon? Check out his work and see if you can make your own examples.

9. Do you know what ga-ga is (Hint: It’s not a pop singer)? Do you eat it? Grow it? Play it? Find out, learn more about it, and make it a fun part of your summer.

10. Where would someone greet you with “Su Prabhat”? What else can you learn about this place? Can you learn a song, a game, or a dish from this place to share with your family?

Bonus: Come up with quiz questions of your own to stump your family and friends. Maybe you can organize a day where you all share some of the projects and activities that you come up with.

Download Printable Quiz >> ________________________________________________________________________


1. Jaanipäev is St. John’s Day, or Midsummer Day, in Estonia. A lõke is a bonfire. This holiday is celebrated around the world, particularly as Juhannus in Finland, Jāņi in Latvia, and Joninės in Lithuania.

2. According to the Guinness Book of World Records: “The fastest time to hop one mile on one leg is 27 minutes and 51 seconds by Ashrita Furman (USA) on 1 February 2006 at the Penang Bird Park in Penang, Malaysia.”

3. Surya namaskar is a sun salutation, a combination of yoga poses.

4. There are three teaspoons in a tablespoon, 16 tablespoons in a cup, two cups in a pint, two pints in a quart, and four quarts in a gallon. So, there are 768 teaspoons in a gallon.

5. The Bocuse d’Or is an international cooking competition held every other year in France.

6. This is the latitude and longitude of Mt. Kilauea, a volcano in Hawaii and the legendary home of Pele, the volcano goddess.

7. Taraxacum officinale is a dandelion, Acer rubrum is a red maple, Bellis perennis is a daisy, Cichorium intybus is chicory, Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus is a daylily, Myosotis sylvatica is a forget-me-not, Ranunculus sardous is a buttercup, Rudbeckia hirta is a black-eyed Susan, Solidago virgaurea virgaurea is goldenrod.

8. This is called “tessellation” and many examples are found in the work of M.C. Escher.

9. Ga-ga is a form of dodgeball that originated in Israel.

10. Su Prabhat is Gujarati for “Good morning.” Gujarat is a state in India.

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