The benefits of preschool have long been touted as a way to start your child off on the right foot before they’re forced into the public or private schools. Clearly parents have bought in, as evidenced by the fact that percentages of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in pre-primary programs in 2012 (41 and 66%, respectively) were higher than the percentages in 1990 (33 and 56%, respectively). Just as important as finding a good preschool though is thinking about sending your kid to a summer camp of some kind.
More than 11 million children and adults attend summer camp in the U.S. each year to learn, grow, and have an all-around fun experience. While a preschool program is a great way to get a young child ready for real school, summer camps are ideal for young people of virtually any age. Here are three reasons to think about sending your kid to one next summer.
1.) Social Skills: Easily one of the greatest benefits of a summer camp is the social interactions and environment they’ll be in all day, every day. Learning things like teamwork, how to play nice with other, and communication are just some of the social skills you can expect a child to develop while at a summer camp. In addition to the social aspect with their peers, they will also have to learn how to communicate and take direction from an authority figure that isn’t their parent in the form of camp counselors.
2.) Separation Anxiety: Another way sending your child away for a week or so can help them is if they suffer from mild or severe separation anxiety. Many young children especially have a hard time being away from their parents. This is natural to an extent, but eventually they will have to learn how to live and be without you constantly there to take care of everything for them. Some time away in an environment where they will still be supervised and taken care of, except by someone else, is a perfect way to start building their confidence and comfort levels.
3.) Learn to Skills and Activities: On a more practical level, camps can have lasting impacts on children’s abilities and interests. Chances are they will learn some new games, sports, and activities while there that they could carry with them the rest of their lives. In fact, 63% of children who learn new activities at camp will sustain an interest in those activities after camp is over, according to research by the American Camp Association (ACA)
If you’ve ever thought about sending your kid to a summer camp, take these factors into consideration and make the right choice!