We’re almost there.
COVID-19 is still a threat; and work still needs to be done to keep our youngest safe, and to protect their learning and growth. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Now, after a year in which young children lost so much, it's tempting to focus solely on “catching up” to age-level academic standards. First, let’s make sure their emotional needs are met.
Young children learn and grow alongside adults who are kind, supportive and responsive, and peers who are also being supported. To bring our youngest back “up to speed,” they need our time and energy as parents and caregivers, camp counselors and program directors, and community leaders.
So, let’s give them a summer like no other!
Let’s enjoy lots of positive play time
As the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics tells us, “play time isn’t frivolous. It enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function…which allows us to pursue goals and ignore distractions.”
Positive play time means just about anything that’s safe and fun for kids, from playing with a ball or toy to making up silly games. Look for activities that encourage creativity.
You don’t need fancy toys—simply drawing with crayons can help young children tap into their imagination, which is a key factor in developing problem-solving skills. Looking for more fun and educational activities? Check out our own worcesterdayofplay.org.
Let’s enjoy the great outdoors
Did you know that green spaces provide significant benefits to children’s physical, mental and social health and development? So, grab a ball, grab a bike and head to your favorite park or playground, or take it one step further and plan a nature walk.
Let’s find each other throughout Central Massachusetts
Opportunities for young children and families to connect and reconnect are everywhere this summer.
Looking for a summer camp or childcare program? There’s still time to enroll. You can even make literacy a priority by choosing a participating Summer Literacy Initiative program. These programs are enhancing literacy in playful ways, such as reading, poem jams, storytelling, story acting, and more.
The Worcester Public Library also makes learning fun. Take a StoryWalk, enjoy Sunshine Stories, or introduce young ones to gardening—there’s always something happening for young children at the library! Ditto for museums and other cultural spaces and places across the state. Right here in Worcester, the Worcester Art Museum and the Ecotarium offer fun and exciting activities and programs, and free passes are available through the Worcester Public Library.
Prefer something in your own neighborhood? Here’s a crazy idea—plan your own block party through the City of Worcester.
Whatever you choose to do with your young ones, we hope you have a summer like no other! Children deserve it, and so do you!