Long, Lazy Days of Summer

by Cheri Lindsley

Parents often wonder about what to do with their children during the summer months.  While there is frequently pressure to keep the kids entertained, there is value and beauty in letting them experience long periods of time outside, opportunity to daydream and pretend, time to get bored and discover a remedy.   And then there's the magic of play with other children and no adult to orchestrate the activities (not the same thing as no supervision).  Moms can stay close without calling the shots.  Children need to negotiate and problem solve on their own.  Even toddlers can do this with some coaching.  

Here at First Pres Preschool, we offer 8 weeks of Summer Camp for children 3-9 years old.  Not to entertain them, but to give them opportunity to be a kid.  Here they play outside and get hot, knowing that water play and popsicles are available, and every week includes a Wacky Water Wednesday.  Here they practice executive functioning skills such as negotiation and problem solving.  They help brain storm real world solutions like how to clean out the labyrinth area and prepare it for another year.  They practice literacy, math, science and writing skills through cooking and LEGO construction.  They maintain gardens and harvest the produce.  They care for animals and observe their habits.  They interact with peers of different ages and developmental abilities and practice  patience, learn to offer help,  and how to reference peers in their areas of competence.