Kaleidoscope Children’s Center continues classes for local children
Gretchen Wells-Malitz from Kaleidoscope Children's Center, Inc. interacts with the children during the class. | Tamara Bell~Sun Times Media
Updated: February 13, 2012 8:09AM
Some of the children who participated in classes during the early days of the Kaleidoscope Children’s Center now have children of their own.
But the goals for the children now taking Kaleidoscope classes are very much the same as they were when director Carol Woods started the children’s center in 1984.
“It’s to give children a chance to learn from the experience of doing,” Woods said. “They learn by doing, and we try to give kids a great learning experience.”
Kaleidoscope operates classrooms at Grace Episcopal Church in Hinsdale and All Saints Church in Western Springs.
It also brings programs to some area park districts, including Hinsdale and Burr Ridge.
Along with yearlong class offerings, Kaleidoscope offers several weekly summer camps. Science, art, theater, music and dance are the focuses of classes and camps. Kaleidoscope’s offerings are for children ages 1-10, and several classes are for parents/caregivers with young children.
Woods said both the children and parents get something out of the classes they attend together.
“There often is the issue of separation anxiety with the very young children, so these classes offer situations where you don’t have that,” she said. “And the parents are able to get some ideas in classes that they can use at home.”
Amy Rogus Velco moved to Hinsdale two weeks ago from Chicago and attended her first Music & More class in Hinsdale Jan. 4 with her 19-month-old son, Hunter.
“I like the idea of having some one-on-one time with him,” said Velco, whose 3-year-old son, Hayden, attends preschool at Grace Episcopal Church.
“I started researching activities when we moved here, and I wanted to get Hunter into music because I think it’s good for kids. They love music, it calms them and helps with language.”
Gretchen Wells-Malitz of Hinsdale has been teaching the Music & More class for two years.
“Music is a primary developmental tool,” she said. “You can meet any child with any developmental level through music. And this class is nice, too, because it’s nice for the parents to get out with the kids.”
Tommy Clark, 2, of Clarendon Hills, has been attending the Little Scientists class in Western Springs since October with his baby sitter, Arthia Jenkins.
The Little Scientists class, for children ages 2-3 with a parent or caregiver, offers new topics each week and includes activities such as blowing through straws, tossing feathers and watching them float through the air, popping bubbles and making parachutes.
Having a positive experience is the main goal for children attending the Little Scientists class, said teacher Patti Hettich.
“I want them to enjoy learning,” she said. “It’s the first introduction to school for a lot of them. I just want them to be curious, explore and have fun.”
Tommy Clark certainly seems to fit that bill.
“Tommy learns a lot here and loves it, and I like it, too, and learn a lot,” Jenkins said. “He knows where he’s going when we pull up here; he gets all excited and starts jumping up and down.”
More information about Kaleidoscope Children’s Center is available online at www.KscopeClasses.com.