In 2017, 86% of five-year-old children were enrolled in a preschool program compared to 68%…
Toddlers are usually very active and curious. As such, they learn best through hands-on experiences with objects and people. Sadly, during school breaks, not many parents are available to guide them through hands-on projects. That’s where summer camps for toddlers come into play. Forget about the typical summer camps for teenagers and older kids — these kinds are specially designed for toddlers.
The camps have become increasingly popular as parents appreciate the need for stimulation at an early age. Research shows 63% of children who learn new activities at a camp are likely to sustain interest in those activities after the camp. The beauty of these camps is that they provide various things to do, keeping kids busy despite their short attention spans. Here are more reasons you should enroll your toddler in a summer camp.
1. Kids Learn Structure
The transition between the flexible days at home with a caregiver and the strict structure of a classroom environment can be challenging. Enrolling a toddler in a summer camp before joining school eases the transition process. Summer camp introduces the child to foreign concepts like schedules, learning and following group rules, getting along with other kids in a group setting, and taking responsibility.
2. Practice Social Skills
Beyond taking care of your child, they need to relate with their peers, and summer camps for toddlers are excellent platforms for kids to socialize. Toddlers often have limited peer group exposure, only associating with a few friends at a daycare, the neighborhood, or playgroup. The camps are similar to schools, as they allow them to interact with kids from other backgrounds and make friends independently.
3. Reduce Screen Time
Whether you’re a working or a stay-at-home parent, it’s natural to buy devices to keep your young one busy. While it’s effective, it prevents a toddler from engaging in physical activity. Studies show physical inactivity is the leading cause of disabilities in the United States, and it starts from childhood. The World Health Organization adds that sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of developing diabetes and obesity in kids. Therefore, enrolling your child in a kids summer camp keeps them active and reduces the amount of time they spend on screen. Most of the programs are set up outdoors and offer lots of age-appropriate activities for kids to engage in.
4. Develop Independence
Toddlers are naturally clingy, especially if you spend a significant amount of time with them. Summer camps for toddlers provide a safe space for kids who don’t have lots of experience staying away from Mom and Dad to develop independence. What’s more, it eases the tension that comes with going to school for the first time. Unlike schools that follow strict policies about drop-off and pickup times, camp coordinators are more lenient.
5. Personal Development
Camps are great avenues to introduce preschoolers to new skills. Coral Gables’s summer camp incorporates various aspects of learning, character building as well as personal growth. The summer season is the most exciting as kids engage in many outdoor activities, including sports, science, cooking, and many more. The premise is to allow kids to explore their interests while enhancing their capacities for teamwork, knowledge, learning, and self-awareness. Parents who have sent their kids to school camps can attest that their toddler has gained a strong sense of confidence.
What to Look for When Choosing Summer Camps for Toddlers
Finding the right program is critical to enjoying all the benefits discussed above. Here are essential factors to consider when looking for a camp for your toddler:
- Whether it’s a general or specialty camp: General camp provides a range of age-appropriate activities while specialty camps focus on a specific interest.
- Whether the program is age-appropriate: The program should be tailored to your child’s age (3-5). Also, the counselors should be trained to work with young kids.
- Full-day vs. half-day camp: Full-day programs should include lunch and a resting period. If your toddler is still young, consider starting with a half-day program and transition to a full-day program.
Without a doubt, summer camps for toddlers play a critical role in their physical, mental, and social development. Enrolling them early on not only benefits the parent but also has a tremendous impact on their well-being.