Each site is unique based on staff strengths and talents; however, every program contains the following daily activities.
Discovery Learning Stations
This is a time for children to choose from a variety of activities designed to stimulate imagination and develop independent choice. Activities may include board games, books, puzzles, manipulatives, dramatic play, construction, science & exploration and math/language explorations etc.
We provide a nutritious snack for active bodies. Snacks will follow DHS guidelines, and will include items such as fruit, crackers, pretzels, popcorn, and 100% fruit juice. If your child has any dietary restrictions, please be sure to indicate so on your child’s registration form.
Children will not be permitted to buy food from school vending machines at any time while at YMCA Child Care Services.
Play Time/ Activity Time / Health & Nutrition
This includes time in the gym or on the playground, group games, team sports, and special events. These are designed to develop strength and coordination as well as cooperation and team work. This time is also utilized to discuss and conduct activities on health, nutrition, and the benefits of physical activity for a healthy lifestyle.
This is a time for arts and crafts, science and nature, roller hockey, chess, cooking, sign language, sewing, etc. Projects will be based on the interest, needs, and age of the children. Children will learn to work with a variety of materials that develop new skills. Clubs will vary at each site based on the talents of staff and interests of children
This is a special time for discussion, sharing, and problem solving, where each child will have the opportunity to share thoughts, feelings and ideas. Our goal is to utilize this time to develop self-esteem and character. The Character Counts! program is based on the six pillars of character: Respect, Responsibility, Caring, Trustworthiness, Fairness, and Citizenship.
Power Half Hour/Quiet Time
This is a chance for the older children to work on homework while the younger children participate in relaxing activities such as reading, story time, or puzzles.
YMCA KidzLit was developed to provide curriculum to YMCAs concerned with the reading and literacy level of the children they serve. The curriculum helps build important literacy skills, develops an appreciation for reading, and reinforces the YMCA character development values. It is part of the YMCA Strong Communities Agenda and provides wonderful curricula for YMCA school age care.
Community Service and Learning
Children and staff have time to talk about society’s needs and skills for caring for one another. Areas covered include relating to others, team work, accepting diversity, non-violence, problem solving and caring for and respecting each other. Service projects are developed and worked through together. Children will have the opportunity to participate in at least one site specific project per year (i.e. toys for tots, food drives, cards for mobile meals recipients, etc).
Parent & Family Events
At least once per quarter, each location will offer a parent/family event. These events are held in order to foster healthy family togetherness time in a low cost and supportive environment. Examples include but are not limited to family board game night, family parent/child group games, family potluck, Healthy Kids Day, Parent’s Night Out, etc. Some events are held during program hours and on site, while others are held off site during non-traditional program time. Please watch your parent newsletters and parent communication board for more information.
Parent Education Workshops
Our goal is to “Build a healthier community, one person at a time” it is for this reason and many more that we offer a parent education workshop once per quarter as well. The YMCA strives to help with all areas of your families needs. Topics range from health & wellness, healthy cooking, money management, and child development, to stress reduction and family fun ideas. Watch your parent newsletters for information regarding these upcoming events.
Occasionally our program will show a movie during program hours that is theme related or for a special occasion. Movies will be developmentally appropriate. Our movie listing is on the parent information board or on the parent communication area. Please check lesson plans for these occasions. For those who do not wish to view the movie, other activities will be available during this time.