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July 26, 2021 Inspired Stories

A Brighter Future Starts with Healthy, Happy Kids

group of kids on playground

As a parent, it’s natural to want what’s best for your child. To that end, you probably spend a fair amount of time searching for engaging, educational and fun community events for them to participate in, particularly those that won’t break the bank.

Thanks to title sponsor U.S. Venture and the support of organizations throughout the community, Appleton Children’s Week offers youth in our communities a chance to do just that with seven full days of free or reduced-priced activities for the entire family to enjoy together.

Offering opportunities to create lasting memories through safe and healthy recreation, Appleton Children’s Week demonstrates our community’s commitment to supporting and celebrating the most critical asset to our future: our kids.

Here are just a few ways this event is helping to build brighter futures.

Fun Learning Opportunities
Summer is usually equated with a break from learning, but during Children’s Week, educational opportunities aren’t just encouraged – they’re fun! Appleton Public Library will be hosting virtual pop-up readings, interactive story time, and providing free books — all of which help to promote early literacy, kindergarten readiness, and a love of reading.

Physical Activity
“Physical activity is so important to a child’s health and well-being,” said Dr. Abby Smolcich, Pediatrician at ThedaCare. “If you’re struggling to get your kids off the couch this summer, Children’s Week offers a lot of opportunities to get them outdoors and encourage movement.”

Physical activity is so important to a child’s health and well-being.

Abby Smolcich , MD, ThedaCare

In addition to a wide variety of free dance and athletic classes, kids can also take advantage of free activities like swimming at Erb and Mead Pools, bowling at The 10th Frame, and family Zumba with the YMCA.

Skill and Confidence Building
If your children are interested in participating in sports or other extracurricular activities, but aren’t sure which ones they are best suited for, Appleton Children’s Week is their chance to take a free test run.

“Some kids are hesitant to try something new out of fear they won’t be good at it or won’t enjoy it,” said Dr. Smolcich. “This way they can try out a wide variety of activities and get a better idea of their interests and strengths before enrolling in a program that may require their parent to make a long-term investment.”

They can try out a wide variety of activities and get a better idea of their interests.

Abby Smolcich, MD, ThedaCare

Children can try their hand at everything from golf to basketball, karate, ballet, musical theater, ice skating and more.

A Focus on Self-Expression
With an emphasis on creativity, imagination and individuality, Children’s Week provides an opportunity for kids to explore their artistic side. From make-and-take art projects offered through the Trout Museum of Art, to the creation of mosaic tiles and memory foam characters, the possibilities for self-expression are endless.

During the Building for Kids Children’s Parade hosted Wednesday, July 28, kids and their families are encouraged to brainstorm together to create costumes and non-motorized floats for a stroll down College Avenue. Awards are handed out for creativity, imagination and confidence.

The Joy of Play
What brings a child more joy than permission to just have a little fun? Appleton Children’s Week is all about providing access to lots of summertime, free-rein play.

“Play time fosters so many important skills in children,” said Smolcich. “While engrossed in play, children learn to build relationships and engage with others, they stimulate their mind and improve brain function, and it serves as a natural stress reliever to calm their fears and anxiety. Beyond cognitive, physical and emotional benefits, play is a surefire path to joy for children and adults alike.”

While engrossed in play, children learn to build relationships and engage with others.

Abby Smolcich, MD, ThedaCare

Whatever your child’s favorite form of play, you’ll find it here. Choose from scavenger hunts, carnival rides, magic shows, a giant kid’s playground, inflatables, live music and of course – food.

Investment in the Community
The impact of Appleton Children’s Week extends far beyond the event itself with proceeds going directly back into the community, including beneficiaries such as Appleton Parks and Recreation, the Appleton YMCA and The Building for Kids. That means every dollar spent by attendees is reinvested in organizations whose entire focus is supporting and improving access to family-friendly activities.

“Appleton Children’s Week is truly the gift that keeps on giving,” said Smolcich. “It is so special not only to see community partners and families come together to support our youth during this week-long event, but to know our community members will benefit from its success for years to come.”

ThedaCare is the primary sponsor of the Building for Kids Children’s Parade, hosted during Children’s Week on Wednesday, July 28. Visit the Appleton Children’s Week website to register for the parade and view a full lineup of scheduled events.

community events community health pediatrics well-being youth

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