February 28, 2014

Lego Summer Camp at Bricks4Kids

My kids love Legos. Perhaps EVERY kid has a love for Legos. OK who am I kidding *I* love Legos. I love when the kids say "Hey mom can you help me build this?"  What I love even more is that they are learning so much through building and exploring with those silly little bricks. When I told them last week that they would be attending a Lego summer camp they were ecstatic!

That's right, the local Bricks4Kids franchise has some amazing camp programs in convenient locations throughout Ann Arbor, Saline, Ypsilanti, Dexter and Chelsea that your kids can experience too.

Bricks4Kids summer day camp options offer half and full day camp programs
($150/half day to $300/full day) with camp costs varying a bit depending on the location. The daycamp at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum is slightly higher since the kids will have full access to the museum; Cost is also a bit higher for the Lego Movie Making camp as well.

Why is Lego summer camp a great idea? As STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) becomes more of a focus in your child's education, using Legos to support that learning is a fun way to play and learn! Often kids don't even realize they are learning and it can help build a great foundation that helps prevent summer learning loss.

Programs are available for every Lego enthusiast. Some themes include:
  • Stop Motion Movie Making Camp
  • "Angry Bird" and "Minecraft" themes
  • NASA Space Adventures
  • Super Hero Camp
  • Pirate Quest Camp
  • Lego Robotics and Remote Control camps
  • Comic Creator Camp 
  • Arts & Crafts with Legos 
There are even day camp options for preschool aged children and Lego summer camp for girls.

Spending the day playing and learning with Legos and Bricks4Kids is defiantly worth checking out. Registering your child will make you a hero - your child will love you (and learn) and your child's teacher will appreciate helping with summer learning loss! To register for any of the great summer camps offered at Bricks4Kids, visit the Bricks4Kids summer camp page.

February 27, 2014

Game Start Festival

This Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. your kids and teens (students in grades 3-8) can learn about making games. Do you know any future game-makers? Then attending the free event by GameStart at Menlo Innovations (505 East Liberty LL500, Ann Arbor, MI 48104).

GameStart is an organization that offers classes using games to inspire interest in art, math, science, and programming. For their event on March 1st, they'll have games to play and give a preview of their upcoming classes for this year, including: Game Mechanics and Design, Minecraft Programming, Computer Animation, and Video Editing.

Other organizations attending the event include the Ann Arbor District Library, along with other guests from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Maker Works, Backyard Brains, AHA. Be sure to Stop in to check things out.

For those not available early in the day, GameStart will also be offering a free class on Storytelling with Computer Animation at the downtown AADL at 3:00-5:00 p.m.

February 24, 2014

The Call of The Wild: Big Read for Big Fun at The Henry Ford

On Saturday, March 8 at 11:00 a.m., The Henry Ford will host The Big Read in the museum’s Prechter Promenade and Anderson Theater. During this free event, visitors will get a free copy of the Jack London classic The Call of the Wild plus enjoy a make and take activity for the kids!

Get a free copy of The Call of the Wild,
enjoy kids activities and more
during the Big Read at The Henry Ford.

Some highlights for this year's event include a dramatic reading from the book by the Players Guild of Dearborn, a screening of The Gold Rush with Charlie Chaplin, a winter camping display by the Boy Scouts, and a photo opportunity with a real dog sled and prospector’s gear.

The Big Read is a 10 week literary adventure that provides children, teens and adults to discover Jack London’s The Call of the Wild. The Big Read is a grant program from the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. 

The Call of the Wild program runs March 8-17. Families will have opportunities to discover the themes of The Call of the Wild through movies, book discussions, art activities, lectures, a photo contest and more. We love the visiting The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village - This sounds like a perfect reason to go and visit again!

February 12, 2014

Parents' Night Out with The Leslie Science & Nature Center

How does "date night" sound to you? Are you short on a sitter? Perhaps the new Parent's Night Out at the Leslie Science & Nature Center (1831 Traver Rd, Ann Arbor) would be the perfect solution to your dilemma.

On Friday, February 28,  5:00-10:00 p.m.,  kids ages 7-12 can spend a unique evening at the LSNC exploring the grounds and experiencing behind the scenes activities. Play games and enjoy a pizza dinner plus get a special visit with a raptor and time in the Critter House. Later the kids will settle in with a nature-themed movie and snack on popcorn.

The evening is just $25/child and allows for drop off from 5:00-6:00 p.m.. All children must be picked up by 10:00 p.m. Space is limited though and pre-registration for this program is required. Call 734-997-1553 for more information.