Exploration and learning is important for all children, but especially for those in foster care. Often times children experiencing the foster care system have had schedules disrupted by trauma or multiple moves, potentially causing them to fall behind in a variety of areas. Summer provides a fun and unstructured environment for foster children to create some fun memories and catch up on their learning in the process. Foster parents and their support systems have the unique opportunity to help the child explore new things and discover new interests.
As a support team member, now is the perfect opportunity to help your families invest in and explore new things together, and maybe even join in on the fun!
Below are some ideas to engage your foster family in summer fun.
Pick a topic to explore together: Choose something that interests you both, and then learn about it together! If the child has an interest in animals, the local zoo or aquarium may provide an opportunity to learn more about their favorite critters. Following your visit, you can check out movies or books at the library to expand learning.
Plan new activities your foster child has never done before: Go camping, to a sporting event, or to a local festival. Children in foster care do not typically have opportunities like these, so by creating these shared experiences, you can give the child very important memories to hang on to forever.
Schedule a summer camp: Planning for camp begins now, below are some suggestions for local camps that focus on the areas of families in foster care and adoption. Consider fundraising to help send a child to camp, or providing them with basic necessities that camps might include on their packing list. Once they are there, don’t forget to send them a letter of encouragement letting them know you are thinking about them!
Provide respite opportunities: In addition to all of the fun for children, there are also a number of exciting events available for adults to attend in the summer as well. Support your foster family by allowing them to take advantage of the slower pace of summer and attend an event for their own self-care. Give your foster family something to look forward to by looking ahead for one or two dates over the summer to get on the calendar.
Whatever your destination is for the summer, be sure to follow Project 1.27 on Instagram and Facebook, and post your adventures using the hashtags #destinations127 and #project127.