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Summer Fun! Playing to learn at Liberty Judy Center’s Camp Create

Toddlers and caregivers enjoy activities supporting Early Childhood development and parenting strategies

One nook is filled with paintings on small easels. Another overflows with wooden building blocks. A colorful mural of scenes from under the sea sits nearby, drying. Young toddlers are active throughout the room, playing, laughing and exploring. 

Students draw and doodle at Camp Create“Engaging in fun activities opens up the world to our youngest learners, fueling curiosity and making them feel good about entering a classroom - a crucial step in school preparation,” said Anana Kambon, Camp Create organizer and Education Consultant. “At the same time, we’re guiding parents to help them stay flexible, patient and engaged while allowing their children to learn through play. 

At Camp Create, flexible exploration is key to engaging in play, and using that spark to support our young children’s development. For two weeks in July, children ages 18-40 months painted, built structures, explored sensory bins to improve motor functions, scribbled on paper as introduction to writing, and even welcomed lizards, turtles, hamsters and rabbits! In the process, parents observed, joined in, and discussed parenting strategies that they can apply at homeCamp Create students play and explore.      

Liberty Judy Center is one of 14 Judy Centers housed at City Schools across the city with the goal of enhancing school readiness for children birth-age 5 and providing family services and parenting support.

On a recent visit, the families explored ‘Construction.” As building block time was coming to an end, it was clear the children were invested in building towers, bridges, and forts. Instead of shifting to the next activity, Kambon guided parent observation and the group decided to extend the building portion of the morning. Children’s interest only grew. They collaborated, explored, and ultimately, learned. 

Kambon designed Camp Create for toddlers and aligned the class content with City Schools’ Camp Curiosity pre-K and kindergarten summer program themes for: play-based learning, arts- integrated experiences, movement, motor skill development, and animal play. The activities at Camp Create reiterate what we have always known: learning is fun, and fun is learning! 

Camp Create is just one of the many high quality, engaging programs that help prepare children from birth to kindergarten and their families for school readiness, such as parent/child reading experience, arts integration, STEM explorations, and more.

To learn more about Judy Centers, click here.

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