Summer is here! We hope that you are able to find time to relax and do fun things with your chosen family during these warmer months. Looking for ways to connect and keep the learning happening throughout summer? See below for ideas.

1. Read

Reading aloud to young children helps them thrive! Not only does reading to your young child promote early literacy and spark a love of reading in the future, you are teaching your child about the world around them. Through stories, young children learn about feelings and healthy ways to express those big emotions and work through challenges. Stories can be used to ease transitions, and as a way to slow down from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Ready to dive in? Sign up for a summer reading program at:

You can also drop in for storytime at Oak Park Conservatory

2. Play

Play is FUNdamental (get it?!) to children’s healthy development, and it’s fun with new friends, too. This summer, stop by to meet other parents with young children at Play in the Park with Easterseals on Wednesday mornings. They will be at Rehm Park from 10:30-12:00 every other Wednesday through the rest of July (dates below). Email for more info. Easterseals is also planning more get-togethers for families with young children. Stay tuned! We will be sure to share that information out with you. 

  • July 13th 
  • July 27th

Looking for more ways to play? Wonder Works Children’s Museum is open every day (except Tues and Wednesday) from 10 am – 3 pm. Plan your visit, and mark your calendar for Bubble Works, on July 16 and 17. Wonder Works Children’s Museum will host an outdoor festival that celebrates the magic and science of bubbles. For two days, children and their families will be able to enjoy a variety of activities involving bubbles in all shapes and sizes!

3. Explore!

There are all kinds of local hidden gems for families with young children hiding in plain sight. For example, the Oak Park Public Library has launched Early Bird Learning videos! In addition to the same great content to share with kids, they have videos just for caregivers—focusing on early literacy activities, social-emotional learning, and more. You can even take an on-demand tutorial on social emotional learning here, and you can see the Early Bird Learning information here!  

Venture out into the Western Suburbs with Kidlist as your guide. If you haven’t discovered Kidlist, it is a great way to find fun things to do with your family. Search activities by indoor, outdoor, age range and more!

You can also check out our listings of places to make art, play, dance and make music on our Parent Resources page.

4. Pass it Forward!

Here at the Collaboration for Early Childhood, we are all about getting children ready for school, and supporting the Youth Services’ School Supply Drive is a great way to get all our kids equipped for a strong start! If you are able, contribute to the Oak Park and River Forest Township Youth Services School Supplies Drive! There are a couple different ways to give. You can visit their amazon wish list and purchase something from there, or you can drop off donations directly at the Oak Park Township, 105 S. Oak Park Ave, Oak Park IL. Donations are being accepted now through August 5!

The Collaboration for Early Childhood is open all summer and is always here to answer any questions that you may have about child care or early childhood development. If you are a parent and just need a little extra support with getting through the summer, or adjusting to a new baby, call us. We are here for you. You got this, and we’ve got your back!

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