Summer Programs for Kids

As we are entering the last week of school, and many summer programs and plans have changed or been cancelled, parents are left wondering how they will keep their kids entertained this summer. Here are a few ideas on how you can keep your kids active, engaged, and out of your hair!

Parkboard—The Springfield Parkboard has a lot of great opportunities for kids this summer! The Dickerson Park Zoo is reopening to Friends of the Zoo from May 26th – 28th and to the public on Friday May 29. Parks and playgrounds have reopened with physical distancing in place and a limit of 25 adults and children in the play area. Chesterfield, Dan Kinney, and Doling Family Centers have reopened with a modified schedule. Cooper Tennis Complex, Jordan Valley Ice Park, and Springfield Skate Park are operating under a modified schedule. Lake Springfield Boathouse has opened for the summer with canoe, kayak and paddleboard rentals. For more details about these facilities, check out the complete article here.

Summer Camps and SPARC Programs are still being evaluated but Park Staff is working toward opening SPARC Summer Camps, Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park Camps and Valley Water Mill Equestrian Center Camps as scheduled. Dates have not been finalized. Click here for details. The opening schedule for Pools is also still being evaluated.

Library--If you’re looking for a little educational fun this summer, the Springfield Greene County Library branches will be opening on Tuesday May 26th. And the library also offers some great virtual programs for teens. And you can check back here for a schedule of virtual summer programs and information about the 2020 Summer Reading Program for Kids, Teens and Adults.

Springfield Little Theatre—There are many Summer Youth Programs available at the Springfield Little Theatre! Summer Stages, Friday Fundays, Summer Dance Classes and more! They are also implementing special safety procedures for their students. Get a complete listing of classes and pricing here.

YMCA—Camp Wakonda is offering 8 sessions this summer in June, July and early August. You can find a list of the available camps here and also a detailed explanation of their increased safety protocols here.

Virtual Summer Camps—There are several free options for virtual summer camps to help keep your kids engaged. I was really impressed by the variety of classes offered by Varsity Tutors. They have a bunch of fun classes for multiple age groups including Recycled ART, Video Game Design, Digital Photography, and Make Your Own Lego Movie! And best of all, it’s completely FREE! Click here to check out the complete class listing.

Springfield Public Schools Explore! To Go—Springfield Public Schools has moved their Explore! summer school program online.If you have already enrolled in Explore, Elementary and Middle School students were automatically moved into a virtual class.If you haven’t enrolled, information will be coming soon on the new enrollment processes. Learn more at SPS.org/Explore

Join this Facebook Group: Amazing Educational Resources is a great Facebook group to join to find with lots of ideas and resources

And here are a few other links I found to have some creative ideas for keeping the kids busy and connected (to more than their screen) this summer!

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/03/keep-kids-busy-and-connected

https://www.mother.ly/child/how-to-keep-a-preschooler-busy-other-than-screentime

https://activeforlife.com/42-activities-to-keep-kids-busy-while-parents-work-at-home/

(Photo: Getty Images)

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