Like the rest of 2020, there’s nothing normal about this summer. Except that the usual boredom and malaise that can hit when routines are upended are at an all-time high. As our usual summer go-tos are limited, closed or on hiatus, making summer fun is bit more of a challenge.
But, leave it to resourceful moms to find a way to win that challenge. San Antonio Charter Moms is filling this summer with fun activities for families to enjoy and… shhhh… maybe learn a little something. With COVID-19 disrupting school and camp schedules, the group has turned its attention to helping families make summer fun with a range of hands-on activities to keep kids entertained while weaving a bit of education into each day.
The education-focused nonprofit, which works to help San Antonio families find good information about high-quality school options, has created a summer guide to serve as a one-stop-shop with each theme tailored to appeal to multiple age ranges—even adults!
Who wouldn’t want to make s’mores in a solar oven, whip up a batch of elephant toothpaste, dance like a ballerina or bake a batch of chuckwagon biscuits like a cowboy? So whether you’re 5 or 45, Charter a Summer of Learning with San Antonio Charter Moms.
Bonus: Along with the activities being ageless, minus the cost of supplies, they’re all free, can be done with safe social distancing and aren’t limited to those who live in San Antonio, though you do have the opportunity to hear from San Antonio treasures like The Magik Theatre and the Briscoe Western Art Museum.
With a new theme every day, the nonprofit’s webpage features two months of creative activities, updated daily through July 31.The easy online calendar links to an activity each day and Charter Moms Chats includes live conversations on Facebook every weekday at 9 am, where guests walk families through the activities, answer viewer questions and share additional learning resources. The videos are also embedded within the activity post (and live on YouTube) so you don’t have to hunt to find them.
The July activities aren’t all live yet, but if they’re as engaging as June, we have no doubt that you’ll find more than enough to entertain, educate and occupy yourself … wait, we mean the children you know. After all, what little one wouldn’t like to create their own fairy garden?
Yes, fairy gardening! One glance at the wonderful, tiny, gorgeous little gardens that can sprout in almost any vessel you like—think teacup, flowerpot or a favorite piece of pottery—and you’ll be hooked. Using miniature tools and décor, let your imagination run wild and create the perfect, whimsical home for Tinkerbell and her friends. The expert behind this lesson is a former research analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense who founded Startups San Antonio, proving that these activities really are for anyone.
Many families have added vegetable gardens as they’ve spent time together at home this year, growing food and new skills. A great Charter a Summer of Learning lesson that includes gardening for anyone is Stay Green at Home, with tips for growing your own garden, even in this summer heat.
If you’ve found yourself binge-watching a bit more than usual, you’re sure to enjoy dipping your toe into film studies, a lesson shared by Texas Public Radio’s Nathan Cone, who curates Cinema Tuesdays in San Antonio. The popular summer series is on hiatus thanks to COVID-19, but you can immerse yourself – once again, we mean the kids in your life – in cinema with his tips.
Inspired by classic cinema, use your imagination with The Magik Theatre, channeling your inner performer to coax out creativity and fun. After all, as these months of “the new normal” have plodded on, we all need a bit of imaginative spark, don’t we? Theater is always a great escape to step into – and something we miss sorely – but imagination knows no bounds when you feed it. Maybe we can imagine all of the summer theater, travel and exploration we’re missing right now to help fill our days.
Another great escape that never fails is turning the pages of a book, allowing a story to take you away. If you’ve read and re-read everything in your personal library, San Antonio Charter Moms has an idea for you: a book swap with friends. Trading books adds life to the stories and fills your shelves with new-to-you titles, so when the thermometer is seeing too much red, you can fill your summer afternoon with a cooling tale.
Cover photo courtesy San Antonio Charter Moms
Dawn Robinette is an award-winning writer and founder of Tale to Tell Communications, a communications agency based in San Antonio. She enjoys finding new discoveries, revisiting old favorites and telling stories. Dawn regularly writes for Alamo City Moms, San Antonio Woman and Rio Magazine.