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Exploring Summer Interests

Exploring Summer Interests
April 2013

Summer break is fast approaching, and while Kids relish their first structure-less days off, it's only a matter of time before restlessness sets in. Parents: listen up! Summer is the perfect time to let kids immerse themselves in their favorite activities or try out new ones. Check out these local programs and resources for some great ideas.

Appreciating the arts

Outside of the confines of the classroom, kids can get creative in the art studio, says Barb Hegeman, Myart Owner in Zionsville and Broad Ripple. Myart offers a myriad of summer camps, which Hegeman says are perfect for fueling a child's creative spirit.

"At Myart we offer weekly and one-day art camps where kids learn how to create art all centered on a specific theme. This year's themes include: Cartooning, Animals, Rainforest Adventure, Under the Sea, Things with Wings, Angry Birds, Superheroes, Pokemon and Winged Whimsy Art. Our campers work in a variety of mediums, including marker, oil and chalk pastels, watercolors, acrylics, charcoal, colored pencil and collage."

Ben Shine, Director of Communications at the Indianapolis Art Center, adds that summer is the perfect time for kids to explore the arts, because summer programs are more unique, informal and hands on. "The Indianapolis Art Center encourages kids to experiment with classes, and be open to the creative process, as opposed to working for a grade," he says.

In fact, a camp environment is great for offering a more easy-going, fun environment to learn. "Summer camps can provide a relaxing and fun-filled week – focused on the interests of students," says Carol White, Indianapolis Museum of Art Assistant Director of Studio and Community Art Programs.

White adds that camps also offer opportunities for personal success that may not be possible during other parts of the year. "There are no tests to take – and, in the case of the museum experience, students can make their own decisions about the outcome of a project," she says.

Rockin' the suburbs

For kids who love music, there are plenty of options available. Hillary Blake, Director of Education at Meridian Music, echoes Hegeman's praise of the summer camp environment. "Summer is a great time for a child to learn something new because the pressures of school activities and homework are off. Students can really put more effort into the things they enjoy."

Blake says Meridian offers plenty of options for every musical interest: "In our Musical Theater Camp, children learn all aspects of producing a live musical including the audition process, costumes, staging, acting, singing, choreography and set-design. Meanwhile, our Rock Band Camp give intermediate musicians the chance to learn rehearsal techniques, song writing techniques and music theory – and the students perform a live concert!"

As with the other skills your child learns in school, it's crucial to continue practicing music over the summer. Blake adds that it's "important for children to keep their minds and bodies active during the summer months, so it's easier to get back to the school routine."

Breaking a sweat

Speaking of staying active, there are lots of ways for your child to get some exercise during the summer. Aside from neighborhood games of "tag" or "capture the flag," kids can let loose at one of Indianapolis' many summer camps. For example, the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis has camps to match nearly any age and interest.

Additionally, local sports organizations, such as Indy Parks Swim Team, offer great opportunities for your kids to participate in summer sports. Unlike school-affiliated teams, summer sports are generally more laid back, while still providing the physical and social benefits of participating in sports.

However your children decide to spend their summer break, as long as they're doing something they enjoy, great summer memories will be made. "Plus," Shine notes, summer activities have "no parents – so it's a lot of fun!"

As a final note, most summer activities require early registration, so talk to your kids about their interests now, and book their spots today!

Tags: Enrichment, In This Issue, Kids

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