With school and after-school activities still in full swing, it’s easy for parents to postpone thinking about summer camp programs for their children. But, Steven Paul, Director of Kiddie Academy of La Verne, an educationally focused child care provider in La Verne, says parents should act now to select and register their children, before popular camp programs fill up.
“A summer camp is not something you want to ‘settle on,'” said Paul. “The right program can offer children real benefits in exploring new ideas, developing new skills or keeping current academic skills sharp. If you settle for a camp that is little more than a babysitting service, your children may be missing out on some valuable experiences.”
Paul suggests that parents begin their summer camp search by identifying key factors like schedules, interests, aptitudes and friends. The following tips, developed by Claire Haas, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy, will help narrow down the choices:
* Keep your needs in mind. Extended hours are important to busy two-working-parent families. You may have to rule out some camps that simply don’t fit with your work schedule.
* Consider the kids’ perspective. Don’t forget – to your kids, this is vacation time. Ask for their input, and consider their interests when choosing programs.
* Take an informal survey. Ask your child’s friends about their favorite camps. You might learn of new options.
* Team up with a friend. Choose camps along with the parents of one or two of your child’s friends. Your child will have a built-in buddy at camp, and you’ll have someone to share pick-up and drop-off duties.
Now, Paul says, you are ready to weigh the merits and benefits of the different types of programs with these further tips from Haas:
* Send your child to college. Many community colleges and universities offer summer camp programs that will give your child a taste of campus life, including building a schedule.
* Consider childcare providers. Some facilities boost their programs with traditional camp activities over the summer. This is a great choice if you have more than one child, as they accept more than one age group.
* Sneak in continuing education. Look for programs that combine educational enrichment with fun activities. At a great program, your kids won’t even notice they’re building on school skills.
* Try something new. Summer camps give children a chance to explore their abilities and learn new skills. Camp can allow your child to sample a new hobby before committing to six months of (dance/music/martial arts)
“A summer camp program may help children learn new skills, reinforce hard-won academic skills or help build social or physicalself-confidence – but above all it needs to be fun,” said Paul. “Choose a program based on your child’s physical, social, academic, artistic or personal strengths, but remember that a summer camp’s relaxed atmosphere
is also a perfect opportunity to expose children to new experiences.”
The summer day camp program at Kiddie Academy of LaVerne, called Camp Adventure, offers age-appropriate programs for children ages one through 12. Structured around the organization’s Life Essentials® curriculum, the
program offers fun-filled events, special guests and field trips along with physical and creative activities. Camp Adventure is designed to help build character, grow self-confidence and reinforce school skills.
For more information about Kiddie Academy of La Verne, please contact Steven Paul at 909-392-3333 or Lvkiddieacademy@gmail.com .