Keep Kids Engaged This Summer

The recurring nightmare that visited my sleep every First Day of School Eve? That I would get to class, sit down at my desk, and suddenly not remember how to write in cursive anymore.

Just because school is drawing to a close, education doesn’t have to! Check out some of the activities and exhibits below for ideas on how to keep your kids learning this summer (without even realizing they’re doing it!).

Check out the Superheroes Exhibit at the National Museum of American History before it closes in September! See original comic art and costumes from the first superhero films.

The Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, opened in March, takes a fresh look at the Nineteenth Amendment. See the stories of suffragettes and minority women come to life in vivid detail. This is a great exhibit for rising 8th graders headed into later American history to celebrate the 100th year of women’s right to vote!

Visit some of God’s most colorful creation at the Butterfly Exhibit offered through the Museum of Natural History!

Beat the heat this summer inside with a trip to the Baltimore Aquarium. See incredible sea life up close by checking out the Dolphin Sanctuary, Shark Alley, Living Seashore, and much more. Can’t make the hike? Enjoy the magic at home through the Blue Blubber Jellyfish Live Cam and Blacktip Reef Shark Live Cam!

Make a meal as a family with ingredients you gather at the Old Town Alexandria Farmer’s Market. The market is open Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with local farmers and merchants selling baked goods, fresh meats, organic veggies, flowers and crafts. Don’t worry, there are several great coffee stands, as well!

You may see some familiar faces on the Tiny Chefs website, and that is because they are a beloved part of our Extended Care Club Program at ICS. If your child participated in Tiny Chefs after school, or would like to learn more about the culinary arts, head to their website to register your kids for a cooking camp near you! Topics range from general tips, cooking around the world, healthy habits, cupcake wars, and breakfast for dinner.

The Taste of Reston has won “Virginia’s Best Food Festival” by Virginia Living Magazine six years in a row! Come out June 14 or 15 to eat your fill of delicious foods of all kinds, enjoy live entertainment, and explore the Family Fun Zone. Tickets must be purchased in advance, but garage parking is free!

With Immanuel Bible Church’s worship center undergoing a state-of-the-art renovation this summer, its much-loved Vacation Bible School is adjusting with a one-day Micro VBS experience. Come with your family on June 22nd from 3:00-6:00 pm. to sing songs, do crafts, play games, and learn what it means to have a Second Birthday.

The Fairfax County Public Library System offers many fun, free (FREE!) and educational activities for school aged children, their little siblings, and parents! Check out the FCPL events calendar to sign up for great opportunities like Passport to Fun (Cultural Studies), Math Game Connection (Math), Girls Too Code (STEM), Read to the Dog (Literacy), Maker Mondays (STEM with Sphero Robots), and so much more! While you’re there, check out the Summer Reading Program table set up at each FCPL branch for details on how to help your children read their way into cool prizes.

Take a class, host a birthday party, or jump for fun at Skyzone Trampoline Park right here in Springfield. This place is a favorite among many of our faculty and staff families because of its great atmosphere, convenient location, and fun workouts.

Winshape Camp is a summer adventure camp that partners with Chick-fil-A to help deepen and expand students’ relationships with Jesus Christ. There are overnight and day camp options depending on your family’s preference and schedule.

Since 1954, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) has offered a wide array of camps in various sports to grow students’ passion for the game, leadership skills, and spiritual disciplines. Many of our students who have attended FCA camps wind up returning as counselors in their college years. FCA builds lifelong relationships through sports, where friends can challenge each other both spiritually and physically.

Ligonier Camp and Conference Center has selected four things for their campers to focus on while on campus: Christ, community, challenge, and creation. Your child will get a life changing blend of all four of these things while attending. Ligonier is a big hit among many of our ICS families, who make a point of returning year after year. Summer Camp Director Ms. Stef Walker has even come to speak with our middle school students during Wednesday afternoon chapel!

If you feel your child may not be quite ready for a sleep-away camp experience alone, Word of Life Youth and Family Camps may be a good option for you! Offering camp experiences in both Florida and New York, you can select a vacation package and enjoy time together worshiping and exploring. There are varying degrees of…ruggedness, shall we say…so you get to choose the extent to which you will be “roughing it” out on the trail.

Looking for something a little closer to home? Fairfax County Park Authority offers an array of camps at many of their nature centers to help kids get in touch with their wild sides, even in the heart of the suburbs.

For students interested in the arts and history, the Smithsonian offers grade-specific courses throughout the summer. Topics range from creating a 3D model of the Smithsonian to American history through pop culture to paper making and beyond.

Your child has a flair for the dramatic? Why not try acting camp! Through Summer Arts at George Mason, students can enjoy themed activities, culminating in a final presentation for their families. All experience levels are welcome!

Bible Studies
Spend some time in the Word with your family this summer with one of the following Bible studies or activities you can download and follow together:

Also, don’t forget to read this summer! Check out this list of wonderful books recommended by the ICS librarians!

Wishing your family a restful, intentional, and educational summer of 2019. We’ll see you in August!