Summer Offers Wide Range of Programs for Local Kids

February 18, 2014
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While winter is still upon us, it’s already time for parents to look past the current school year and begin considering summer alternatives for their children. Boston-area kids can choose from a wide selection of offerings this year, including some half- and extended-day options, but enrollment for the unique programs described below is limited. So don’t hesitate and miss out this summer.

The Advent School, located at 15 Brimmer St. on Beacon Hill, will again partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-Lab to offer a hands-on engineering and design program for children ages 5 to 9.

The curriculum consists of three two-week-long sessions between June 16 and Aug. 1, and topics include “Marvelous Machines: From Simple to Complex” (June 16 to June 27); “Toy Making: Engineering Fun” (July 7 to 18); and “Wind and Water: Engineering for the Environment” (July 21 to Aug. 1).

Participating kids are grouped by age – the Junior Design Program for 5- and 6-year olds and the Senior Design Program for ages 7 to 9 – and teachers from the school serve as instructors.

Field trips for Junior Designers include the Charles River and the Frog, while Senior Designers will travel off-campus to MIT and the Museum of Science.

For more information, e-mail Amber Lowe, Advent summer program coordinator, at alowe@adventschool.org.

The Beacon Hill Nursery School, located at 74 Joy St. on Beacon Hill, provides a self-described 10-week “creative learning adventure” for all children ages 2 to 6, beginning on June 16 and ending Aug. 22.

Experienced EEC-qualified teachers will lead campers through a range of activities, such as arts and crafts, music, yoga, science and nature, stories and “water play.” Staff from the Museum and Science and the New England Aquarium will also be among guest visitors for in-house field trips.

A central element of summer programming at the Nursery School is its natural playspace, which combines rolling hills, butterfly gardens with swings, slides and other static features. The school also has a more traditional playground, as well as an air-conditioned gym that is ideal for indoor activities and rain days.

This year also marks the launch of the Explorers Club – a program for 5- to 7-year-olds in which each week, participants tackle on subject matter in depth and take part in highly detailed projects and off-site field trips. Registration is limited to 10 during its inaugural year.

To learn more, visit www.bhns.net.

The Belmont Day School, located at 55 Day School Lane in Belmont, presents 12 weeks of eclectic programming for children ages 3 to 14.

“We are an international community with caring educators who excel in their fields and offer a really nurturing environment that can foster the growth of children as individuals,” said Betsy Kelder, Belmont Day’s director of summer and external programs. “We have something for everyone because we have such a wide breadth of programming.”

The traditional day camp, which runs from June 23 to Aug. 15, offers drama, music, movement, sports, archery, tennis, arts and crafts, science and magic, among other activities. Red Cross-certified instructors will be on hand for daily swimming lessons, and children in the fourth grade and above can choose from an elective.

Specialty Camps allow children to immerse themselves in a single area of interest with qualified instructors for one- or two week intervals. Topics include visual and performing arts, science, math and engineering.

Belmont Day also offers weeklong sports camps for basketball, field hockey, soccer and tennis, as well as “Journeys” – a self-described “adventure trip program” for ages 10 to 13 that focuses on a single theme each week.

Visit summer.belmontday.org for more information.

The Boston Children’s School, located at Charles River Park in the West End, has provided a quality, comprehensive summer program for the past 32 years.

“We offer a wonderful, happy learning experience that keeps families coming back year after year,” said Judy Langer, who has served as executive director of the program since its inception, alongside her husband, Dr. Robert Langer. “It’s an oasis in the city that attract children from all parts of Boston and around the world.”

The nine-week program, which runs from June 16 through Aug. 15, is open to 3- to 10-year-olds and not limited to students at the school. Children are organized by age and supervised by certified teachers and teacher-interns from local colleges.

Age-appropriate activities include music appreciation, woodworking, gymnastics, arts-and-crafts and tennis, as well as swimming at the nearby Clubs at Charles River Park. An in-house storyteller provides interactive storytelling for all age groups, and just like during the regular school year at the Boston Children’s School, each child is introduced to sign language and Spanish as part of the curriculum.

The program is based at an air-conditioned facility with six classrooms, two library areas and an art room, but campers also venture off the campus on bi-weekly field trips.

For more information, call Judy Langer at 617-367-6239 or visit www.bostonchildrensschool.com.

The Community Music Center of Boston, located at 34 Warren Ave. in the South End, provides not only a performing arts instruction for kids, but also a unique program for aspiring young musicians.

From June 23 to July 18, SummerARTS offers daily classes in music, dance, drama and visual arts, along with performance opportunities and a wide range of cultural field trips, for children ages 2 to 14.

“We work with various partners from the [Boston Public Library] to different parks in the city so children can learn more about what’s going on throughout Boston,” said Catherine Miller, the Community Music Center’s director of marketing.

Children entering the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grades with one year of string or wood instruction can also participate in SummerMUSIC – a four-week program that offers individual attention, group attention and other opportunities for developing skills and self expression. The music program, which runs from June 20 to July 25, offers ample financial opportunities for applicants.

“Uniquely, we also offer private instruction for all ages including adults, in the summer at our home base in the South End,” Miller added.

To learn more, visit www.cmcb.org.

The Fayerweather Street School, located at 765 Concord Ave. in Cambridge, provides a traditional three-week program for children in kindergarten through the sixth grade, as well as a weeklong, off-campus extended offering for older campers.

SummerTime – a professionally staffed program that runs from June 9 to 27 – features dance, circus arts, music and other activities in the mornings. In afternoons, older campers can choose from electives, such as cooking, sports, science experiments and gardening, while their younger counterparts enjoy outdoor play and indoor crafts.

Each camper also has the opportunity to participate in “Waterpalooza” – the camp’s annual water-game day.

Daytripping is an option open only to children entering the sixth through eighth grades during SummerTime’s final week from June 23 to 27. Led by three chaperones, participants are scheduled to visit Walden Pond and Six Flags New England, among other locations.

Visit www.fayerweather.org/summertime for more information.

Finally, the Kingsley Montessori School, located at 30 Fairfield St. in the Back Bay, sponsors its educational Summertime program for children ages 3 to 11.

The project-based learning program consists of three two-week thematic sessions for elementary and preschool students and runs between June 23 and Aug. 1. Its curriculum is founded on the principles of STE[+a]M education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).

Elementary students will take part in hand-on projects inspired by daily fieldtrips to city parks and other landmarks throughout Boston, while afternoon programming for preschoolers includes outdoor science exploration, guest performers and special projects.

“It’s very popular with our current families, so enrollment fills up fast, but of course, it’s open to the public, as well,” said Laura Ayer, Kingsley’s director of marketing and communications.

For more information, visit www.kingsley.org.

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