**Disclosure: I received a Target gift card for my participation in posting this feature which was part of a campaign through MomSelect.
This year, for some reason I just cannot understand, the children have three weeks of winter break! Yes, you heard me right.....three weeks!! Their last day was this past Friday and believe it or not, they are already wanted to go back to school! As the days get shorter and weather turns colder, we as parents are often faced with more out-of-school time and the age old question, "What can we do?" from children. Now parents can look to KinderCare Learning Centers, a leading provider of early childhood education, for engaging and age-appropriate activities for their kids to enjoy over the winter months, including KinderCare Winter Science Camp, reading resources and other ideas that are great boredom-busters! KinderCare offers the following ideas for "weathering the winter season" with your children.
KinderCare Winter Science Camp - The secrets about to get out: science is a blast! At the end of December, 1600 KinderCare Learning Centers across the U.S. transform into Winter Science Camps that give preschoolers through school-agers a chance to unlock the mysteries of the natural world. Split into eight one day segments to better meet the needs of busy families staying in town for the holidays, Winter Science Camp uses age-appropriate activities and a lively, hands on approach to get kids excited about what they're learning. From fish to flowers, from robots to recycling - each centers camp covers chemistry, earth science, and physics. Among many activities, younger campers will get to be "science detectives," solving a series of science mysteries by using touch, smell, and hearing. Meanwhile, school aged kids will be busy experimenting with colored dyes, creating everything from paper to volcanic eruptions, building balloon rockets and more. Kids can attend all eight days of camp or drop in for a day or more. For more information about how KinderCare Winter Science Camp makes science as fun as it is smart, visit
Winter Reading - There is nothing better than snuggling up with your child and a good book. Reading to a child on a regular basis is by far the best way to encourage a budding reader. From the earliest ages, parents are encouraged to begin a reading routine with their children. Building on its robust literacy curriculum and teaching expertise, KinderCare is now providing parents with a comprehensive reading guide (available athttp://www2.kindercare.com/uploadedFiles/Documents/a_guide_to_reading_to_your_child.pdf) that incorporates tips on reading to infants, toddlers and preschoolers as well as recommended age-appropriate book titles. Some tips include:
- Helping to cultivate baby's interest in books by choosing ones that capture his or her attention such as board books, pop-up books, etc. Your child will want to see these again and again.
- While reading together, as questions about the pictures. Children are delighted in finding objects on the page. If they're saying "da" and pointing at the dog, say, "yes, that's the dog,:" If the child says "ball", follow up with, "that's a blue ball". You'll be giving them additional language for their verbal bank.
- Ask your child open-ended questions about the story you are reading, such as "Why do you think that happened?"
- For infants, playing peek-a-boo will help baby recognize your voice.
- To help infants and toddlers develop fine motor skills, provide a variety of soft, easy to grasp toys, such as soft books or plush toys.
- Blow bubbles with your child and watch them have a blast as they chase and catch the bubbles - both reinforce motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
With more then 1,600 centers located in 39 states and the District of Columbia, KinderCare Learning Centers, an accredited early childhood provider, offer a range of educational programs and after school care for infants as young as six weeks old to school-aged children through age 12. For more information, visit www.KinderCare.com.