• Healthy Kid-Friendly Snacks for Summer

    When the sun is beating down, and the air conditioner is running full-blast, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. This creates a quandary for you as a mom, because you still have to feed your children, even when cooking seems out of the question. By supper time things may have cooled down enough for you to pull together dinner, but during the day, you can keep your kids energized with these simple, healthy snacks for summer.

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    • Fruit Necklaces are a snack and activity in one. Just sit kids down with a yarn needle threaded with elastic cord, and plates full of healthy fruit like strawberries, grapes, and blueberries, and set them to work making necklaces. This activity is so much fun it even works on a playdate, and if you want to make it a little bit tricky, challenge them to create patterns.
    • Apple Nachos are simple and delicious. Slice up some apples, drizzle on some melted peanut butter and dark chocolate, top with almonds and coconut, and voila! A tasty treat. Want to make it even healthier? Skip the chocolate, and kids will still gobble it up.
    • Peanut Butter Yogurt Popsicles are nutritional powerhouses. They require a little bit of work in advance of snack time, but by using just five ingredients, you reap a host of nutritional benefits. Fiber, vitamins, minerals, and protein are all packed into these delicious, creamy, frozen treats.
    • Strawberry Blueberry Frozen Yogurt Bark is another nutritious, cool, and scrumptious treat. It’s so simple that even the littlest kids will love to help you make it, and you can change the fruit to suit your mood. All it takes is yogurt, something to make it sweeter, and fruit.
    • Whip up some juicy Watermelon Slush in your blender. It only takes three ingredients and is so delicious you’ll want to skip the summer’s snow cones and just stick with the slush.
    • Pizza Kebabs are healthy and savory. Kids can’t live on fruit alone, and when you’re ready to feed them something not quite as sweet, these kebabs are a great option. All you need is whole wheat pita pockets cut into one-inch squares, mozzarella cubes, pepperoni slices, veggies of your choice, and pizza sauce. Give the kids some toothpicks, and let them design their own kebabs to dip in pizza sauce and enjoy. Pizza kebabs are equally tasty whether served warm or cold.

    In addition to keeping your kids healthy and strong with these nutritious snacks, remember to stimulate their minds with an engaging summer program. At Creative Learning Academy, our summer camp program in Succasunna, New Jersey, offers children a rich and varied experience. From swimming and sports to arts, crafts, music, and drama, to S.T.E.A.M. and computer activities, to field trips, our three, four and five-day program provide interesting and exciting activities for children from kindergarten through 7th grade. To learn more, call us at (973) 541-8241 or contact us through the website.

  • Five STEAM Activities to Try with Your Kids This Summer

    Is your child an innovative thinker? It’s important to nurture that creativity by providing opportunities to explore aspects of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Think of the world’s most innovative creations: airplanes, refrigeration, the Internet, and smartphones- we would have none of them if it weren’t for cross-disciplinary learning. If you want your kids to expand their minds this summer, try incorporating some STEAM activities.

    Seam activities for kids this summer

    What is STEAM and Why Does it Matter? STEAM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning encourages students to think broadly about real-world problems. Kids participating in STEAM activities learn how to ask questions, form connections, develop problem-solving skills, think creatively, and look for innovative solutions to problems. STEM is important because jobs in these fields are growing astronomically and the trend is expected to continue. So why is it STEAM? Because incorporating art helps kids hone their spatial awareness, shed their inhibitions and think creatively.

    Are you ready to make STEAM activities part of your child’s summer? Here are five great activities to get you started. Note: most of these projects do require a little bit of adult assistance.

    • Build Geodesic Structures. With just some straws and pipe cleaners, your budding architects can create domes and spheres in an exercise that involves geometry, building, and math. Tip: You’ll want two different colored straws to make this one simpler.
    • Make Chromatography Bags. This project is fun because each participating child ends up with a cool tote bag of their own design to keep. All you need to create these cool works of art is a canvas tote bag for each child, black water-based markers, rubbing alcohol, and an eyedropper, plate, and small cup.
    • Grow a Crystal Garden This classic science experiment requires little more than Epsom salt, food coloring, water, and clean glass jars. In order for the beautiful crystals to grow, the projects will have to spend the night in the refrigerator. In the morning, the kids can check out the results with a magnifying glass to really see the detail of each crystal.
    • Make and play with Flextangles. A little planning, a little folding, and kids will have made their own colorful fidget toys! The only supplies required are cardstock, a template, a pen, markers, scissors, glue, and maybe tape.
    • Watch some Tiny Dancers What’s more exciting than a DIY motor? This project incorporates a homopolar motor and wire sculpture for some creative fun that teaches kids about electricity and electromagnetism. Using just copper wire, magnets, AA batteries, crepe paper and hot glue, you and your little scientists will soon be watching your creations come to life and dance.

    At Creative Learning Academy, we recognize the importance of empowering kids to explore the world through creative projects. That’s why we offer STEAM activities as part of our Summer Explorers program in Succasunna, NJ. Contact us today to learn more or to enroll your child.

  • Tips for Making Summer Count

    When the school year is winding down, parents and kids alike daydream about the fun and freedom summer days will bring. However, it’s easy for summer boredom to hit just days after the kids get out of school. Is it possible for the summer to live up to your family’s expectations, and can your kids remain gainfully occupied when regular activities are on hold? Yes! You can keep your children engaged, happy and learning with these tips for making summer count.

    Learn the tips for making your summar count

    • Go swimming! A beach vacation may not be on your agenda, but hitting the local pool can be fun and rewarding. Besides being a skill that all children should learn, swimming is a proven stress reliever. Studies show that swimming produces relaxation responses and mental tranquility similar to those provided by yoga. Not only that but as any mom will tell you, it wears the kids out!
    • Visit a local science center. Science centers are great places to explore nature and learn new things. Check out the center’s calendar to learn which exhibits are going to be on display, and you might even find some cool events to interest your family. Near Succasunna, there are some great science centers to explore, including Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ, Trailside Nature & Science Center in Mountainside, NJ, and Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown, PA.
    • Grow a garden. Even little kids love to dig in the dirt and plant things that they can watch grow. Planning, tending, and reaping the rewards of a garden can help kids build a variety of skills, and you can boost the learning aspect by encouraging kids to keep a gardening journal. In this journal, they can write down questions and observations, keeping a written record of the growth of your summer garden. Gardening is a wonderful way to teach kids about healthy foods, the circle of life, and how to care for nature.
    • Read and write stories. Reading together is a great way to bond with your children while keeping their minds active. Writing together takes learning to the next level. There are so many great ways to inspire your kids to write. You can write a story together, encourage your kids to create a magazine, or show them how to start blogging.
    • Try geocaching. Geocaching is a cool outdoor activity for families: part hike, part scavenger hunt. Search for hidden caches using handheld GPS tools or apps, or try earthcaching, where you look for interesting geologic features. You can learn all about geocaching and earthcaching, and find links to even more information by visiting Geocaching 101: Family Fun for All, in Every Season.
    • Sign up for a summer program. Summer programs come in many forms, and you’re sure to find one to interest your kids. Whether you choose a sports program, an academic program, one that allows kids to pursue their artistic passions or some combination of more than one of these, summer programs are a great way to keep kids occupied during the summer.

    Creative Learning Academy offers a nine-week summer program in Succasunna, NJ for students entering kindergarten through 7th grade. We’re excited for this opportunity to provide kids with varied experiences, from the artistic to the sporty to the academic. Contact us through our website, or call 973.541.8241 to learn more.

  • 7 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Summer Program for Your Child

    During the summer, you want your child to learn, grow and have fun. In addition to having time to play with friends and interact with family, it’s important for children to keep learning and developing new skills. One way to ensure this is by enrolling them in a summer program.

    Ask the program director the following questions, so you know what to expect before you enroll your child.

    • What is the goal of your program? Summer programs have different philosophy and aims. A sports-oriented camp, for instance, focuses on physical activity, teamwork, and ambition, while an academic program is more likely to work on honing educational skills and helping children learn to think critically. Choosing between these camps is subjective, and should be based on your child’s interests, strengths, and summer goals. Beyond the basic type of camp, however, is the consideration of the camp’s philosophy. It’s important to choose a camp that is aligned with your family’s value system and your child’s temperament.
    • How do you recruit, background check and train your staff? Look for a camp that thoroughly screens and trains employees before putting them to work in the summer program. Do the counselors undergo criminal background checks? What about first aid training? How many counselors return for subsequent years? For most camps, according to the ACA, that number is about 40 to 60 percent. If counselors are not returning, that could be a sign that the camp is not well run. Ask the age of the counselors, too: at least 80 percent of the staff should be 18 or older, and the minimum age should be at least 16, and a minimum of two years older than the campers under their supervision.
    • What is the ratio of staff members to children? The camp should follow ACA guidelines. For overnight camps, this means a 1:6 ratio for ages 7 and 8, 1:8 ratio for 9-14, and a 1:10 ratio for ages 15-18. For a day camp, the requirements are less stringent: 1:8 for ages 6-8, 1:10 for 9-14, and 1:12 for children aged 15-18.
    • What is your approach to discipline? Know the camp’s rules, how conflict between campers is managed, and what infractions would be enough to send a camper home. Ask how negative behavior is handled, and make sure that you’re comfortable with the way the camp’s practices and rules line up with your parenting philosophy.
    • What is your daily schedule? Once you know the daily schedule, you can better gauge how the camp will line up with your child’s interests and preferred activity level.
    • How does field trip transportation work? Ask what vehicles are used to transport children, and how often they’re inspected. You should also find out who drives the vehicles and what training the drivers undergo.
    • Do you have references I can contact? It’s important to talk to parents with children who have attended the camp so that you can get a better overall view of the camp experience. If possible, allow the children to speak to each other as well. Ask both the parent and child to share anything they didn’t like about the camp, as well as the positive aspects.

    Creative Learning Academy is very proud of our Summer Explorers program in Succasunna, NJ. Through activities as diverse as swimming, sports, arts and crafts, music, drama, S.T.E.A.M. and computer activities, and field trips, we provide children with a rich and varied experience that helps them learn and grow. We offer three, four, and five-day programs for children from kindergarten through 7th grade. To learn more, call us at (973) 541-8241 or contact us through the website.

  • 6 Reasons to Enroll Your Child in Summer Camp

    Summer can be a good time to kick back and relax, but it’s also a time when your child’s skills can decline if you’re not careful. While it’s important to have some downtime during the summer months, it’s also vital to keep your children thinking and moving, so that when the school year starts back up, you’ll all be ready. Don’t let the dog days of summer drag on – enroll your child in a program that will invigorate her body and mind before a new school year begins in the fall.

    Here are the top six reasons to sign up your child for summer camp with Creative Learning Academy.

  • Camp helps teach your child the life skills necessary to succeed as adults. Many of the skills needed to be successful in the 21st century can’t be adequately taught in schools. Communication, collaboration, creativity, leadership, socialization, and problem-solving are all skills that can be greatly increased as children explore the world around them in a camp environment.
  • The right camp can strengthen your child mentally and physically. Learning is about more than grades and test scores. Children can try new activities at camp, and when they succeed at these activities, they grow in confidence and self-esteem. The kind of whole child education provided by time spent at camp provides challenges that help children grow, developing social and problem-solving skills in a supportive community.
  • Spending time at camp lets your child unplug from technology. The time that children spend in front of screens is a concern for parents and educators alike because it often takes the place of important activities and socialization. At summer camp, kids take a break from TV, smartphones, tablets, and computer screens, and learn to interact with the world around them.
  • Camp life introduces children to new friends and helps them grow socially. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends unstructured play as essential for promoting a child’s healthy social, emotional, and cognitive growth. At camp, children have plenty of time to play and interact, both in structured activities and unstructured free time. Campers learn to communicate with each other, navigate social situations on their own, and solve problems by themselves. What’s more, because the people they meet at camp are new to them, children have the opportunity to shed stereotypes they may have felt “stuck with” at school, and explore new sides of themselves.
  • Camp provides children with the opportunity to discover new interests. The activities offered at camp are different than those encountered by kids in their daily life, and your child may find an activity that peaks his or her interest. The skills learned at camp can be carried into everyday life, and may lead to a new hobby or extracurricular activity.
  • Children gain independence through the experience of camp. When children are on their own, away from parents and familiar surroundings, they are given an important opportunity to become more independent. They have to think on their own and rely on themselves, the other campers, and the adults at camp, and this builds their independent thinking ability and helps promote healthy self-esteem.

At Creative Learning Academy, our summer camp program in Succasunna, New Jersey, offers children a rich and varied experience. From swimming and sports to arts, crafts, music, and drama, to S.T.E.A.M. and computer activities, to field trips, our three, four and five-day program provide interesting and exciting activities for children from kindergarten through 7th grade. To learn more, call us at (973) 541-8241 or contact us through the website.

  • 7 Benefits of Early Childhood Education

    When should a child’s education begin? School officially starts with kindergarten at age 5, but some say your child’s formal education should begin long before this. Are you considering preschool? There are many benefits to providing your child with a well-rounded early education, particularly a full-day pre-primary program.

    Benefits Of early childhood education

    Here are the top seven benefits of enrolling your child in preschool.

    • Healthy Socialization: It’s important for children to socialize with people outside of their family, in a safe environment. This helps them gain self-confidence and promotes healthy social development.
    • Cooperation & Sharing: Learning to take turns and share with others is important, especially for children who may not have to share with siblings at home. In a learning environment, guided by caring professionals, children learn to play together constructively and cooperatively.
    • Respect for Others: Learning to respect other people and their belongings can help a child develop a healthy respect for the world around them, too. In a preschool environment, children learn civility and manners, not just through lessons, but through experience.
    • Teamwork: Knowing how to work in a group is beneficial not just in school, but throughout a person’s life. Participating in activities that teach respect for the opinions of others, listening, cooperation, and equality helps preschoolers learn the valuable teamwork skills that will help them get along with others and, eventually, gain employment.
    • Focus & Attention: When children are given the opportunity to explore the world around them in an environment that helps them learn to listen, follow directions, and participate in group activities, it helps them develop their concentration. During the preschool years, when their brains are developing, and they respond to the world around them with eager interest and a lively imagination, educators have a valuable opportunity to help them learn to focus and pay attention.
    • Self-Confidence: Interacting positively with teachers and other children can build a child’s optimism, self-esteem, and self-confidence. This, in turn, will encourage them to explore their interests, talents, and skills, and developing new skills will lead to further confidence
    • Exposure to Diversity: When children begin to interact with others at an early age, they learn that each person is special and unique in their own Exposure to other children from different cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and ethnicity can help a child learn to appreciate and accept those differences.

    At Creative Learning Academy, we strive to create a safe, fun, reliable space where children can interact, have fun, learn, and get ready for school. Our staff is composed of engaged, responsible, loving adults dedicated to promoting healthy child development. We offer child care programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and Pre-K students. To learn more about our programs, please contact us today.