Children learn from exploring the world around them. Visiting shops, restaurants, and other businesses in your neighborhood can help your child understand how things work and what people do. It can also be a great way to meet neighbors. Try these suggestions to turn small errands into learning opportunities. Grace, a local 4-year-old shares some of her favorite places to explore in the community!
• Who doesn’t enjoy ice cream? Whether it’s a trip to Sprinkles Ice Cream Shop in Chili, Lugia's on Lyell Ave. or Grace's new favorite... Anthony's in Spencerport, ice cream is always a fun after dinner treat in the summertime. Fun Activity: Stock up on ice cream and your toppings of choice & enjoy your sundae concoctions at home! See who can come up with the zaniest combinations or can make theirs the most colorful. Get creative and have your kids set up their own ice cream shop with homemade menus. • Kids love to explore! You don't have to go far to find a great park in our hometown. Salmon Creek Park in Hilton, Greece Canal Park, Sawyer Park, Black Creek Park and Town of Chili Nature Trail are all favorites. Grab your sneakers and get outside. In the last few months, Grace and her family have walked 2 miles every night in a different park. What a great way to see nature and burn off some energy! Fun Activity: Ask your child to find the smallest and largest objects in the park. Even better, go on a scavenger hunt with your child to find natural items, such as acorns, sticks, or dried leaves. • Visit a local Market! Visiting a farmer's market encourages a healthy lifestyle. Not only will your kids get to support the work of farmers in your community, they’ll learn where food comes from and what grows in your area. Strawberry picking is one of Grace's favorite activities, and she gets so excited with every berry she finds! Visit the Farmer's Market at Greece Ridge Mall Thursdays & Saturdays or stop by a local farm to browse their produce or pick yourself. Try out Gro-Moore in Rush, Kelly's Farm Market in Hilton or Green Acre Farms in Greece.
Fun Activity: Let your child be in charge of purchasing something small–this may increase their willingness to try a new food. Do a rainbow scavenger hunt and have your child find an item for each color. Let your child ask questions! Most farmers love to answer questions about their products and it promotes socialization.Don't forget your mask and always ask before touching goods for sale
• Camping is always a family favorite. Make a reservation at Red Rock Ponds RV Resort, Hamlin Beach State Park, or Greece Canal Park. Can’t make it out to the annual campground this year? Make the grounds your own backyard! While not quite the same, it still gives you the opportunity to spend time in the outdoors, pitch a tent, and tell ghost stories or sing songs like Grace while you make s’mores around the campfire! Fun Activity: Catching fireflies has always been a summer time staple. Join the kids on a “hunt” in the backyard and explore fireflies in their natural habitat! See who can catch and release the most as you cover their anatomy and life cycles. Create a story together. The person chosen begins with the first few lines of a make-believe story. Storytelling proceeds around the campfire - let your imagination run wild! • Explore Town as a Family! Exploring Main Street can be a fun summer activity because no matter how many times you go you’ll always find something new! Grace loves summer walks in nearby Spencerport because there’s always something to see. Similar to checking out the parks, wandering Main Street is a great way to get out of the house and stretch your legs! Don’t forget to wear a mask and bring hand sanitizer in case you want to step inside! Fun Activity: Bring along some sidewalk chalk and leave a fun message to brighten someone’s day. Have your child check out the different textures and shapes of the buildings and discuss the art they see on statues, plaques, and the like. Post office in town? Discuss the importance of the mailing system and how stamps work! Better yet, craft a few homemade cards with your child to send to friends or family.