Summer is a great time to keep children’s minds growing while having fun with new and old friends. From fine arts to martial arts, sports to nature, there’s a great program for every interest and age group!
Great Summer Activities for Children
Explore the Arts
Summer workshops, classes, camps and field trips at Creative Artistry School of Fine Art are fun for toddlers to teens! Located behind the Dole Mansion/Lakeside Legacy Arts Park, it’s the perfect inspriational setting for your aspiring Monet!
Sage Studio Musical Theatre Camp
June 11-29, students 15 to 18-years old can improve their skills as they explore the American musical during Sage Studio Musical Theatre Camp at Raue Center. This multi-week course culminates in a showcase of selected scenes presented at Raue Center. Two students will be chosen for master classes on June 30 at the Raue Piano Conference with Melissa Manchester, Danny Wright and Kurt Bestor. Students must exhibit an appreciation and aptitude for musical theater an submit an up to a three-minute video audition of a song.
Download application: www.rauecenter.org. For more information, call 815-356-9212.
Library Summer Reading Programs
Very likely, your local library has a summer reading program (SRP) and/or summer reading club that offers something for “read to me” age groups to adult readers. The Illinois Library Association’s theme for the 2012 program is "Reading Is So Delicious." Some libraries will follow this theme and others will create their own. Either way, SRPs help build reading skills through engaging activities. Contact your library for more information.
Material Girl in downtown Crystal Lake will be hosting its first-ever Kids Camp this summer – sign your child up for one or all of the four unique two-class sessions. No sewing experience is necessary, but students must be entering 5th grade in the fall to enroll. Sewing machines will be provided.
Contact: 21 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, 815-459-2084, www.materialgirlfabricshop.com/classes.html.
Get into Nature
McHenry County Conservation District
Meteorology, geology, zoology, ecology – all the “ologies” will be explored this summer at McHenry County Conservation District sites during various programs for all different age groups. Register today for programs that are perfect for your “naturally” curious child!
Contact: 18410 Hwy. 14, Woodstock, 815-338-MCCD, www.mccdistrict.org/web/calendar.asp.
Get Fit, Have Fun
The Zephyrs is a training team for middle-schoolers through the Running Depot in downtown Crystal Lake that prepares kids for their coming cross-country, track or local race season. Through skill, challenge and fun, Zephyrs enjoy finding new strengths in running, overcoming weaknesses and learning good habits that will benefit them in all of their sports and activities. The parent/student orientation is at 7:15 p.m., Monday, June 11 at the store.
Contact: 30 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, 815-788-9755, www.therunningdepot.com.
Young Master Martial Arts
Young Masters Martial Arts has a full set of programs specifically designed for children beginning at age 3. Each is designed to teach age-appropriate skills and uses fun, but challenging exercises to bring out the best in every student. Programs include Little Ninjas (3-5), Karate Kids (5-6), Karate and Tae Kwon Do (5+) and Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (10+). Try a free trial lesson!
Contact: 110 S. Johnson St., Woodstock, 815-206-2222, www.youngmastersmartialarts.com.
Your local park district is a great place for children and teens to spend summer making friends, learning new skills, and exploring the arts, outdoors, games and more. For example, Cary Park District’s Camp Echo, Tiny Tots Camp and Sunshine Camp encourage kids to laugh, play, grow, create and expore. Crystal Lake Park District offers day camp, golf, cheer, swimming, self-defense, music, rock climbing and more. Contact your park district for information about specific programming.
Youth Service Bureau
Youth Service Bureau, a division of Pioneer Center for Human Services, offers a series of programs to keep children engaged – learning all through the hot summer months. Courses appeal to a wide variety of ages and address current topics in a child’s life including understanding bullying, developing meaningful friendships, communicating with family, good decision-making skills and even a social group for young children.
Contact: 101 S. Jefferson St., Woodstock, 815-338-7360, www.ysb4kids.org.
Fun with Food
Fruits & Veggies to the Rescue
Every other Sunday at noon, Fruits & Veggies to the Rescue is a free, interactive children’s class led by Nina Vanderwiel at Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen in Crystal Lake. The program taps into kids' imaginations and love of superheroes to inspire them to enjoy fruits and veggies while learning about the importance of eating these nutrient-rich foods. The class includes dressing up as superheroes, creating edible and silly faces made using fruits and veggies, making fruit smoothies, a wacky workout gym and more.