While my chest tightens ever so slightly and my eyes almost dampen at the sight of toddlers taking in the world, I don’t miss trying to figure out what to do with them during the summer months while working.
Our options here are somewhat limited by age. Older kids may be in College for Kids at Cuesta, the youngest, in day care or Friend-Share (trade watching the little ones). But, those in between sometimes have a harder time.
I was on my own, pretty much, as a kid. Girl Scouts. That was it. But, if you are a parent out working full-time days, it is helpful and less boring to have summer camp to attend. Indeed we have an amazing YMCA program up at the Grammar School, and Camp Ocean Pines has some offerings that even local kids would enjoy. (Who doesn’t like to sleep away from home?)
Add to the mix ceramics classes being offered by art teacher Stephanie Arehart at her home studio. (One class is full, but others are forming as interest arises). Almost every child in town has had Ms. Arehart in school, teaching the fundamentals of seeing and creating. Clay is just one of the most fun materials to work with! Make pots or some other delightful project she’ll have in store for you, fire it and decorate it. Call her at 927-1240 for details.
Tennis players/enthusiasts Gail McBride and Lois Garney are offering tennis clinics for youths ages 11 to 16 (and they may be flexible on that as interest serves … pardon the pun). Here is a sport that is great fun and develops great skill for not a whole lot of money (they may loan rackets!). Go by the Chamber of Commerce for a flier and more info. Some tennis club members may give private lessons as well.
Get to spend time with your kids? Have a visiting child? There are many inexpensive, educational and fun activities around here for all ages. The Coastal Discovery Center and the Elephant Seal Center in San Simeon may be small, but they are full of information you can then take to the beaches to perform your own observations and discoveries.
The Morro Bay Museum of Natural History has lovely specimens of local birds and animals that the kids might take note of and look for in the wilds. A nice plant or animal identification book is helpful. They have smaller, laminated sheets that are handy for a knapsack. You don’t need binoculars, but they make the outing more special!
Here’s a thought: get a spiral-bound artist’s book for them to journal their adventures in. Encourage them to draw, take pencil/crayon rubbings of textures, write single words that come to their heads or whole essays, cut out words from magazines, press ticket stubs, feathers or fallen leaves into them (you can pound between a page and a paper towel and then pound them with a hammer for a cool impression!). You can even take pictures, print them out and glue them in, but you can really make a work of art all on your own!
The Cambria Historical Museum is another great place to learn about our town. What do you know? Find out what you don’t know and then go exploring and identifying streets and locations in the old pictures there. The cemeteries are also fun to go looking for some of the names you’ll hear about at the museum as well as being a beautiful walk.
Read, do your own book reports, record silly songs, daydream, build sandcastles. … Gee, where do you sign up to be a kid again?