By Rachel Wells
Summer will (thankfully) be here before we know it. Apollo After School offers unique summer programs for kids in Chicago and here we will suggest great activities if your kids can’t attend this year.
Summer programs for kids that integrate educational aspects into fun daily after school program activities (like our summer STEM projects), can help ease that summer slide.
Camps help students unplug, make new friends, grow personally, reconnect with nature, create memories, and have tons of fun! Our day camps offer fun and educational activities along with traditional camp favorites, in unique weekly themes.
This summer, some of our weekly camp themes include:
Structured summer programs for kids are incredibly beneficial. Research has shown that students can lose as much as two months of grade level equivalency in reading, writing, and math over summer break.
If your child is unable to participate in Apollos summer program for kids this year, there are still lots of fun activities you can do together at home that will make this summer one your kids will remember forever, while keeping those brains engaged and learning a little something too.
See who can throw a water balloon the furthest by measuring how far each person was able to toss them. Practice your aim by setting hula hoops in the grass, and try to toss water balloons into the targets. And after you have practiced your aim with the hula hoops, put on your swimsuit and have some fun getting each other wet.
After baking cookies together, make your own ice cream in a bag together too. Cooking provides an opportunity for children to practice measurement and how to follow written directions. To make ice cream in a bag combine:
Push out all the air and seal the bag. In a larger Ziploc bag, combine 3 cups of ice and 1/3 cup of kosher salt. Place the small bag inside the bigger bag and shake for 10 minutes, or until the ice cream has hardened. Remove the inside bag and enjoy!
Take photos throughout the summer of all of your child’s adventures. As you print and glue the pictures into a journal, have your child write stories or memories of the event. At the end of the summer, you will have a pretty fun book to look back on.
Try out a new park, or just head to your backyard. Have your child help you pack up everything you need and enjoy a good old fashioned picnic together.
Another summer classic. Help your child set up a lemonade stand. Your child will learn how to count money, make change, and the value of hard work.
Use chalk to draw a giant twister board on your driveway or create a large maze that your child can walk through.
Stay up late and stargaze. Make sure to do some research ahead of time so you know where to find the constellations that are visible near you.
Take a walk and collect rocks with flat surfaces. Decorate the rocks to look like animals, or write inspirational words on the rocks to decorate a garden.
Try to catch as many fireflies as you can in a jar or bug keeper – just remember to set them free later that night!
To do this STEM activity together, cut the bottom off of an empty plastic water bottle. Cover the cut hole with a cotton sock, and place a rubber band around both the sock and bottle to secure the two parts together.
Place a few drops of food coloring onto the part of the sock that is covering the hole. Dip the same side you just put food coloring on into bubble solution. Blow through the mouth part of the plastic bottle to create colorful bubble snakes!
Even if you don’t want to camp overnight, a tent set up outside is bound to ignite all sorts of imaginative play and fond memories.
All of these activities and summer programs for kids combine education and entertainment, and will keep your child engaged throughout the summer months. A balance of both free play and organized activities make for a winning combination. I hope you enjoy your child’s summer break and making memories together that will last a lifetime.