When school gets out for the year, one of the best ways to keep kids active and engaged is through summer programs or summer camps.
Each year, more than 11 million children and adults attend a summer camp in the United States. Additionally, 63% of children who learn new activities as a summer camp will keep an interest in those activities at the end up camp, according to the American Camp Association (ACA).
The benefits of sending your youngster to a summer camp or summer programs include:
- Fostering teamwork: Whether your child is interested in sports or is really into arts and crafts, summer programs do a good job of keeping kids engaged in programs that promote teamwork. Summer programs do a great job of teaching kids meaningful skills that are important for later in life and teamwork is one of the most important. Through teamwork, kids will learn to work together, whether they are playing a sport like swimming (the fourth most popular activity among Americans), acting out a play or working on an art project. Teamwork teaches kids the importance of working together to accomplish tasks and embracing teamwork as a teams to a solution.
- Encouraging personal growth: For youngsters, especially those of preschool age, participating in summer programs can take them out of their comfort zone. Getting out of that comfort zone encourages kids to try new activities while also exploring things they might also be interested in already. Summer programs are very beneficial for fostering personal growth and for kids to develop new skills. Going through a camp will give them a sense of accomplishment and also help give them a stronger sense of identity.
- Helping kids take a break from electronics: In today’s age of social media, cell phones, apps and short attention spans, summer programs can be a godsend when it comes to getting kids to put down their electronic devices. It’s estimated that today’s kids spend more than seven hours a day in front of a screen. This can affect their sleep habits and attention spans to the point where they might struggle in school.
Summer programs can teach kids that there’s life beyond social media and screens. Children will have plenty of activities to participate in and plenty of opportunities to engage their minds and keep them active. By participating in arts and crafts and sports and acting among other activities, it’s quite possible that your child will develop a passion for a brand new activity that they’re exposed to through a summer camp. Whatever activities summer programs are offering, they’ll be a welcome and necessary respite for kids away from electronic devices.
- Making friends: Through summer programs, kids will get a chance to meet other kids their own age who are interested in the same kinds of activities they’re interested. Kids will get a chance to bond with other kids over their shared camp experiences and they just might build some long-lasting friendships.
- Better self-esteem: Summer programs are great because they help encourage achievement in kids. Whether a child gets a chance to be the star in a camp play, catches fish, wins a camp athletic tournament or wins an art contest, they’ll have multiple opportunities for achievement, which will help build their self-esteem. It’s been noted that self-esteem is important for both kids and adults because as we get older, we tend to make a lot of decisions, often important ones, based on how we view ourselves. Summer programs give children a chance to learn self-esteem through results and through participation in group activities at camp.
Summer programs and summer camp activities are a fantastic way for kids to build their self-esteem, make new friends, learn important life skills and stay engaged while taking some time away from their electronic devices. With so many types of camps offered for kids, they can participate in a wide range of activities and create lasting memories.
If you’ve got younger kids, talking with school administrators and friends about the best summer programs for preschoolers and summer camps for young children will help you find the best opportunity for your youngster.