summer camp

Launching a Summer Camp that Children & Parents Love

When it comes to summer camp for young children, finding balance between having lots of fun and providing an education-based curriculum that prepares a child academically for life-long success can be challenging. But here at Children of Tomorrow Learning Centers, we have some key considerations we put in place to create a summer camp that both children and parents love.

Can you believe it’s July already? We are still wrapping our heads around how far we have come in 2020 and here we are halfway through 2021 and our COT summer camp program!

Our summer camp planning started all the way back in January and you may be wondering…how do we create our summer camp? Where do the ideas come from? How do we ensure each child learns through fun and interactive learning experiences?

Let’s dish!

THE IMPORTANT ROLE OF CURRICULUM COORDINATORS

Each school has a Lead Curriculum Coordinator that guides their fellow teachers with curriculum implementation throughout the year. Through quarterly meetings we sit down, tackle issues and create new ideas for our teachers to implement into the upcoming months.

In January, we sit down and mastermind what we envision our summer to look like starting with a theme. This year it was unanimous for LIVE! with COT. Children will channel surf through summer using bi-weekly themes to learn from. We chose seven themes:

DIY Network
The Weather Channel
Travel Channel
ESPN Featuring the Olympics
National Geographic
Food Network
and MTV (Music Television)

Curriculum Coordinators are a special role that we hold at Children of Tomorrow. We take our top performing teachers in each building and give them the additional responsibility to help guide their own fellow teachers. These teachers are in their classrooms 100% of their days and know exactly what is needed for a successful classroom.

From classroom management, to lesson planning, and behavior guidance, Curriculum Coordinators are leaders in the building to help support their team.

INCORPORATING 5 CORE LEARNING AREAS EVEN IN SUMMER

Once themes are chosen and delegated, the real fun begins: planning. Math, Science, Language and Literacy, Art and Physical Fitness are the key indicators that we encompass our lesson plans around. 

85% of the brain development occurs by the age of 5. Learning doesn’t stop because it’s summer time! This is why it is important to keep a routine in the child’s day even at summer camp. By incorporating these 5 learning areas (Math, Science, Language and Literacy, Art and Physical Fitness), children are continuing to build off previous knowledge and gain new skills in these learning areas.

BUILDING IN BOTH TEACHER DIRECTED & CHILD INITIATED ACTIVITIES

From building bird houses, to using chopsticks to eat lunch, children learn through both teacher directed and child initiated activities. It’s important there is a healthy balance between teacher directed and child initiated activities to allow children creativity flow while also having the guidance and purpose behind the activity.

For example, in one of our summer themes we planned a block building activity to build a barn for animals to live in. How big would the barn need to be? What shape is the barn? How many animals live in the barn? Those are questions the teacher would ask and the child would have the freedom to build their barn exactly how they would want it. Asking these open ended questions to the child while building helps promote self help skills and the reassurance of completing a task.

LEARNING WHAT THE CHILDREN LOVE TO EXPERIENCE

So what excites our children the most? FIELD TRIPS! We asked the preschool and pre-kindergarten class at our Norwood school and it was unanimous: they love the petting zoo and mud day. Animal visitors from the Rad Zoo and Carlson’s Lovable Llamas, Special Olympic athletes, scientists, kids bands and storytellers are the greatest addition to our summer program. In times that we fully aren’t able to bring our children out in the world, we bring the experience right to the comfort of their own center.

LEARNING WHAT THE PARENTS LOVE ABOUT SUMMER CAMP EXPERIENCES

Coming out of a pandemic and all the rules and restrictions as a parent can be tricky. Children of Tomorrow is able to provide those small group experiences at the comfort of their center. This ensures that the families feel their children are safe, well cared for, and most importantly, learning through a fun and interactive summer.
 
A lot of planning, implementation, and energy go into making summer the place where children want to be! We couldn’t do what we do without the special Curriculum Coordinators who put in the extra work and efforts throughout the school year and our amazing teachers for executing the curriculum plans with care.
 
We are excited for what the next six weeks have to bring for our children to wrap up our Live! with COT Summer Camp 2021!

BLOG AUTHOR:
Chelsea Lapham
Director of Partnerships and Development
Children of Tomorrow Learning Centers
chelsea@childrenoftomorrow.com

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Children of Tomorrow Learning Centers

Chanhassen: 952.448.7829 | Carver 952.466.2603 | Norwood Young America: 952.467.2610 | Waconia: 952.443.9900
Minnesota

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Our Locations

Chanhassen

1490 Lake Drive West
Chanhassen, MN 55317
952.448.7829

Waconia

410 East Tenth Street
Waconia, MN 55387
952.443.9900

Carver

4745 Dahlgren Rd
Carver, MN 55315
952.466.2603

Norwood Young America

316 W Hwy 212
Norwood Young America, MN 55368
952.467.2610

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