As many experienced parents are already well aware, a strategy is helpful when determining which summer activities their children will participate in. If you haven’t approached this topic yet don’t worry, we have done some of the legwork for you!
Staying Active During The Summer It is very important to steer kids in the direction of activities that include exercise in order to avoid an excess of ‘lazy summer days.’
Nebraska Cheer Center offers Tumbling Classes for children ages 2 to 18 year round, as well as Stretch & Flexibility classes, Flight Schools, Recreational Cheer, a Nationally Award Winning Competitive Cheer Program and, new this year, a Prep All Star Cheer Program! Nicki Baker, owner of Nebraska Cheer Center, advises that children who participate in Cheer & Tumbling will benefit significantly by developing body strength, flexibility, and endurance while enhancing their self-confidence. She adds, “We highly recommend that kids get connected with recreational sports that will keep them mentally and physically engaged. Children are welcome to come try a class or two for free in order to make sure it is the right fit. At NCC, we live and work by the motto that healthy kids are happy kids. We want all children to have a place outside of the home that makes them feel safe, helps them stay healthy, and keeps them happy!”
Bowling is a great daytime activity for kids during the summer, especially when it is too hot outside to do anything else! Jennifer Davis-Korn of 48 Bowl says, “Every summer for the last 20 years Parkway Lanes and Hollywood Bowl have offered FREE bowling to Lincoln area youth ages 5-15 through the Kids Bowl Free program. Once you’re registered, you’ll receive TWO FREE GAMES every day. Shoe rental is not included; however, we think that our Unlimited Shoe Pass–$10 per youth bowler for the entire summer–is an excellent deal. There is also a Family Pass for $24.95 which allows mom, dad, older siblings, grandparents or a babysitter (up to four people) to receive the same two free games of bowling. Here’s how you can get signed up: 1. Go to KidsBowlFree.com. 2. Click on Nebraska on the map. 3. Click on either Parkway Lanes or Hollywood Bowl. 4. Scroll down, enter your information and click “Sign Me Up.” 5. Verify your registration by following any directions KBF emails you.”
Summer Learning Programs Research from Johns Hopkins National Center for Summer Learning shows that children can lose 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math and two months in reading simply as a result of the summer slide. Also, according to the National Summer Learning Association, educators in the fall typically spend four to six weeks getting students back to where they were at the end of the previous academic year. This problem can be addressed with students participating in summer learning programs.
Bright Lights offers over 25 years of experience providing summer enrichment programs for K-9th graders in a safe environment, offering small classes and hands-on opportunities in focused areas of interest as well opportunities to explore new interests. Kathy Hanrath, Executive Director of Bright Lights explains, “Bright Lights is an ideal way for students to maximize the fun of summer vacation while increasing their potential for success when they return to school in the fall. Our master teachers choose an area of expertise on which they will guide students through a week-long learning adventure, so each summer provides new chances for our students to learn, grow and explore.” Registration for each of the six sessions offered will remain open until a week before they begin. Additionally, before care is offered beginning a 7:30 am at only $15/week and supervised lunch is offered for $10/week, which combined allows for an all-day program.
Music and the arts have been proven to aid in many factors of a child’s mental and emotional wellness also. Vicki Harris, owner of Harris Academy of the Arts, says, “We offer Kindermusik Adventures classes for newborns up to 7 years of age, a Children’s Music Academy sampler for ages 4 to 7, and a wide variety of classes for all ages such as Beginning Fiddling, Flute Choir, vocal workshops, a Theatre Camp, and even a four day class which will coincide with World Music Day on June 21st. The possibilities truly are endless for kids at Harris Academy of the Arts, and the only thing you have to prepare for is a roaring good time! For all related information, please visit our webpage: http://harrisacademyofthearts.com/curriculum/summer-camps/.” She adds, “We are also holding an essay contest, and the winner will receive a free year of private lessons or group class tuition for the 2014-2015 term. The entry deadline is May 31st, so make sure to visit our webpage soon for more info!”
Preparing for Summer Activities The most crucial part of preparing for summer activities, aside from registration and scheduling accordingly, is making sure you have the right equipment and necessary items.
For athletic activities, Play it Again Sports is an excellent resource for finding the essentials at a very reasonable price. Diane Hesson, owner of Play it Again Sports, states, “We see ourselves as a ‘one stop shop’ as with our wide variety of sporting equipment, we should be able to outfit your children from head to toe for the summer sports that are just around the corner. Not only can you save by purchasing a slightly used item, you can also build a discount on your purchase by bringing in other quality used items for trade value. So your savings can be huge, which often makes it easier for parents to get their children involved in more activities. It’s a win-win situation!”
Uniforms or coordinating attire are also a big part of kids’ activities and fun events throughout the summer, and parents often show their support by wearing corresponding colors or custom-made shirts. Whether it’s a camp, club, league, etc. this provides the opportunity for easy walking advertising and creating your own shirts is fun too! Rick Poore of Shirts 101 adds, “Aside from the perks of promoting your business or organization while supporting kids in their summer activities, people love having something to commemorate these types of events that they can wear in casual situations such as running errands or working out.” He advises, “The most important recommendation I offer my clients is to make sure you allow yourself enough time to compile sizing information and to get artwork developed and approved. At Shirts 101, we suggest allowing at least two weeks prior to that date. It is also helpful to have a concept and/or ideas in mind. This way, our in-house artists will be better able to make your vision come to life!”
Dental Work During The Summer Months Summer is the perfect time for kids to have dental work done, especially more complicated procedures or those that will require recovery time. Dr. Andrew Glenn explains, “An optimal time for scheduling dental work is when kids are on break from school and sports; most notably, for procedures such as removal of wisdom teeth or corrective jaw surgery. My advice to parents and kids alike is to not worry because we’ve seen it and done it all before, and we treat each of our younger patients as if they were our own kids. And just as important as the major dental work, don’t get too busy enjoying the summer so much that you forget to brush and floss!”
As summer approaches, make sure to balance some relaxation away from the classroom grind with some fun activities that will keep your kids active, learning new and fun things, and meeting new friends!