Community Resource Fun!

Children begin exploring the world from the moment they are born.  As they grow, their world expands from the family and home they live in, to the community that surrounds them.  A great way to help them connect and explore their world is to check out some of the local community resources our state has to offer!  Here are a few ideas:

Farmers Markets:

Summer weather in Maryland may bring us hot, humid days, but it also brings a bounty of fresh, delicious, local produce.

Farmers markets are sprouting up throughout the state.  Is there one close to you?  Local produce can teach children what is in season and the value of wholesome, healthy food.  Use the market to purchase local foods or plan a field trip with the children!

In addition to community Farmers Markets, participants in Women, Infants and Children (WIC) can also use their vouchers at any authorized farmers markets in the state. Anyone who uses WIC can check to see if there are farmers markets nearby, or if local farmers have on-farm stands at Maryland’s Best (select the category “FMNP” under the “All Categories” tab.)

For more information about farmers markets in your region:  http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/maryland-farmers-markets

County Fairs:

A wealth of experiences are waiting at your local county fair!  Children can enjoy seeing livestock raised by others and learn about the responsibilities of caring for animals.

Demonstrations from weaving wool and dyeing cloth, to making soap and glass blowing provide hands-on science and social studies opportunities. Many fairs also offer a cultural sampling of food, dance, and music.

You’ll also see Maryland EXCELS at some of your local county fairs this year. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has partnered with us to promote quality child care throughout the state.

For more information about county fairs near you:  http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/county-fairs-and-agricultural-expos

Music and Arts Festivals:

Enjoy the sounds and sights of an enriching music and arts fest!  Art and music provide wonderful visual and auditory stimulation for children.  Hear local artists and allow children to experience how music is made.

Art festivals give children opportunities to see art as well as meet artists.  They can engage children in active observation and expand their views by showing them how others interpret the world around them.

Find out about your local music and arts festivals:

http://www.visitmaryland.org/article/family-friendly-fairs-and-festivals

http://www.visitmaryland.org/list/arts-festivals-around-maryland

Nature Centers and Parks:

Explore the science of life and nature by taking your children to a local park or nature center.  Naturalists and park staff can provide a wealth of knowledge on flora and fauna and introduce children to the local ecosystem.

Check out some of the local parks and nature centers near you:

http://www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-trails/nature-centers/

http://dnr.maryland.gov/Publiclands/Pages/parkmap.aspx

http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/html/parks.html

https://www.our-kids.com/nature-parks/nature-centers

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