Alphabet Academy, Hamden * Summer Camp
February 2013. Our daughter was at Alphabet Academy North campus’ summer camp last summer and it was terrific – kids spend a great deal of the day free-ranging outdoors in Alphabet’s beautiful organic garden and playspace. They do water time every morning with a big water slide and go on weekly field trips including Sleeping Giant, swim lessons at the Y, and Lighthouse Point. I chaperoned a field trip to Sleeping Giant where we waded through a stream with the kids. For some, the water was up to their chests! – probably something I wouldn’t have done on my own, but the Alphabet staff were there to ensure that we were all safe, and it demonstrated their incredible commitment to taking the kids on an adventure. On another field trip, the kids went to the Paradise pool club, and at the end, they each received a dollar to buy ice cream. A small detail, and might have been easier to just provide the ice cream, but it demonstrated the Director and all the staff’s commitment to fostering children’s independence, and the kids had such a sense of accomplishment in buying their own snack. Also there is Chef Kim Kim’s terrific meals program, so you don’t have to pack food for your child, and you will be jealous of how well they eat during the summer (apricot oatmeal bars, turkey sliders…) Kids can do it ages 3-5, even if they’re not at Alphabet during the year. It runs from 7 am to 6 pm, so it’s great for working parents. Cons: You need to commit to the entire summer, and it’s expensive, though cheaper weekly than other summer camp programs. Mira D. parent
August 2011. For the younger ages I would highly recommend Alphabet Academy in Hamden (up through Kindergarten, I believe). Wonderful camp in which the children spend lots of time outdoors, water and sand play, have enrichment classes such as yoga cooking and tae kwon do and take some field trips to local parks/museums etc. My four year attends this school and it’s her second summer camp, she LOVES it!!
Sharon C., parent
August 2011. My 3 year old recently started to attend Alphabet Academy in Hamden for summer camp. He had been previously attending another program somewhere else. This camp has been a blessing to us. We have a new baby at home and had been dealing with the issues that come with a new sibling, however, since attending this camp we have seen …many exciting changes in our son. Drop off with him is a breeze, there is so much for him to do from the water slides, bikes, natural playscapes, cooking class and yoga. He just can’t wait to just jump in and get started. It is also wonderful to hear the way the teachers interact with the kids, everything is always a teachable moment and the constant positive reinforcement is practiced by everyone. But…..the very best part is bedtime is now a breeze because he is exhausted from his fun filled days!!!
Susan M., parent
August 2011. One of my favorite things is that when June rolls around Alphabet Academy magically turns into summer camp. Everyday is carefully planned out from day one. We have an “Alphabet” summer camp calendar with the activities for each day listed. When I ask my 4 year old, “How was yoga today”? He’s surprisingly ready to share! Besides yoga, there is lots and lots of water, including a super slide, a car wash and I learned this year that the huge sandbox turns into a complete whirlpool.(it’s also a great place to make mud pies) There is cooking, pottery, field trips, ice cream, taekwondo, arts and crafts, climbing (on a very amazing climber) tie-dying, a bikeathon and the list goes on. As I drop my son off everyday not only am I assured that “there is never a dull moment” I know that he is part of the bigger picture! I know that he is truly loved and loves!
Kimberly P., parent
August 2011. Alphabet Academy’s summer camp is terrific. My daughter is almost 4 and she is having an awesome time at Alphabet’s camp. First and foremost, the teachers are great. They are patient, caring, and full of energy. The teachers help my daughter transition in the morning so that she starts her day on a positive note. They encourage her to take risks, and they spark her curiosity. I’ve observed the teachers proactively engaging children in activities and helping them solve problems with friends.
The camp is incredibly organized. There’s a special activity each day—really cool things like yoga, taekwondo, pottery, square dancing. (Things she’s not exposed to at home.) Parents get a calendar and booklet explaining special activities, so I’m able to talk with my daughter about what she’s done that day and about what’s coming up. Most weeks there’s a field trip (like: Sleeping Giant, Eli Whitney Museum, Peabody Museum.) My daughter has loved each field trip, and I’ve been able to accompany her on some. These trips have introduced her to new experiences from riding the school bus to hiking down a stream to building a boat. Her confidence has grown tremendously this summer as a result of these trips.
Aside from the field trips, the regular camp day is filled with a range of activities. They have thematic days (Pirate Day, Olympics Day) which keeps my daughter’s interest. They have a great water slide and beautiful climbers and an enormous sandbox. The indoor space is great (and air conditioned) for rainy days or too-hot days. The teachers take time to create inviting and shady spaces for kids to play in and just be in.
When I asked my daughter why she likes about Alphabet’s camp she said, “They do fun stuff!”
Christine T., parent