Schools out for the Summer!

summer

With a full summer ahead, I’m sure you’re wondering “How do I keep my kids entertained?” In a child’s eyes, summer can be full of freedom and fun. The last thing you want your kids to do is spend all this free time glued to the TV!

Summer can be an amazing time to encourage kids to explore, try new things, build relationships, continue learning, and so much more. It’s important to utilize this time with you children.

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” ― George R.R. Martin

Research shows that many children will lose some of the knowledge gained during the school year, during the summer months. It’s vitally important for kids to keep learning during this break from school. As a parent you can facilitate this in a lot of different ways! Here’s some great ideas to keep your youngsters learning and growing all summer long.

Summer Camps

These are a great resource in which kids can learn from structured activities that are a lot of fun, not to mention educational. There are hundreds of resources throughout Utah for summer camps, depending on interest, price, and length of time.

  • Discovery Gateway has a lot of options to offer! Check out what camps are still available:

Girls Go Digital Summer Camp hosted by Junior Achievement City

Learn how to HACK, DESIGN, CODE & MAKE using technology and computer science. Any level of interest and experience is welcome.

June 27 – 30 | Girls ages 8-18

Register today! https://www.girlsgodigital.org/

Theatrical Technology

Learn all about the moviemaking process through the science of lighting and sound design, and the art of costumes and scenery. Write, direct, design and perform your own short movie with your fellow campers! Get ready for your big debut during the movie premier on Friday night with parents and guardians in the audience!

July 25 – 29 | Ages 8-11

8 am – 5 pm

Register in person or online

  • You can find nearly every other summer camp out there by visiting this site!

Community Activities

  • On your mark, get set, READ! Connect with your libraries summer reading program, not only can you read some great books. Many libraries also have weekly activities for your family to enjoy! Find your local library here.
  • Free summer lunches are happening across the state at a variety of locations. These lunches provide nutritious food and a chance to socialize with your community. Find the closest one to you by clicking here.
  • There are lots of other great activities going on within your community all summer long. Click here to find some of our favorite summer activities around the state.

Activities to do on your own

  • Play Unplugged! Spend time having fun, exploring, and connecting with agencies in your community by collecting Brag Badges with your children. This is a fun and free way to keep busy and try new things! Find more info here.

Have even more questions about how to keep your summer fun for the whole family? Contact Help Me Grow Utah by visiting our website or dialing 2-1-1 and asking for Help Me Grow.

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Celebrate the Week of the Young Child!

Childhood is a celebration every day, but did you know that once a year we actually have a whole week dedicated to it? April 10 – 16 has been declared by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as the Week of the Young Child. During this week especially parents and families can make a special effort to celebrate the youngsters that surround us!

Here are a few ideas from the National Association for the Education of Young Children to make the most of this special week!

Music Monday!

Through music, children develop math, language, and literacy skills – All while having fun and being active! Find the beat to connect music, movement, and math. Practice clapping, drumming, or stomping to the beat of the music while counting.

Taco Tuesday 

Cooking together connects math with literacy skills, science, and more. Measure your ingredients while making your tacos! Ask children if they’d like the same or different amounts of each ingredient.

Work Together Wednesday 

When children build together they explore math and science concepts and develop their social and early literacy skills. Practice organizing blocks by size! Try building a block tower with large blocks on the bottom and little blocks on top!

Artsy Thursday

Children develop creativity, social skills and fine motor skills with open-ended art projects where they can make choices, use their imaginations, and create with their hands. Bring art outdoors! Offer dark and light paper, chalk and pastels, and suggest children create their own versions of the day and night sky!

Family Friday

Engaging and celebrating families is at the heart of supporting our youngest learners. Have a Family Friday breakfast, where you and your children can prepare and share breakfast treats while sharing memories!

Source: https://www.naeyc.org/woyc

To celebrate the Week of the Young Child Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, Help Me Grow Utah, and other community partners are having an April Baby Shower! Bring your youngest learners and enjoy fun and interactive party activities including a ball pit, sensory wall and crawl, hand-print art, and giant bubbles! Join us at Discovery Gateway April 14, from 12pm to 4pm. Free admission for children ages 0-36 months.

Early Childhood Connections by Help Me Grow Utah: Time & Love

A friend recently asked me, “Tell me the most important thing I need to know about raising children in the next 15 seconds.” The question caught me off guard and I ended up responding with this, “Well, your child will start learning the moment they are born and the best way they learn is through play. Oh and you can never spoil your child with too much love!” My friend then responded, “Hmmm, time and love, I can do that!” Our conversation soon turned to other things and we carried on our merry way, but since then I have thought often of his question.

I am a firm believer that one of the most important gifts you can give your child truly is your time and your unconditional love. In the long run those two things will make more difference than anything else, and it’s those things that your child will remember.

With the holiday season upon us, I think we can all agree that no matter what you celebrate there is a definite feeling of love and family togetherness in the air. As a community we tend to be more kind, more patient, and have more feelings of gratitude for the people around us.

This time of year provides us with a chance to let those pleasant feelings spill into our family relationships. Take time this month to spend quality time with each of your family members, especially your children! Don’t hesitate to tell and show those around you that you love them. These really are some of the best gifts and you can give them all year long.

Happy Holidays!

Kali Iverson—Community Liaison