With kids trading after-school activities for time at home, summer break can dramatically disrupt their relationship with your program. A lapse in attendance during the summer can make it more difficult to convince them to sign up again in the fall. Implementing summer programming can be a great way to maintain your relationship and keep kids coming back for future programs. Summer is the perfect time to try out some new programs that are engaging and spark creativity. Here are four program ideas to keep kids active and smiling this summer.

Savor the Sun with a Gardening Club

Outdoor activities are the perfect way to keep kids active during the summer. Getting kids outside and moving can help prevent health issues and boost summer fun. Take advantage of the warmer weather by starting a gardening club. Growing flowers is a great opportunity to incorporate learning by teaching kids about nature. While growing vegetables, you can also teach them about nutrition. They can even take home a healthy snack when harvest time comes! A gardening club is a great way for kids to get their hands dirty and learn along the way.  

Give Back to Your Community with Service Opportunities

There are always people in your community that need an extra hand. Offering service opportunities is a great way to teach teens about leadership and help them grow. Service opportunities give teens the chance to work alongside their peers while giving back to their community. Volunteer experience can also help them prepare for life after school. Partnering with other local nonprofits and volunteer groups can help you find impactful ways for your teens to get involved this summer.  

Encourage Creativity with an Art Program

Every kid needs an outlet for their creativity and self-expression. You can give them the space to explore that creativity this summer by starting an art program. Offering a series of classes on watercolor painting will let kids really dig deep into the medium. Alternatively, exploring a new medium each class can help kids discover new kinds of art. An art program can help you spark creativity and keep kids engaged while giving them the space to express themselves.  

Provide a Healthy Lunch with a Meal Program  

Without a school cafeteria to rely on, many kids will lose access to healthy meals during the summer. Research shows that losing school lunches puts financial strain on many families, especially those who rely on free or reduced lunches. Providing kids with reliable, healthy meals will help keep them safe and reduce the effects of summer slide. You can even combine your meal program with learning activities to teach them about healthy eating and nutrition.

Kids don’t have to stay stuck at home just because it’s summer break. Introducing new programs can keep them active and engaged, while helping them learn along the way. Stay tuned for the next part of our series where we’ll look at how to evaluate your after-school program now that summer’s almost here.

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