Each summer, it seems to become more and more difficult to find things for kids to do that don’t involve electronics. Children often end up spending more of the summer watching TV or playing video games than they do playing outside. Not only does this stunt creativity and social growth — it’s terrible for their health as well. With the average child spending seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen, something must be done in the summer to keep them healthy and active. The answer is surprisingly old-fashioned, and amazingly wholesome. Summer camps — and beach camps in particularly — take kids back to the days when children were really children. Below are some of the many reasons why a day camp could transform your child’s summer for the better.
1. Fitness Benefits
Kids fitness activities can be difficult things to encourage in this day and age. As long as children are home — and near their screens — many would rather watch TV than engage in physical activity. Beach camps take away the option of electronics, and leave no other options than for kids to run and play the way their parents did back in the day. It’s recommended that children engage in muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening activities at least three days a week. These activities can easily be found at a camp — and beach camps often include swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are vital, as they reduce the risk of drowning by 88% in children one to four years old.
The social benefits of camp are impossible to exaggerate. A major issue with kids’ dependence on electronics today is that they really don’t know how to interact with other kids, even when they see them at school. Camp puts children in a setting that’s new to all of them, leveling the playing field. Children are often put into teams in games, which fosters communication and socialization. A shy child will often finish camp at the end of the summer transformed. Hanging out with other kids also builds a child’s confidence, and in general makes them more relaxed and comfortable. Camp can help kids make friends that last for life.
One of the saddest things about children’s obsession with screens is that it takes away their ability to create. They end up being less able to tap into the right sides of the brains, and lose the ability to imagine. A strong imagination equals a strong intellect, and creative play often helps a child relax. As such, it’s great that most camps provide children with creative games and activities. Many camps have art time set aside. Kids can create art that they can bring home and show to their parents, and are encouraged to channel their creative outlets in positive, productive ways.
Those who go to summer camp always have great stories to tell when they come back. Camp may just be the perfect thing for your child.