I began transforming my school-age program in the spring of 2010 with the help of a Missouri T.E.A.C.H. project Pilot grant. The information and resources that I gained while completing nine college semester hours of youth development training hours inspired me to create a cool place for school-age children.
In this blog post, I will share with you 5 ways to create a cool place for school-age children:
1. Solicit feedback from the children. Ask the children what type of activities that they would like to see in the program this summer.
2. Assess the environment and added materials that are appropriate for their age group. Changed the classroom centers to ,”Clubs.” School-age children love to belong to clubs and this makes the environment a cool place to explore. For example, The cooking center is now called the, ” Cooking Club” and the Art area is now the “Art Club.”
Fun materials to add to your environment: Games, clay, paint, paper, scrap booking materials, yarn for crocheting, hobby magazines, wood working materials, variety of books, dress-up clothes, blocks, large cardboard boxes, computer, sports equipment, puppets/theater, dramatic play prop box (hair dresser, store,etc)
3. As you make changes observe the children to see how they are responding to the environment. If the children seem to be very involved in the materials and more focused…you did a great job!
4. At my childcare center, we plan a cool and fun-filled summer camp every year. The weekly activities are theme based and there are a variety of field trips planned every week. For example: Mondays- Park Day; Tuesday- Visit a local attraction; Wednesday- Free Movie Camp; Thursday- Library (Summer Reading Club) Friday- Visit local attraction.
The parents are responsible for all field trip fees and the field trips are planned for the entire summer. Furthermore, the last week of camp is back to school fun and we plan a big back to school party for the children. See my website for ideas
5. Ideas for the Fall Before/After School - Kids Club- In many cases parents need some place for their school-age children to go before/after school and creating after school club activities, is a great way to keep the children from getting bored. Some of the after school kids clubs could include: Art, Science, Music, Cooking, Drama, Technology, Math, Literacy Club. For more tips on how to create clubs visit, After School Training Tool Kit website.
Cool Summer Camp Marketing ideas:
- Add a large Summer Camp Here Sign in your window (if permitted)
- Market your summer camp program on your website and on your social media pages
- Decorate your windows with summer decor
- Be sure to insert Summer Camp Enrolling signs in your van window (if permitted)
- Issue Summer Camp Flyers to your local schools
- Offer incentives for parents who refer families to your summer camp
For more summer camp ideas, check out my Summer Camp Planning eGuide.
With your Child Care Business in Mind,
Follow my Child Care Business Tweets @ccarebusiness