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9 Great Programs for Long Island Kids With Special Needs

There is no doubt that people who are challenged with special needs can experience sadness, insecurity, isolation, and exclusion. With increased attention paid to autism, cerebral palsy, dyslexia, and other conditions, research and resources seem to be increasing.

Unfortunately, some of these programs are not publicized sufficiently, even though many families would benefit tremendously from easy access to them. There are, however, several great programs for Long Island kids with special needs. And we’ve compiled a list just for you.

For more educational and developmental programs for Long Island kids, see our classes and enrichment guide or our Long Island Special Needs Guide.

Summer Camps with Availability for Westchester Kids

Summer vacation may be staring you in the face, but there's no need to panic—we've rounded up several day camps that still have spots for Westchester kids. Whether you're looking for a camp for your preschooler, tween, or teenager, you'll find it here! And to make your life even easier, many of these camps offer door-to-door transportation. Sign up for the whole summer, or just one week, depending on the camp and your needs. (After all, you might want to leave time to work your way through all the activities in our Summer Fun Guide.)

You can find even more camps in our Summer Camp Guide for Westchester Kids, and in our Westchester Summer Camp Directory.

Nature Programs for NYC Toddlers and Preschoolers

When your city kid has exhausted every museumshow, and playground option in town, it’s nice to be able to get a dose of nature thanks to NYC’s array of zoos, gardens, and parks. And for nature-loving, dirt-loving, mud-loving, bug-loving city kids, the good news is there's no shortage of programming for toddlers and preschoolers in each borough. 

We've rounded up our top places in New York City where your toddler or preschooler can marvel at, learn about, and connect with nature. See our guides for even more camps and classes aimed at toddlers and preschoolers.

24 Summer Camp Snacks for Kids That Aren't Boring

Packing for summer camp means gathering up the towels, swimsuits, water bottles—labeling everything!—and finally, ensuring your kid has a healthy snack to power them through an action-packed day.

After a year of making school lunches for kids, it might feel overwhelming to come up with creative summer camp snacks, especially if you have a picky eater who turns up their nose at the likes of a cheese stick or tube of yogurt. So we came up with two dozen camp snack foods to woo both kids and parents with cooling, energizing, and (mostly) healthy snacks.

We separated the list into four handy sections: high-protein snacks, fruit snacks, no-refrigeration required, and allergy-aware and nut-free snacks for kids. Some might be more suited to a post-camp nosh but most can be packed up and sent out the door to summer camp with your kid.

Cartoon Illustration and Graphic Novel Camps and Classes for NYC Kids

Are your kids obsessed with graphic novels? News flash: They're far from alone. If you're a parent of a child in elementary or middle school, you're probably already aware that we're living in a veritable golden age for graphic novels aimed at children, thanks to talented author-illustrators like Raina Telgemeier (of Drama and Smile fame), Kazu Kibuishi (author of the massively popular Amulet series), Cece Bell (author of the Newbery Award-winning El Deafo), and even graphic novel adaptations of classic tales from A Wrinkle in Time to Greek mythology.

If your young reader is interested in creating a graphic novel or illustrated story of their own, there are plenty of classes and camps in NYC designed to encourage young storytellers. "Comic books and visual arts, in general, have become much more understood as viable paths for young people that have talent in visual art," says A.K. Lovelace, a professional illustrator and instructor at the Harlem School of the Arts. Whether your child is just starting out in cartoon Illustration or you have a child preparing their portfolio for high school or contests, here are a few programs to support your budding artist throughout their creative development.

27 NYC Summer Camps With Availability

With summer camp registration starting before you've even put the families' winter coats away for the season, it's really easy to fall behind. Fortunately, even if you haven't spent a single minute thinking about camp, there's no need to panic—yet. 

Sure, some programs fill up quickly with returning campers who get first priority, but there are so many awesome programs that still have availability. You'll find specialty camps for every interest, camps for preschoolers and toddlers, cooking camps, tech camps, arts camps, and traditional, general interest country day camps where your kids will breathe fresh air all day and come home dirty and name it. We've rounded up over 25 of our NYC area camp partners that still have spots for summer 2019 as of this writing. To find by location, click to open the map at the bottom of the post.

For even more New York City-area camps, check out our comprehensive Summer Camp Guide and browse hundreds of programs by location, age, and type in our NYC Summer Camp Directory.

Los Angeles Summer Day Camps with Availability Now

As the last day of school breathes down our collective necks, there are those among us who—dare I say it—have not yet figured out summer camp. No shame here; you are among friends. In fact, we'd like to help by sharing a few great summer camps that we happen to know still have space available. Open the map at the bottom of the page to search by location. And remember, we have more camps to peruse in our camp guide and directory!

13 Best Science Museums and STEM Spots for NYC Kids

Curious NYC kids never need to feel bored—not when there are so many places in New York that encourage kid-focused scientific exploration and creation. From science museums and maker spaces to brain-boosting playgrounds and STEM-focused camps, there are tons of spots for kids to get scientific in New York City. We've rounded up 13 of the best.

Find more great geeky ideas in our STEM Guide.


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