Art student Melanie Gehrke works with Sarah Fahlberg and Kelsey Marca on a craft project at a children's art workshop.

Art student Melanie Gehrke (left) works with Sarah Fahlberg (center) and Kelsey Marca (right) on a craft project at a children’s art workshop, an outreach activity held during the 5th annual Arts Night Out in the Mosse Humanities Building

Community Resources and Programming for Children

Parent-and-child classes

Play-and-Learn: This program, offered by the Madison Metropolitan School District, “… is a fun and engaging free-of-charge program … for children ages birth to 3+ and their caregivers, who reside in the Madison School District.” Parents attend with their children, and programming is designed to improve your child’s literacy and social skills, while helping parent learn about child development. These 2 – 3 hour classes are offered throughout Madison. Each family may sign up for one group per semester, and some groups are bilingually oriented. A brochure on the program is available here.

Happy Bambino: This children’s store offers classes for new and expecting parents on a variety of topics. Cost: normally between $0 – 100+ depending on the class.

Infant Learning Lab at the UW Waisman Center: If you are interested in learning more about how your child learns, the Waisman Center has several programs, including the ILL, which welcome volunteers for their studies on learning and cognition. Parents accompany their children during all of these studies, and elected participants are compensated.

Summer programs

Madison School and Community Recreation: MSCR offers a wide range of recreation programs and services for all ages that are offered year-round, and additional low-cost programming for summer.  Main office: 3802 Regent Street; Warner Park Community Recreation Center: 1625 Northport Drive

UW-Madison Youth Programs, Activities, and Resources: The Division of Continuing Studies has compiled a list of educational youth programs, including summer camps and weekend programs.

Services offered by the state and federal government