With the summer season quickly approaching, now is the time for parents to start thinking about what summer camp programs are right for their children. With more than 12,000 camps nationally according to the American Camp Association , it can be often overwhelming for parents to identify the program that best fits their own working schedules and the interests and aptitudes of their children.
"The type of summer camp you choose for your children can have a real impact on their success in the upcoming school year," said Claire Haas vice president of education for Kiddie Academy, a national child care and education franchisor. "Summer can be a great time to build upon a child's current educational skills with fun and challenging activities, or it can be a time when those skills erode for lack of reinforcement."
With so many programs to choose from, Haas offers the following tips to help parents narrow down their choices
Consider your childcare facility. You may not need to look any further than your current childcare facility for a summer camp program that combines the fun outdoor activities and adventure experiences of a typical camp program with quality academic instruction. And, as a bonus, many of these programs provide the extended hours that busy two-working-parent families need. Childcare-based programs are also a good choice if you have more than one child, since they typically accept more than one age group.
Focus on your child's interests. Put your child's interests before convenience. If the camp you choose is not a good match for your child's interests and aptitudes, then you are heading for a summer-long battle.
Make it fun. While you may not be on vacation, your children are. The summer camp program you choose should include a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities that give your children a chance to build confidence, explore their abilities, make new friends, learn new skills and just have fun.
"Summer camp programs can help your children test their boundaries socially, physically, mentally and emotionally," adds Haas. "The more relaxed atmosphere of a summer program helps open children up to new experiences. The right program can help a child develop leadership skills and a sense of independence, which are important building blocks for future academic and personal success."
The summer day camp program at Kiddie Academy, 'Camp Adventure,' offers age-appropriate programs for children ages one through 12. Structured around a 'Life Essentials' curriculum, the program offers fun-filled events, special guests and exciting field trips along with physical and creative activities designed to help build character, grow self-confidence and increase knowledge of the world surrounding us.