Children are naturally curious. Anyone who has been around a small child for any amount of time knows that it takes mere seconds for them to lose interest in one thing and move on to the next. Or why it never seems that the house is clean because by the time you clean up one mess, the children have made a mess some place else. It’s easy to get frustrated by it, but when you stop and think… that’s how they learn!
At Bona Vista Programs, we want to take that curiosity and foster it into learning during our half-day summer camps for children ages 4 & 5 coming up in June and July. There will be two sessions for parents to choose from, as well as a morning or afternoon option. We are partnering with the Purdue Extension Office and Purdue University students to develop hands-on experiences to keep children actively learning during the summer.
What’s the theme? STEAM! Yes, I did that in all caps for a reason (the rhyming was just an added bonus). If you’re not familiar with the STEAM concept it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, and is being integrated in most school corporations as well as preschools. Focusing on these areas helps to build an early academic foundation and development of early critical thinking and reasoning skills. Sounds boring? It’s not!
Let me give you one example. In the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, Goldilocks breaks a chair. Did you even remember that part? During the summer camp what would happen is the teacher leading the program would read the story aloud first. The children would discover the problems (broken chair, for example). Then, they would take it a step further. Why did that happen? Was the chair not sturdy enough? Was Goldilocks too big for the chair? What could we do to prevent that from happening again? So, then they draw a diagram or envision how they think the chair could have been better. They will then count their materials (because… math!), and start the construction process. When I say construction, I am talking toilet paper rolls, popsicle sticks, etc. Then, they will test their work by placing consistent objects (like pennies) on their chairs to see which chair held the most and talk about why. Did you know that ALL of that could come out of one child’s story?
During these camp sessions, we will tie in literacy, math, engineering, science, art and technology in a fun and inviting manner that the children can understand and enjoy. Their work will be their play while they explore and discover in a setting that also allows them to develop social skills, fine motor skills and supports all areas of Kindergarten readiness! Learning doesn’t just happen in a classroom setting. It is also hands-on, experimenting (and failing at times, even!), active and messy! And, SO MUCH FUN!
Oh, speaking of messy… didn’t I say something about art? In addition to the two half-day summer camp opportunities, Bona Vista will also offer an Ooey Gooey Messy Art camp June 27-29 for children ages 4 & 5. Now, when I say “arts” I don’t want you to read “crafts.” There is a difference. Art is creativity, which is so much more than crafts (although they can be included in the larger picture). It’s giving the children paint, buttons, mud, glitter, food (or whatever they would like) and seeing what they come up with, for example. There’s no pre-made pattern, template or rules. It’s open-ended. It’s watching their little brains become actively engaged in their own learning process.
Cost for each summer camp session is $100. The sessions are six half-days each. Real quick math: that’s 18 hours of camp for $100 which equals about $5.50 an hour. Try finding someplace else for them to go (and actually learn while having fun) for that rate. That’s a deal! Cost for Ooey Gooey Messy Art is $50, and is three half-days. There is a special discount if you register and prepay for the two sessions of summer camp & the art camp. I mean, everything I already mentioned is well worth the price, but who doesn’t like to save a little money? Register for all three camps, and save $25.
All you have to do to register or get more information is call 765-457-8273, stop by 1220 E. Laguna in Kokomo or visit www.bonavista.org. There is a minimum of 10 children per class required to be registered in order for the programs to take place. I don’t envision that being an issue at all with as entertaining as they sound, but spread the word and don’t delay! Sign your children up not only to secure their spot, but to foster their educational advantage going in to Kindergarten and their future!
Until next time… keep a good view on life!