Celebrate The Holidays at Adventure Park USA!

At Adventure Park Academy we are already looking forward to the holidays. We're beginning to deck the park out in dazzling decorations in preparation for Adventure Park USA's annual family-fun events. From Halloween through New Year's, we hope you will be celebrating the holidays with us.

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Halloween Party

Adventure Park USA will be hosting its Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on Saturday, October 28th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The park will be transformed into a wickedly fun park for happy haunts, creating a “spooktacularly” innocent time for visitors of all ages.

During this entertaining event, both indoor and outdoor attractions will be open (weather permitting), for double the family-fun. Family-favorite cartoon characters will wander the park meeting guests and taking pictures. Some of the characters include Batman, Captain America, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Guests are welcome to dress up in their best costumes for this “not-so-scary” occasion, and kids can trick-or-treat around the park with the characters. Save $8 on admission when you buy you tickets online ahead of time.

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Breakfast with Santa and Friends

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with Breakfast with Santa and Friends on Saturday, December 9th from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Guests will get to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, princess characters and more.

The park will be transformed into a winter wonderland with fun for all ages. Paid entry is required from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. All-inclusive tickets are available online for $20 per person and include breakfast and three hours of unlimited rides and attractions. There are also breakfast only tickets available for $15 per person.

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Family New Year’s Eve Party

The family-fun year will wrap up with the annual Family New Year’s Celebration on Sunday, December 31st from 9pm-12:30am. Guests will enjoy the park and its special activities including a midnight balloon drop while ringing in 2017 with a night of fun.

 Adventure Park USA will stay open late to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a family friendly way. Only a limited number of tickets are available to the celebration, and paid entry is required to the all-inclusive event. Tickets are available online for $25 per person, or at the door for $33 per person.

Getting Through the January Cabin Fever

Being snowed in can be fun, pleasant, boring, terrible or even all of the above. It can get tricky finding ways to entertain kids for hours on end without leaving the house! Here are a few ideas to fill your snow days with fun when schools and day cares are closed because of a snow storm:


-    Write thank you notes – Take the time to thank all of your friends and family for the gifts you received during the holidays. Then get bundled up and trek to the mail box for a little adventure.

-    Read a book – Read with your kids to help them reach their reading goal for the school year. Get your children motivated to learn even when they are not in school. 

-    Bring the outdoors, indoors – Fill the bathtub with snow and play indoors! You get to have all of the fun of the snow in your toasty warm house.

-    Make snow cream – Embrace the cold and snow and collect some to make snow ice cream. Simply add vanilla extract and sweetened condensed milk to snow and mix is up to make a delicious treat.

-    Have an indoor picnic – Make it feel like spring inside by having a picnic. Place a blanket on your living room floor and fill it with all of your family’s favorite foods. It’s a different and fun way to enjoy lunch.

At Adventure Park Academy we don’t follow the Frederick County school schedule and try our best to remain open as long as it is safe for students and faculty. We are unique in that we not only provide a structured learning program for our preschool and pre-k children but also includes all the fun of amusement park attractions and arcade games that Adventure Park USA has to offer. 


Getting though the coldest months can be tough, but at Adventure Park Academy we are already looking forward to having fun outdoors in the spring. To learn more about our preschool, pre-kindergarten and seasonal camps visit our website. These are just a few of our ideas for spending days snowed in. How does your family pass the time?

Happy Holidays From Adventure Park Academy

The holidays are almost here! While parents are busy shopping, wrapping gifts and preparing for family gatherings, it’s easy to forget how you are going to entertain your kids when school gets out for winter break. Children are often excited for a much needed break from waking up early and homework but once the excitement wears off they can easily get bored.

Get kids involved in preparing for the holidays. Have a family craft day; make decorations to put around the house or ornaments to hang on the tree.  When baking holiday cookies, let them help. Have kids decorate a few special cookies for Santa to eat on Christmas Eve!

Teach young children about the importance of giving back during the holidays by taking them to volunteer for a local charity. If you can’t donate your time, donate clothes that have been outgrown. When you are out shopping, have kids pick out a toy to donate to Toys for Tots or a similar charity. Even small gestures can make a huge difference to someone in need.

Take your kids to get out some of their pent up energy with a day at Adventure Park USA!  We have a variety of rides and attractions that will be a hit with kids of all ages. There are also plenty of specials for the entire family to enjoy.

For parents who can’t take off work for all of winter break, Adventure Park Academy is now enrolling for winter break camp. The drop-in dates for winter break are December 27th through December 30th. There are different activities planned for each day of camp such as a scavenger hunt and movie day. For more information our winter break camp, visit our website.

From the staff at Adventure Park Academy, we wish you and your family a great holiday season!

 

Teaching Kids Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is more than the Macy’s Day Parade, a meal and a day of football. The true meaning of Thanksgiving is appreciation and gratitude for the blessings in your life. Teaching young children the meaning of the holiday will make it much more meaningful for your children and family as a whole.

Gratefulness is something that needs to be practiced repeatedly to take hold, and it a lifelong process to keep going. Here are a few tips to start to instill this behavior in children and create a grateful attitude that will stay with them throughout their life.

Teach them to write thank-you notes. Teaching kids to write thank-you notes whenever they receive a gift or nice gesture is simple way to show gratitude. Thank-you notes also create an observable result, which will make kids feel accomplished and proud of themselves.

Get them excited about giving. Around this time of year kids are busy writing to Santa with a list of that they want for themselves. We all know that great feeling of giving someone a gift you know they will love. Kids will love it too! Have them come up with some ideas of things to give to others and get them excited about making someone else’s day brighter.

Volunteer as a family and show kids the importance of giving back. Have them help gather things to donate, bring canned food to a local food bank or volunteer together. It’s often difficult for kids to realize that not everyone has the same things in life as they do. Show them how great it feels to help people in need. Find out how they want to give back, there’s so many ways to get kids involved even at a young age in giving back to the community.

At Adventure Park Academy emphasis is placed on the social skills of sharing, communication, self-concept, and meeting personal needs. Our goal is to nurture each child’s need for social, emotional, physical and cognitive development by providing an educationally balanced program which spans all levels of early development.  Each child will be valued for his or her unique experiences and learning styles in order to become successful independent learners.

Learning Through Play

At Adventure Park Academy, a child care facility in Monrovia, we use a play based curriculum. Play is the context in which children most optimally learn and it builds the foundation for conceptual learning later in life. Through play children develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.

To children, play is work. They use play to engage the world around them, and ultimately begin the learning process. From an early age, children model the adults they interact with and begin to development social skills. Language and vocabulary development are often learned from listening to others speak.

Play also helps with the emotional development of preschool aged children. Through interaction with other children in daycare, they learn to seek out kids with interests similar to their own. They learn to discuss, negotiate and strategize to create elaborate play scenes, take turns and work together with to achieve goals.

At Adventure Park Academy, we provide more than just child care, we provide a place where children can learn through play, have an opportunity for discovery, exploration, and express ideas through hands-on learning experiences. Each child will be valued for his or her unique experiences and learning styles in order to become successful independent learners.

Easing the Transition to Preschool

All parents have encountered the expression of anxiety when you first leave a child in someone else’s care. This phase is difficult for both the parent and child, but it’s completely normal. The expression of these feelings is part of the developmental process as young children learn to trust their own capabilities.

Here are some tips for saying goodbye without tears during preschool:

Be Consistent:

Keeping a consistent routine will help children feel more comfortable. Talk to them before school begins about the routine for the morning. Make it known that you will be leaving but also reinforce that you will be back to pick them up before they know it.

Let your child choose a comfort object to bring with them to school. It will remind them of home and help them feel more secure. Anything from a picture, to a favorite stuffed animal, can be a comfort object. If you pack a lunch for your child, leave them special notes to remind them that you love them and will return soon.

Develop a short ritual for saying goodbye. You might say, “I will be back to get you after work. I love you.” Then hug your child quickly and leave. Keeping the same farewell each day creates a familiar transition from being with you to being without you.

Be Positive:

Although it might be tempting to sneak out of the room the moment your child is distracted, this can cause more stress when they realize you are gone.

Acknowledge your child’s feeling and reassure them that their worries are normal. It’s perfectly natural to feel a little bit scared, showing you understand how they feel can help your child feel safe.

Watch your own body language when saying goodbye to your child. Even if you are upset, stand up straight and smile to model a cheerful goodbye. Resist the urge to keep coming back for another hug because your child will think there is something to worry about.

At Adventure Park Academy, we work hard to create an inviting environment in an attempt to ease separation anxiety. Activities are kept on a consistent schedule to help quickly get kids adjusted to preschool. Teachers use an emergent thematic and play based approach to curriculum teaching. We use The Healthy Beginnings program for children ages 2-3 and the Houghton Mifflin Curriculum for ages 4-5. Emphasis is placed on the social skills of sharing, communication, self-concept, and meeting personal needs. Children have many opportunities for indoor and outdoor play as well as using the attractions.

Preparing for Back to School

As we enter the month of August, the end of summer is upon us and the new school year is right around the corner. Frederick County goes back to school on August 22. Parents often have mixed emotions about the beginning of the school year: there’s no more planning ten-hour stretches of entertainment, but also the return of strict schedules and stress.  We suggest that you make the most of the last few weeks of summer vacation and enjoy time with family before the school year routine starts back up.

Going back to school can be a tough transition, especially for younger kids.  Help make it as smooth as possible with these three simple steps:

·         Get back on schedule: In the weeks before school begins, start adjusting your child’s sleep schedule. Move bedtime 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them earlier each morning until they are on schedule for school.

·         Make daily reading a habit again: Start having kids read each evening before bed to help prepare them for homework once school begins again. Make it fun by taking them to the library and letting them choose their own books.

·         Have fun! Last but not least, make sure to enjoy your children! Take the kids on one last summer adventure, to the beach, on a road trip or even a day of fun at Adventure Park USA.   

Since back to school shopping can be both fun and stressful, make it as easy as possible by preparing a list of what you need before even stepping foot into a store. Get your kids excited about school by letting them help pick out school supplies. Maryland’s tax free week for 2016 is August 7-13. Qualifying clothes and shoes, $100 or less per item, are exempt from the state sales tax during this week. Take advantage of this time to save a little money on clothes for the upcoming school year.

For the kids who are too young to attend school in the fall, Adventure Park Academy has Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten programs. Teachers use an emergent thematic and play based approach to curriculum teaching. During these programs, emphasis is placed on the social skills of sharing, communication, self-concept and meeting personal needs. Both programs are approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. For more information about Adventure Park Academy, click here.

Fun Summer Staycation Ideas For Families

Summer vacation is here and naturally that means a whole lot of family time! The heat is back and the sun is out shining bright. The first thought that is most likely going through your head is how to get the kids out to make the most of their summer. Fear not, there are plenty of fun and cost efficient options out there that the whole family can enjoy.

Find ways to be creative around the house. Plan a visit to a local crafts store and have designated art days with the kids. Get ingredients for special meals and baked goods they can help make, have board game nights, movie nights, play dates with friends, and much more. The possibilities for creativity are endless.

We understand parents may want some time to themselves as well. Adventure Park Academy offers weekly summer camp activities to engage the little ones and help them make memories to last a lifetime. From museum field trips and craft days, to themed scavenger hunts, the kids will constantly be engaged in fun.

By staying close to home you can also enjoy what is around you. Plan visits to nearby parks and neighborhood playgrounds, go to local museums, restaurants and much more. A day at Adventure Park USA is always a sure hit with kids of all ages. We have a variety of specials the whole family can enjoy.

Family time is always a sure way to make the most of the summer. Whether it’s going to a local beach, having the kids enjoy summer camp or staying inside for a movie and crafts, chances are it will be unforgettable. Just be sure to take plenty of pictures to cherish all the summer memories you will be making!

 

Summer Water Safety

Adventure Park Academy is counting down to the first swim of the season. On a warm summer’s day water is great fun for kids, but it's also a place where safety must come first. At Adventure Park Academy, water safety is our top priority.

Swimming takes place at several different swimming facilities each Thursday at Camp Adventure. Each camper is required to take a swim test prior to entering any deep area of the swimming area. All swim tests are given by a certified life guard along with the director and or head counselor. If a camper passes the test they are given a specific color wrist band and this band must be present in order to swim in the deep end of the pool.

Counselors are also strategically positioned around the pool during active swim time in order to monitor the safety of the campers in the water. Life vests are allowed but they must be certified by the coast guard for your child’s weight and height.

Drowning is the third leading cause of injury-related death among children 19 and under. To ensure a safe summer, filled with days in the water, follow these simple tips:

  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a life-guarded beach, use the buddy system.
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
  • Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Put the cell phone away! Forget about all the other things you have to do and give young children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water.

 

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Summer Camp at Adventure Park USA

Now is the time to be firming up summer camp plans.  Today, there are camps to meet every interest, price range and schedule. Knowing your possibilities, as well as your child's interests, will help you identify programs from which your child will enjoy most. Top camps will provide lifelong memories and skills.

While the number of opportunities in Maryland may seem overwhelming, there are some easy tips to help ensure you pick the best summer camp for both the child’s pleasure and the parent’s needs.

1.      Before you sign up, know what a typical day looks like.

· Each week at Adventure Park USA Academy Summer Camp has a different exciting theme. The day’s activities relate to the themes. The 2016 Summer Camp themes include: Kick Off Week, Creative Campers, Beach Buddies, Wipe Out, Water Water Everywhere, Party Rock and The Last Hurrah. To see a full list of daily activities, visit here.

2.      Ask about the hours of operation, the earliest time your child can be dropped off each day, and the latest time they can be picked up.

· Summer camp at Adventure Park USA is from 8:00am-4:00pm. All campers will be dropped off and picked up in the café area of the park. Extended care is available for an extra $25.00 per week.

3.      What is the camp philosophy?

· Adventure Park USA provides a place where children can learn through play, have an opportunity for discovery, exploration and express ideas through hands-on learning experiences

4.      Know who the staff is.

· Each counselor at Adventure Park USA is finger printed by the FBI and the state of Maryland. They are First Aid and CPR certified. All full time counselors are 18 years or older, attending or completed college, or have completed specific certifications in education.

Summer camp should be more than just a place for your child to spend time. At Adventure Park USA, we help develop social and emotional skills while creating an all-day fun atmosphere. Join us at “Camp Adventure 2016” by signing up here.

Great Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

April is a wonderful time of year. Spring is here, flowers are in bloom and it’s the month we celebrate Earth Day. Too often we rush through our lives, with busy schedules and kid’s activities. That makes this the perfect time for us all to slow down and enjoy the beauty and wonder that our surroundings have to offer. Satisfy your child’s inquisitive nature and literally, ‘stop and smell the flowers’.

It is easy to get your kids excited about their environment. Start a garden, plant some flowers or a tree, go to your local farmers market and buy local, organic produce and honey. Explain to them the importance of bees and how they make honey and their role in pollinating our crops. Use it as a great opportunity to teach them something new.

At Adventure Park Academy we’re going to plant flowers and vegetables, and the children will help take care of them and watch them grow.  They will be in big planters on the playground for them to enjoy all year. The children will learn the importance of gardening and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Teaching children how important it is to keep our planet clean can be done successfully by participating in a park, playground or beach clean-up.  You can create crafts out of recycled items and found objects from nature. Collect shells or rocks and make a picture frame, a pencil holder or some jewelry. Help them recycle old bottles and cans into bird feeders. And be sure to check out Pinterest for tons of great craft ideas.

Spring is also the perfect time to ditch the car! Bike or walk to school or when running errands. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint, benefiting the environment and your body in the process!

Spend more time outside, take a walk, play in the grass, study nature. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself and this beautiful planet, it is here for all of us to appreciate and protect for future generations.

Enjoying Your Spring Break Staycation

It’s almost Spring! And that means Spring Break. What do you do when you aren’t planning to travel and you know cabin fever will strike?  There are so many great options to keep the kids occupied.

Creativity is a must. Make a trip to your local craft store or find craft items around the house, make a blanket fort, play pretend or go on a treasure hunt. Get their imaginations working.

Since staying warm is a priority on a cold day. Turn on the oven and do a little baking or have them help you make a meal for the family. It’s a great way to keep them occupied and teach them a new skill in the process.  

Spring Break camps are always a winner. Camps offer your kids an opportunity to be with their friends having supervised fun, while you are able to get some things done or have a little quiet time to yourself. Adventure Park Academy has a full week of activities planned for your kids, from crafts and games to field trips. There are so many to choose from, your kids will be begging you to sign them up.

Staying close to home also gives you a chance to enjoy your surroundings. Visit a park or playground, go to a museum, check out the library or explore a new area. You can even have them start a journal or scrapbook to record all the fun as you go.

Making time for family is a great way to spend your week. Declare PJ Day! Make some popcorn and   cuddle on the couch with a movie, read a book or play board games. Whatever you decide to do, make it fun for the whole family and you’ll have memories to last a lifetime.

 

Keeping Your Kids Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us, and it’s not always easy to keep our little ones healthy and well. But with some common sense approaches, the whole family can avoid those nasty viruses and enjoy all the fun winter has to offer!

There are many natural ways to avoid germs, and hand washing is one of the best! Teach your children to sing Happy Birthday as they scrub away, it will help the time go by and ensure they are properly removing germs. Anti-bacterial gels are great for when you’re on the go. At Adventure Park Academy we have stringent hand washing procedures before and after meals, outside play and any sensory activities, as well as hand sanitizer available.

Also make sure they are eating healthy. Foods full of vitamin C (oranges, broccoli, strawberries) and vitamin D (fortified milk, tuna, cereals) are excellent ways to fight colds and flu.

Getting enough zzz’s is crucial. Children preschool age should be getting 12-14 hours of sleep per night, and school aged children should be getting 10-11 hours.  Get them into an early bedtime routine and they will wake up refreshed and ready for the day, and keep their immune system in tip-top shape.

Being active is a perfect way to fight off pesky germs. Not only is exercise fun for kids, and a great way to help them burn off some excess steam, it increases their bodies natural virus-killing cells. So get them out there!

And if even with these tips and tricks you find the dreaded cold has got your little one down, there are a few natural ways to help ease the discomfort. Liquids, popsicles and soups are all great ways to keep them hydrated. Also try honey for a great cough and throat soother (*this is only safe for children 1 and over though!).  With a little TLC and healthy habits, you’ll have them back on their feet in no time!