PROGRAM FOR SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN

Big Kids currently provides before school care and after school child care (learn more here) and full days of care for school-aged children over the summer and (learn more here).  Our school-aged children enjoy indoor and outdoor play spaces designed around the unique needs and interests of school-aged children. This, in addition to field trips and community service, means our kids are not only never bored, but their lives are enriched every day. Read below for information and oportunities for school-aged kids in our home-based child care program!
Indoor Play Space

Our 1,400 square foot indoor space for school-aged youth provides opportunities for fun, learning, relaxation, exercise, socialization, and entertainment! 

  • Our multi-purpose room contains a homework area designed for a quiet space for kids to complete homework or read. This space provides alternative seating arrangments that have been proven to help kids focus and concentrate including a yoga ball, cushion disc, and opportunity to stand and do homework.

  • Our multi-purpose room is also where all of our arts and crafts materials can be found and are available to all the children, for guided projects or process art activities and creations. Within this space you will also find an arcade game, air hockey table, and sensory bins available for play.

  • Our main play room for the children contains hundreds of games and puzzles, play materials, a dart board, dress-up, and plenty of space for free play.  This room contains unlimited play options for dramatic, imaginative, constructive, hands-on play!

Outdoor Play Space

 All the children are encouraged to spend time outdoors as much as possible! We spend a significant amount of time outdoors in all types of weather. Our kids enjoy a fully fenced backyard play area with limitless play options. These options include (but not limited to):

  • our own zip line

  • ball games: basketball, volleyball, soccer, tetherball, kickball, wiffle ball

  • badmitten

  • hand-ball games (scoop ball, paddle ball catch, ladder toss game, etc.)

  • natural playground with stepping stone logs and large sandbox with a digging crane

  • tree swings (tire, disc, and saucer swings)

  • climbing dome

  • 3-position swing set (2 swings and a trapeze)

  • Rainbow Play System play set with two forts, a slide, climbing ropes and ladders, four swings, a tire swing, and a climbing rope.

  • climbing rope (mounted to tree)

  • 360-degree spinning teetor totter

  • 7-seater Ace Flyer teeter totter

  • three basketball hoops

  • hammocks

  • scooters

  • bike riding

  • our own fruit and vegetable garden

  • mud and sand play

  • nature walks

  • seasonal play (raking leaves, sledding, etc.)

  • water play including the Banzai Slide 'N Soak Splash Park and two H2OGO! Splash Blobz

 

Field Trips

The world extends way beyond our back door and our kids get to explore and learn from it. Whether it's a trip to the park after school, or a morning spent at Volo Bog, or a day spent at the petting zoo or the Field Museum, or a summer day spent at a farm picking vegetables or an afternoon geogaching - safe to say we get out of the house a lot! Activities and trips are child-led so we enjoy time spent at home, but also have the benefit of deciding what to do with our free time and going to do it! Click here to see more pictures of the places we've been and the things we've done!

Community Involvement

Our youth are taught the value of selflessness, hard work, and generosity through opportunities to volunteer. When possible throughout the school year, and frequently in the summer, our kids volunteer their time and efforts to help others. Past volunteering efforts have included volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, Save-a-Pet, with the group Promote Fox Lake, and donating vegetables from our garden boxes to the food pantry. Over the summer the kids enjoy making kindness rocks and placing them around town. Volunteer opportunities are always optional but encouraged.

Learning Life Skills

We have a goal of fostering independence and autonomy in children. In our program, children learn valuable life skills not taught in schools. Our kids have participated in growing and cultivating their own fruits and veggies in garden boxes. They are encouraged to work on everyday life skills such as cleaning up and cooking. We focus on improving other skills such as manners, how to handle money, maintaining conversations, problem solving, and critical thinking.

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