At Northern Door Children’s Center, the school year is focused on the business of children … learning through hands-on PLAY, self-directed discoveries, and teacher-directed activities designed to promote social/emotional development, language, self-help, cognitive, and motor skills.

We have a clearly defined routine that shapes our school-year, while the children are supported and encouraged as they grow. Our 5- through 10-year-old students work hard at their elementary school, and a small group of them get off the bus and spend some time with us in the afternoons.

Then, like magic … it’s June. The learning, support and encouragement continues, but now it’s in SUMMER STYLE! Our Infant/Toddler Looping students move to new classrooms. Our 3K and 4K programs are transformed into their summer program, Camp Cloud. Every day, 39 five-to 10-year-olds spend their days with us in Camp Cool, our school-aged day camp. The name of the game is relaxation and PLAY in the great outdoors!

Instead of jackets, we wear sunscreen. The infants take long stroller walks and roll around in the “grass box.” The toddlers enjoy their swings, dig in the sand, drive their “cars,” and clamber up and down their pint size climber and slides.

The Camp Cloud and Camp Cool students ride their bikes, tend the garden (this year, it’s a “smell garden” with flowers and herbs), build castles in the biggest sandbox in Door County, play in the full-sized boat that lives in the sandbox, scale the heights of their climber, and play in the GaGa Pit, a specially built corral for playing a unique kind of dodge ball game.

The Camp Coolers have their annual tie-dye week, the older Campers go to the YMCA Camp Wabansi in Brussels for their yearly overnight experience, and take an exciting field trip every week. This year, that includes trips to Chuck E Cheese, Nicolet Beach, Harbor Village, Joannes Park, Bay Beach and a cooking class at Gather in Green Bay.

We do everything we can outside. For the younger children, circle time and story time happen on a blanket in the grass. Art projects come outdoors. Water tables, sprinklers and wading pools   appear, and happy campers run around in bathing suits and sun themselves on beach towels in the sandbox.

Creativity abounds as all ages make fabulous summer crafts and engage in wonderful dramatic play. The children snack on fresh watermelon, drink lots of cold water, and eat popsicles sitting in the grass.

In short, summer is the time to kick back, soak up the soft Wisconsin sunshine, and PLAY, PLAY, PLAY! Life is good at Northern Door Children’s Center.

We are deeply grateful to our many supporters who help keep our programs running! If you would like to become a supporter … click here.

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