Spring Break is almost upon us and most schools will be closed at some point in March and April. As any working parent would attest, its important to be creative in keeping their children occupied. One of the most obvious solutions is to look for camp programs for your children. In Singapore, there are a plethora of kids camps activities that you can choose from and when faced with many choices, how do you go about picking the right camp for your child? Before we delve into that, we should first look at the reasons why camps are a good thing for children.
1) Learning new practical or technical skills.
In a camp, a child is exposed to different activities to pique their interest. In Singapore there are many camps that engage a child in different ways. You can choose a camp that focuses on coding, tennis or multi-sports, and even science camps. Your child might discover an interest that they may not know they have. The point is to expose them to a wide range of different experiences so that they can discover and explore a new skill or interest in a safe and structured environment.
2) Development of Soft Skills
One of the greatest benefits of camps is the opportunity for a child to learn with peers who are not necessarily part of their social network through school or regular extra-curricular activities. In school, children tend to gravitate towards the same group and can be perceived in a particular way because of that choice of friends. In other words, because of the peer group they associate with, they could be labelled as being “quiet” or “studious” or at the opposite end of the spectrum, being “disruptive”. Camps generally allow the child to break away from these “labels” and allow them to experience and learn with a different group which can lead to them discovering things about themselves such as leadership and problem-solving skills. Camps are a great environment for children to build their self-esteem and learn life skills in a nurturing environment.
3) Teaches them Independence and responsibility.
Camps teach children to be independent. In addition, due to the wider age groups, older children will be tasked with the responsibility of “looking after” their younger friends. They learn how to make good decisions, and also about cause and effect. These are life skills that will teach them to be resilient and face any challenges head on. Teamwork, cooperation and negotiation are all part of the building blocks of a camp experience. Children learn to make decisions without their parent’s help which boosts their self-esteem and to develop risk-taking and conflict-resolution skills.
4) Mental and Physical Stimulation.
There is an old saying - “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop”. Camps truly help children both mentally and physically. Let’s face it, most children will gravitate towards the TV or their digital devices to keep themselves entertained during the holidays. Camps encourage children to move away from this and to engage their bodies and minds fully in a new challenge. They need an hour of exercise per day - it is fundamental to their physical and mental growth.
5) It is great to be outdoors.
Children need nature for the healthy development of their senses, which helps develop their creativity and feeds their appetite for learning. They need to experience nature in order to understand the environment that they live in and how they can play a positive part in the ecosystem. Being outside is also a great stress reliever for those who are struggling with school work or on-line social issues.
Above all, kids just want to have fun, and they need the playtime that camps offer in between more structured activities. We see many children who come through our doors whose daily lives are completely planned to the minute with no opportunity for them to just play freely with friends. Camps give them the opportunity to explore and be active in creative ways with their peers. It helps build their imagination and helps them set their own boundaries.