September 01, 2022 Category: What's New? Our Programs Fresh Air Fun

Summer Spaces: Exploring, Creating and Getting Active!

This summer New York City children, ages 5 to 12, had fun playing outdoors and explored new skills through engaging and collaborative activities at The Fresh Air Fund’s Summer Spaces program.  

Thanks to our incredible partners, Fresh Air kids were able to safely play outside and discover new talents! From designing their own kites to learning how to play a new instrument, NYC kids were busy having fun at Summer Spaces!  

Creating 

Photo Credit: Katherine Borrazzo

Every day at Summer Spaces, kids have an arts and crafts session as part of their daily curriculum. Fresh Air kids showcase their creativity by designing their own kites, hats, water bottles and more! The projects are an opportunity for kids to express themselves and the best part is – they get to take home their creations! 

“Arts and crafts is my favorite activity. We got to make our own capes and umbrellas that we get to take home and use,” shares six-year-old Djene at our Summer Spaces site located in Highbridge.  

Arts and crafts is an important part of the Summer Spaces sessions because it provides Fresh Air kids the freedom to be curious and imaginative. With every project they complete, they can take pride in their work.  

“I love Summer Spaces especially designing the water bottles,” states six-year-old Jonathan from Summer Spaces site in Jackson Heights. “I drew myself and a big heart on my water bottle to show how much I love today and my summer!” 

Exploring 

Photo Credit: Annika Heegaard

In partnership with BioBus, we brought the excitement of learning about the environment through an outdoor, interactive science lab to Summer Spaces. BioBus is helping us create the next generation of scientists through short, introductory science lessons.  

At the Summer Spaces location in Harlem, Fresh Air kids learned how to safely retrieve insects into test tubes and plastic science plates. They even explored the nearby neighborhood garden at our Community Partner Harlem Grown to find different insects. They found ants, centipedes, pill bugs and worms which they later placed under electronic magnifying glasses provided by BioBus.  

“This was my first time capturing insects! My favorite memory was when I caught the centipede today. I never did that before,” shared Noah, age 8. “Summer Spaces is really fun! We do a lot of projects like this one with bugs.” 

Music 

Photo Credit: Finn O’Malley

At Summer Spaces, Fresh Air children discovered their musical talents through our partnership with the The ASCAP Foundation. Led by an ASCAP instructor, Fresh Air kids learned how to properly hold a guitar, how to identify parts of a guitar and even three different chords to play! 

“I love learning about music and new instruments. The guitar is my favorite.” said seven-year-old Amos. 

Sitting in a circle around the instructor, every child had the opportunity to try out singing into a microphone. One Fresh Air child, seven-year-old Gabrielle, took the microphone to sing as her friends and counselors watched and cheered! 

By introducing Fresh Air kids to the basics of music literacy, it opens the door of possibility for them to seek out different hobbies. “I always wanted to learn how to play an instrument,” said Aaliyah, 9. “It’s really fun here and you get to practice the guitar. My next instrument to learn is going to be a violin.” 

Getting Active 

Photo Credit: Matthew Pritchard

Playing sports helps children develop physical skills, learn teamwork and exercise while having fun! At Summer Spaces, staying active helps Fresh Air kids both physically and socially. With counselors by their side, they safely take part in a variety of sports such as soccer, football and more!  

Our partnership with The United States Tennis Association (USTA) encouraged kids to participate in sports by teaching them how to play tennis. USTA trained our counselors this summer on how to lead workshops and play tennis  – even without a court! 

“I love fun activities like sports! My favorite sports are soccer and tennis. I really love running and there are so many fun things to do here,” shares seven-year-old Julian from Jackson Heights.  

A big Fresh Air thank you to our community partners Mixteca, Harlem Grown, BioBus, USTA, Street Lab and The ASCAP Foundation!