Need Creative Ideas for Classes This Summer

Updated on March 31, 2008
E.B. asks from Wilmington, DE
6 answers

Hello Mamas,
My five and a half year old stepdaughter has somehow convinced my husband and me to forgo camp this summer and let her stay home every day with a babysitter. We did day camp for the past two summers and she was lukewarm about it both years, definitely not in love with camp like many of the other kids there. Our sitter is wonderful and she will be very well taken care of, but obviously there won’t be the same type of structure and range of activities that she would get at camp. Since we are giving in on the camp issue, we are going to insist that she do at least 1, maybe 2 extracurricular activities this summer. She’s not going to be thrilled about this, but my husband and I both feel that it is necessary to have some sort of structured learning during the summer. I need some creative ideas of possible classes we could look into. We have done soccer and swimming in the past (both @ Y), she hated soccer and was so-so on swimming. I need ideas like art classes that may be available, music classes, other classes etc. We live in North Wilmington, but I’d be willing to travel 30-40 minutes for the right class, it’s worth it to find something she likes. She’ll turn 6 in the early summer, so anything for ages 6+ is appropriate.

Looking forward to any suggestions!!! Thank you!

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So What Happened?

Thank you so much for the ideas!! I am going to start getting information about the Zoo, Young Chef’s academy, Darling Arts center, Chester County Arts association, the Library and I LOVE the idea of finding a new sibling class!! I really appreciate your suggestions and you have made me feel much better about skipping day camp this year!

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

I would suggest checking with your local library. The Chester County library has weekly classes that are very eductional and free. I've seen computer classes, story book times, art and crafts and even sing alongs. A lot of the classes require that you register prior to attending, but it definetly worth looking into. You can create your own schedule each week. I've been taking my two young children (not yet in school) to the story book times geared for their age group. It's wonderful! My older son (6yrs old) has gone attended the chess club a few times.

Another idea would be to check with you peditrican to see if he/she knows of any "new sibling" classes that she could attend over the summer. It would be great for her to learn what it's going to be like to be a "big sister".

I have to say you are smart for getting started with planning early. Summer will be here before you know it.



answers from Philadelphia on

I have always been happy with the zoo camp classes at the Brandywine Zoo great for kids who are more into learning than playing sports....the park system also has some neat camps, White Clay Creek, Brandywine Creek, etc, check what's closest to you.

The Young Chef's Academy might have something she'd like two boys went last summer for a short class and enjoyed it.

Good luck--I wish I could go to some of these fun camps myself!



answers from Philadelphia on

Why not try Darlington Arts Center? They have music, theatre and art classes. My boys went to their Summer Camp last year and loved it.
Here is their website...they are just over the line in they are quite close. (I, too, am in North Wilmington.) Good luck.



answers from Philadelphia on

The Chester County Art Association in West Chester has fabulous art classes for children every summer (and during the year as well), but they fill up quickly so get on line now to sign up. They have both morning and afternoon sessions and all the classes are set up by age group. Also, the Painted Plate in West Chester has a paint-your-own pottery class in the summer. As for swimming, lessons are fine at the Y, but it's true that the kids don't love those lessons. You might consider joining a local outdoor swim club in your area that the babysitter and your daughter can go to in the summer (and you can on the weekends or evenings). Our experience is that the kids make friends there, swim most of the day and the unstructured socialization is great for them as well. (Also, many outdoor swim clubs have summer swim teams that practice every morning.)



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi, E B. Your daughter may enjoy this...I teach Spanish classes for young children on the weekend, in addition to doing in-home childcare for my 1 year old son and a few other children. If you're interested, check out the website at




answers from Philadelphia on

Okay, I really hope this does not sound rude but WHY are your forcing this child to do structured activites that she does not enjoy?

Why not get brochures from a few places and ask HER where she would want to go?

If she does not want to why force the issue? Why not have a structured setting at home with the sitter...make it like a camp at home...set time for crafts, snacks, reading time?

I can't afford camp for all my kids so I do camp at home with them and they love it. It is "structured" as we have semi-set times for activities, but they also have a choice in the activities we do most days!

Editing to clarify:
"She’s not going to be thrilled about this, but my husband and I both feel that it is necessary to have some sort of structured learning during the summer. " - I only asked why you would force if she did not want to - you stated she would not be happy about this. I was trying to give you in home options since she does not seem to want to go out of the home. She may be showing signs of anxiety due to the fact of a new baby coming into the house? As I stated I was not trying to sound rude and I am sorry if it came out that way, meaning me questioning you...that was not my intent.
Hope you are able to find something close to home for her so that you do not have a lot of driving. If you check with your local schools they sometimes have brochures in the office for summer camps, I know many of the elementary and pre-schools are actually handing them out to the students to bring home by me.

Good luck!

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