Director’s Note: May 2013

As we get closer to the beginning of Summer break, many parents are looking for activity suggestions, ways to keep their children engaged in explorations and discoveries. Of course, the Richmond region provides a broad spectrum of organized activities — everything from ballet to fly fishing — but for those looking for home-based or close-to-home adventures and free-range fun here are some possibilites:


Kitchen Adventures In addition to the simple steps that involve children in daily food preparation, families can step it up with a Novelty Cooking Night. Perhaps a Harry Potter Feast for older children, or making sure all the food is in the shape of animals.


Cardboard Costumes and Villages Most moving companies recycle their boxes once they have been used several times, and there is still a lot of fun to be had with them before that journey to the curb or the recycling center. Consider picking up some flattened boxes and surprising your child with a day (or days) of limitless possibility.


Make a teepee Many an hour can be whiled away in the shade of a teepee. Add in books, favorite toys, or a friend, and you might have an unexpected camp-out on your hands. Here is a simple guide to making your own teepees from garden stakes and sheets.


Look for outside inspiration Often when we are the most in need of a fresh idea we are too tired to think of one. That’s where lists like this one can come in handy. Perhaps a car washing party doesn’t sound appealing, but scrolling down the list, flying a kite might be just the thing.


Climbing, climbing, climbing Give you child the chance to climb and grab, balance and jump this summer. The benefits include a boost in confidence and a reinforcement of skills that will help in and out of school. Many of the Richmond area parks have areas, natural and manmade, that are perfect for climbing.


An early evening walk After the heat has lifted (a bit), take 15 or 20 minutes to walk the immediate neighborhood. You can even turn it into a sort of scavenger hunt: children might count squirrels (or cicadas), spell the things she sees, he might walk with the camera and be the evening’s photographer — there are many ways to take a walk and make it memorable.


Your local library Summer reading clubs at the library are a great way to to discover new books. For a change of pace, check out the children’s book section in the University of Richmond’s Boatwright Library. It’s a perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.


While I know the end of the school year is often a whirl of activity, I hope you all can find moments of quiet, throughout this month and in the Summer months to come.


— Ms. Amanda
Image credit: