Have Plans for the Summer Yet?

Summer camps have grown over the years not just in number, but in type. This really provides a time for your kids to dive into their favorite things. Whether its drama or Legos or setting up a tent, there is something for every kid. These types of camps are ideal settings for continued learning. It feels very much like play but they can learn so much! No need to feel guilty about these activities. If there’s a final product to show, you know they learned something, even if you have to ask your kid what that is s/he built with legos.

The summer is full of potential to find some new hobby or talent. Our kids grow by leaps and bounds and what s/he wasn’t interested in or good at last summer, may not stand true this summer. Staying open to trying new things (or foods!) is good for anyone and is a trait of a creative person (Creativity 101 by James Kaufman). Every activity a kid can do provides opportunities to not just learn more about the earth or technology or how to tie a knot for fishing, but in building confidence and learning about themselves, which goes a long way to help with school and the usual academic subjects. We, parents, are a part of that support team helping them grow and learn. So ask questions after the activities are done. Don’t ask, “Did you have fun?” Try instead to ask, “What did you learn?” Have them tell you all about the project or activity. That is reinforcing what they learned. There’s a few quotes about this, one of which is “While we teach, we learn.” -Seneca

Camps and other summer activities are a great time to have fun with peers, but making new friends can be a daunting venture for some. If there is some reluctance or even a bad experience, talk about it. Relate some bad experience you’ve had, provided its appropriate. Kids need to know they are not alone in this. What positive thing can they take from this bad experience? What did they learn about themselves, what did they like and did not like? As far as reluctance, that’s a tough call. Sometimes, we really do need to listen to our kids. Often, we need to encourage them to just try.

There’s a new website littlequest.com that is aiming to list the classes, camps, and other activities in the U.S. But they can’t do it all without some help from you, the parents! Give them some feedback on sites already listed or provide info on something not listed. I’m hoping to find activities to do with our kids if we visit relatives in other cities as well as local stuff!