Friday, April 7, 2017

Can Chess Help Kids Make Better Decisions in Life?

Teaching kids how to make better decisions in life is a goal of every parent. Yet it often seems to be one of the hardest skills to teach. 

Giving kids safe risks combined with the right type of guidance is a delicate balance. It requires setting up the right circumstances. 

When parents discuss finding ways to encourage better decision-making in their children, the game of chess often comes up. 

This is because playing chess promotes the development of these skills by addressing the following areas that impact the choices a kid makes in life.

Develop the Mindset That Luck is Not Everything

Kids are naturally drawn to magical thinking. Parents often hear them exclaim how someone was “lucky” when they pulled off a major achievement. 

While there is an element of luck in many games, chess is not among them. Playing chess demands strategic thinking to place oneself in a position of advantage. As your son or daughter learns to play chess, they also gain an appreciation of the potential to control their own destiny through common sense. Working with their coach and other chess players also lets kids discover that strategic thinking is something that is learned. It is not just something that lucky people are born with in life.

Learn to Identify Positive Choices

Chess lessons often focus on helping kids recognize which strategies will help to improve their positions. True even when they are faced with two undesirable or equal moves. This concept can also be applied to life. 

Kids learn how to weigh their options when faced with two choices that carry the same weight. For example, a child may wish to attend their friend’s birthday party that happens at the same time as their sports practice. Both options may appear equal on the surface. Applying what they have learned in chess encourages your child to consider which choice will take them closer to reaching their goals.

Hone Critical Analytical Skills

Critical thinking requires kids to take what they have seen work in the past and combine it with present circumstances to determine probable outcomes. Chess lessons at summer camp give them a chance to observe the time-tested strategies used by both professional and beginner players. 

Then, they get to test out their theories on new strategies they think will work. Since there is always another chance to play a new game, kids are more willing to take risks that strengthen their deductive reasoning. When faced with tough decisions outside of the chess arena, they can apply these same analytical skills with greater confidence that they are making the right decisions.

Learning to play chess changes kids. Parents find that attending lessons pays off in more than just academic benefits. From strengthening their self-confidence to teaching them how to effectively analyze a situation, chess lessons address all the areas a kid needs to be able to make better life decisions.  

To maximize this effect, as your son or daughter makes choices that affect his or her life, simply stay involved in their lessons. Help them find ways to implement the skills they are learning.

Let your kids enjoy chess games at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at  to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Bumper Boat Fun!

When the weather turns warmer, kids get excited about spending time on the water. Bumper boats are one of the most popular activities at summer camp. Most parents are familiar with canoes and kayaks but seldom connect water and bumper cars. So, when they see the boats hit the water, it brings big smiles to everyone’s face! Bumper boats are exactly what the name implies. Kids love steering them around on the water while bumping into their friends. As you make your summer plans, below are a few ideas on helping your camper enjoy a little bumper boat fun this season.

Get Your Kids Comfortable in The Water
One big reason why families send their kids to camp is to provide them with an environment where they can step out and take safe risks. Diving into a lake is intimidating for many kids. Bumper boats offer a gentle way to get acclimated to spending time in natural bodies of water. And, since the boats are equipped with fun water “squirters”, kids can get wet without the pressure of being fully submerged.

Make Sure Everyone Practices Water Safety
Every activity at camp is carefully planned with safety in mind. Kids learn all about water safety when they climb onto a bumper boat. From putting on their life jacket to wearing a seatbelt, they learn how to respect the water and still have tons of fun. For added water safety, sign your child up for swimming lessons. They can be in a traditional pool as well as natural bodies of water. Then, always make sure trained staff members are on the water with the kids to supervise their bumper boat adventures.

Encourage Teamwork and a Sense of Community
Classic bumper boats hold two kids at a time. They take turns steering and squirting. Everyone gets a kick out of turning it into a team sport. And working together is a great way to encourage new friendships. Bumper boats are a form of open-ended play. This allows kids to make up games with their own rules within the camp community. Counting points for bumps or hitting their targets with a blast of water are just a few of the ways kids turn this fun activity into a friendly competition.

Extend the Fun with Party Options
Day camp gives youngsters the chance to enjoy bumper boats after school and during the summer. But they just can’t get enough of this activity. For this reason, you will find that it makes the perfect activity for any celebration. The joy of bumping each other across the water generates tons of laughs and memories. Whether celebrating a birthday or winning a championship, it’s a great way to highlight special occasions. It also is the perfect end to a day of team building.

When you arrive at camp, you never know what kind of fun is in store. The look of excitement on a kid’s face when they first see a bumper boat is amazing. And their smile just gets brighter as they steer their boat across the water. When it comes to filling those summer days with new and exciting experiences, everyone should have bumper boats on their itinerary.

Let your kids enjoy bumper boat fun at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at  to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Importance of Team Building for Adults and Children

Cultivating a team mindset is an important part of your role as a leader in any group. Whether you coach beginner’s soccer or manage a large corporation, you know that getting your team to work together is the key to meeting any challenge. However, it is important to remember that teamwork does take work. Every individual in your group must learn how to trust others while also respecting their differences. For this reason, it is always important to have a few team building tricks up your sleeve. Ones that will get everyone on board for using their combined skills to meet those goals.

Learn Skills That Foster Teamwork

Teamwork is a broad term that encompasses many skills that all must come together for your group to be successful. When your group takes part in a team building exercise, it always starts with a few ice-breaker activities. These allow everyone to get over their initial nervousness and start trusting the facilitator as well as their teammates. Once trust is established, your group will then hone their problem-solving and communication skills. Everyone will work together to accomplish special tasks that challenge their physical and mental abilities.

Explore New Types of Team Building Activities

Camps offer guided rock climbing and ropes courses as ideal types of activities to both adults and children. This is because climbing a rock wall or attempting to make it to the top zip line platform provides plenty of opportunities for participants to set goals and encourage each other to reach them. Whether a teammate offers a helping hand to boost their partner to a new level or the whole group cheers when someone overcomes a fear, getting everyone to step out of their comfort zone allows new leaders and supporters to emerge within the group.

Establish a Community Mindset

Often, members of a group lose sight of their common goals as they strive to achieve their personal best. For adults, this might happen when several employees are vying for the same promotion. For kids on a gymnastics team it might happen when they focus more on individual recognition. But, as a team leader, your role is to teach them to achieve goals working together collectively. High-elements courses serve dual purposes. Individuals are encouraged to conquer their fears and build self-esteem while ascending high above the ground. And, at the same time, they experience a sense of community as participants cheer and encourage each other through the course.

Recognize the Power of Play

Reinforcing the positive feelings generated during a team-building day is important. It helps ensure that everyone can carry what they learned into their future endeavors. Add a refreshing spin to the end of your rock climbing and ropes activities by inviting your team to “play” awhile. Whether hitting the bumper boats or kicking back and fishing around the lake, your group will always remember the rewards that come with working as a team.

When those meetings are no longer effective, finding new ways to keep your team connected is important for their overall success. You can get your group moving and putting their heads together with interactive activities facilitated by an energized staff that knows how to encourage communication and a team mindset. As your group climbs, runs and carries each other through the course, they build a bond while discovering how everyone’s unique traits can be used together to accomplish any task.
Enjoy corporate and adult team building at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Participants will be encouraged to bend boundaries and extend comfort zones while closely being guided by our professionally trained facilitators. Visit the site at

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Celebrating Family Fun at Day Camp

Day camp provides kids with a safe place to learn and have fun after school and during the summers. While most people think of the benefits for the kids, the truth is that day camp enhances the lives of every member of your family. This is because day camps offer fun, daily experiences along with special events that encourage bonding and the creation of beautiful memories. As you plan your family’s calendar, here are just a few of the ways that your favorite day camp helps you all have fun together.

Enjoying New Experiences
Watching as your preschooler pets a baby goat for the first time or your school-aged child climbs to the top of the climbing wall is amazing. Day camps provide a safe place for kids to try out new things such as doing a trick on the balance beam or learning to play chess. The new experiences that your family shares at day camp will give your kids skills and confidence that lasts a lifetime.

Celebrating Birthdays
When you think about some of the best times you’ve had with your family, birthdays come to mind. Day camps are aware of how meaningful it is for a child to have their birthday celebrated with their closest family members and friends so they plan exciting activities when you host your party at their venue. Competing in a game of laser tag or going on a boating adventure are the kinds of birthday parties that your family will never forget.

Meeting Other Families
As a parent, finding other families with kids your age is important for socialization. Fitting in family fun is easy when you go to day camp classes that invite parents to meet and mingle. Whether you enjoy a chat over a cup of coffee while your kids toddle about the room or you get involved in a game of volleyball on a special event day, your family will enjoy getting to know others who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Playing Together
Singing a finger play with your little one or tackling a ropes course with your older child are experiences that you may not do if you were sitting at home alone. Day camps provide activities that encourage you to step out of your comfort zone with your family as you gain new skills and develop a better understanding of each other. From giggles to wiggles, every minute of your day camp’s family activities is designed to foster warmth among family members.

Attending Special Events
At day camp, you never know what surprises are waiting around the corner. Special event days provide a way to break up the monotony of school and work with cool activities such as puppet shows and petting zoos. On special event days, day camps encourage everyone in the family to come so that even grandparents and cousins can discover the joys of spending the day together.
As a family, it is important to find ways to bond and highlight everyone’s strengths. At day camp, every family takes center stage as they get to enjoy fun activities that draw out the best parts of their personalities. When you plan to spend the day at camp, you can be certain that adventure and fun that celebrates what makes your family special are always in store.

Let your kids enjoy the family fun experience at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Importance of Early Learning

Early childhood is a time that is often viewed as a moment in life where children are free to just play. While this is true, it is also important to realize how critical these early play experiences are for a child’s development. Children are naturally curious about the world and love engaging in new experiences that offer them a new perspective. While it may look like a child is just playing, they actually are picking up valuable skills in language, science and mathematics that may not be obvious to others at first glance. As your child enters these amazing years full of wonder, provide them with these educational activities that stimulate learning by tapping into their interests.

Develop Social Skills Through Dramatic Play
Dress up may be cute to watch from an adult’s perspective, but children engaged in imaginative play truly allow themselves to try on new personas. Helping to put out a fire in an imaginary village or pretending to serve food to their friends in a restaurant promotes a sense of the importance that each person has in a community. It also gives young children a chance to practice social skills such as asking for help or ordering food in a restaurant. And, as they talk to each other, their language and vocabulary skills also rapidly improve.

Teach Science by Nurturing a Love for Nature
Children are fascinated by science, and real life experiences are critical for creating an environment that satisfies their curiosity. For young children, planting a seed and watching as it grows into a fruit-producing plant is a lesson about the cycle of life that they will always remember. Helping to water the plant or feed an animal teaches responsibility and the importance of caring for the environment. Nature walks through the wilderness also give kids the chance to examine rocks, flowers and other types of natural elements as they develop their skills in scientific exploration.

Promote Creativity and Self-Expression Through Art
Finger paints and play dough are staples of every early childhood program, but the teachers do not use these materials just to keep the children busy. These types of experiences promote sensory awareness, which is important for helping kids learn how to express themselves and make sense of the world around them. In addition to strengthening their fine motor skills, using a brush to swirl paint across paper gives young children a positive experience with self-expression.

Get That Little Body Moving in Fun Exercise Classes
Energetic preschoolers may look like little wiggle worms as they run around a room, but all that activity is critical for their physical development. During these formative years, participating in age-appropriate exercise classes is perfect for helping kids develop gross motor skills while learning how to work with others as a team. Whether your child loves tumbling with other tots or learning how to climb on a rock wall, testing their abilities at an early age fosters the development of self-confidence.

Looking in on a preschool class is likely to make you look back with fond memories of the days when you spent your days playing with clay. Yet, it is easy to forget about how important these types of experiences were for your healthy development. Today, much is understood about how much learning truly goes on in the early childhood years and, by filling your child’s day with a wide range of educational activities, you can nurture their interests while providing them with the experiences they need for healthy development.
Let your kids enjoy the birthday party experience at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Crazy-Fun Birthday Party Ideas

Kids look forward to their birthdays all year long, and it is easy to understand why. On top of turning one more year older, they get to enjoy being the center of attention with their family and friends. For parents, however, birthday planning can get complicated when it seems as if everyone has done the usual bounce house and cartoon character parties. This year, give your kid a true surprise by using these crazy-fun birthday party ideas as inspiration for adding some excitement to the special occasion.

Have a Blast With Laser Tag

Kids love futuristic play, and laser tag is one activity that just gets better when kids can play with a huge crowd. As kids divide into teams and devise their strategies, the parents will get a kick out of watching to see who emerges as the leaders. Your guests will also love the adrenaline rush that comes from stepping into a world where every move could make them a target. After running, leaping and rolling to dodge the blasts, your guests will be blissfully tired by the time you are ready for the cake to be served.

Encourage Them to Climb the Walls

Forget throwing a birthday party where your whole goal as the host is to stop the kids from climbing the walls. With a rock climbing party, your guests can be as wild as they please. Since you know that they will be safely harnessed and guided by trained professionals, you can relax as the party literally hits full swing. The best part is that even kids who have climbed before will feel like it is a new experience, since there is always a new challenge to conquer such as scaling to a new height.

Host a Battle of the Boats

Pin-the-tail on the donkey may have kept your kid entertained when they were two, but older kids need a bigger competition than the classic birthday fare. This year, put a new twist on a nautical theme by arranging for your party attendees to go on a boating adventure. If they’ve never left dry land before, then is no need for worries. Bumper boats are safe and easy enough for young kids to operate with supervision. Just make sure to grab your waterproof camera to capture all those bumps and laughter in action.

Put on a Dramatic Production

Over the years, your kid has become quite the character and their birthday is the perfect place to highlight their creativity. Give your child a birthday that they will always remember by encouraging them and their friends to put on a play. Whether they recreate an old favorite or improvise a completely new production, having an array of props and costumes will set the stage for a memorable dramatic event.
Birthday parties are the one time of the year when you get to show your kid how special they are to your family. Yet, coming up with an awesome theme and activities gets more difficult as your kid gets older. By choosing activities that challenge your guests to use their bodies and minds in new ways, you will keep them interested and ensure that your next celebration leaves a long-lasting impression.

Let your kids experience the a fun birthday celebration at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

5 Important Reasons Why Parents Should Introduce Gymnastics to Kids

Gymnastics offers kids an opportunity to stretch outside of their comfort zone and learn new skills. At first, it can be scary to watch your child leap and flip using gymnastic equipment. However, every new lesson is carefully designed to build upon a child’s existing skills as they use floor mats and other safety equipment under the guidance of a professional instructor. Introducing gymnastics to your child at an early age will provide these benefits in addition to giving your child an opportunity to just have fun.

Safe Risks Build Confidence
It is always exciting to watch the expressions on a beginner gymnast’s face as they watch their peers with advanced skills perform tricks such as a back handspring. Gymnastics gives kids the chance to turn what seems like an impossible feat into an accomplishment. Since gymnastic lessons break complicated tricks down into simple steps, kids gain confidence with each new skill they master.

Exercise Eases Challenging Behavior
Kids today are often forced to sit for hours in their academic classrooms, which sometimes leads to behavior problems. In gymnastics class, kids get to burn off their energy while learning how to harness their ability to focus on completing a routine. They learn to respect their coaches, and looking forward to gymnastics after school gives kids motivation to stay on their best behavior.

Flexibility and Balance Decrease the Risk of Injury
Stretching is a primary component of every gymnastics class since limber muscles help a child maneuver through complicated elements as they perform their routines. Children also learn balance as they work on equipment such as the balance beam, and they build core muscle skills that give them control over their movements. Flexibility and balance are two important parts of physical fitness, and they make kids less likely to sustain injuries such as sprained ankles during other sports activities.

Visualization Positively Impacts Academics
Often, while watching a gymnastics competition, you will see competitors take a moment before they begin to visualize the routine in their mind. Children are encouraged to practice mentally working through their skills during times when they are not in class since that impacts their ability to achieve a perfect score. Memorizing routines and strengthening body memory also help kids stay focused in school. Children who struggle with paying attention in class learn to apply these same visualization skills toward accomplishing both academic and athletic goals.

Foster Desirable Character Traits
Every parent wants their child to learn the value of teamwork, independence and perseverance. Gymnastics stands out from other types of sports because it allows kids to compete individually while also working as a team. Mastering a new skill, such as a dismount on the vault, takes multiple efforts that teach children how to overcome failure to reach their fullest potential.

In a gymnastics gym, it may look like chaos as children are flipping on bars and jumping on trampolines. Yet, every lesson in gymnastics class is strategically planned to give kids the support they need to become advanced gymnasts who can compete with confidence. While learning how to support their peers celebrating a perfect dismount, setting their eyes on a goal and making it happen influences every part of a child’s life.

Let your kids experience gymnastics at Maplewood Summer Day Camp. Experienced staff will keep your child both safe and busy with arts and crafts, games, water sports, gymnastics and more. Visit the site at to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.