Sunday, December 20, 2015

Best Ways to Improve Your Child's Reading Fluency

Like most parents, you’re probably want to make sure your child becomes a fluent reader, as this vital skill is the building block for so much of his education. By surrounding your child with reading opportunities of all sorts as well as letting him see you enjoy spending time reading, you can certainly set him off in the right direction. However, not all kids learn at the same pace, and some have specific problems that can be addressed with the right help and encouragement. Here are some pointers on how to encourage a love of reading and how to address any potential stumbling blocks.
Let’s Go to the Library
Public libraries are an amazing resource for parents who want to instill a love of literature in their children. The more kids read, the better their skills, and libraries offer loads of book-based programs for children from babies to teens. Sign your preschooler up for a fun-filled story hour combining reading and crafts, be sure your school-age child keeps up skills by participating in a summer reading program, and get your teen involved in special library activities for older kids. Of course, the library is always a great place to find the best books!
Books of Their Own
Kids’ reading scores have been found to be higher among youngsters who are growing up in a home surrounded by reading material. Make sure there are plenty of books and magazines at your child’s level around the house from cool bug books to fantastical novels and colorful kids’ magazines. Every room in the house can be a place to dive into a book. Youngsters can relax on the couch with a favorite mystery, read recipes while helping with dinner in the kitchen or snuggle up in bed at the end of the day with a beloved novel.
Reading, Reading Everywhere
Children can practice reading anywhere, anytime, not just when they’re engrossed in a novel. Find fun ways to help your child improve skills. Let him read roadside signs, weather reports, game directions, food labels, billboards and restaurant menus. Good old-fashioned board games are a super and fun way to boost reading skills and have quality time with family. Reading is so much a part of everyday life that you don’t have to wait until your child is sitting down with a book to help her with reading skills.
Make Family Reading Time a Tradition
Once kids are older and can read on their own schedule family reading time into the evening’s activities. Just 15 to 30 minutes of everyone in the family reading silently lets kids see you enjoy reading and also gets them in the habit of finding some time each day to escape into a book.
Keep Up to Date
Be pro-active in tracking your youngster’s reading progress. Find out from the school what the expectations are for each grade level, and then track your child’s basic reading skills on report cards and standardized test results. Due to the size of today’s classes and the increased demands on instructors, your child’s teacher may not notice a problem until it’s become serious, so sit with your child and make sure she can sound out words, has good comprehension, knows sight words and can use the context of a sentence to figure out the meaning of unknown words.
Hire a Tutor
For kids who are really struggling, the best option may be hiring a tutor, and the sooner your child gets the help she needs, the more likely she’ll be to develop into a good and confident reader. Teachers don’t always have the time to give kids necessary individualized help, while a tutor can work one-on-one with your child or a small group of kids. Many schools or after-school programs have certified teachers and reading specialists available to help your young reader improve reading skills and comprehension, gaining confidence and hopefully becoming an enthusiastic reader.

Boost up your kid’s reading fluency by signing them up 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.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Why Preschool is No Longer Optional

Schools Will Not Admit Students who are Not Prepared
In today’s modern world, a child must attend preschool in order to prepare for kindergarten at either a public or private school. The administrators of schools require that students pass an admission test before they can enroll in kindergarten. Failure to pass this test leads to a student attending a remedial program before progressing to a kindergarten curriculum. Most parents do not have the materials to teach their child all of the information and skills required to pass a kindergarten admission test. Teachers also want their students to have certain social skills in order to fit into a classroom environment.
Preschoolers Learn to Cope with a Structured Environment Similar to Kindergarten
Preschool age children typically do not have a structured environment at home with a daily schedule of learning. In a preschool, the teachers create a schedule of activities to help students develop a variety of skills. Instead of getting to do whatever they want at any time of the day, a preschooler must adjust to following a teacher’s guidelines. In most cases, the lessons taught in a preschool last for a maximum of 20 minutes because the students have short attention spans. However, the lessons are designed cohesively to permit children to learn about different subjects.
Children Learn the Alphabet and Basic Numbers
In Sharon preschool, the students begin to learn about the letters of the alphabet in simple ways such as coloring a picture of an animal that begins with the letter. A preschooler has an opportunity to touch shapes of letters in order to learn the alphabet with a different part of the brain. Instead of only learning numbers by recognizing the figure on paper, preschoolers use manipulatives such as sticks to visualize a particular number. A teacher gives each preschooler an opportunity to learn with kinesthetic, auditory and visual methods.
Preschool Helps with a Child’s Cognitive Development
Cognitive development begins at birth and increases rapidly as a child grows. In a preschool environment, a child is exposed to an assortment of learning materials that are not available in most homes. The lesson plans created by teachers in preschools are designed to address a variety of skills that increase a child’s cognition to prepare them for more intense training in an elementary school setting. Not only do preschoolers learn from their teachers, but they also learn from the other students in a social environment of teamwork and free play.
Children in Preschools Develop their Fine and Large Motor Skills
Preschool is an excellent place for children to develop their large and fine motor skills. Fine motor skills involve tasks such as cutting on the lines of a paper or printing letters in a first name. Large motor skills are also important, and preschool students get an opportunity to learn these skills as they engage in playground activities such as jumping rope or throwing balls into hoops. It isn’t necessary for a child to spend an entire day in a preschool to reap wonderful benefits. Most preschools offer programs that are three days a week instead of five, or students can attend half-day sessions.

Let your kids enjoy the rock climbing 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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How Afterschool Programs Develop Your Child’s Skills

A good afterschool program offers a host of benefits to children of all ages. Safe, structured activities give kids a chance to hone academic skills, try out new hobbies, play games and hang out with friends. 

In an age when many kids go home and just tune in to the TV and surf around online, often waiting for parents to get home from work, after school programs offer exercise, time for home work and a chance to play outdoors in a supervised environment. It’s been shown that the peak hour for juvenile crime is between 3 pm and 4 pm, and after school programs keep kids off the street and happily entertained.

Academic Boost
Kids pretty much always benefit from scheduled time for homework, and afterschool programs include a block of time just for class assignments, with the added benefit of staff on hand, often teachers or tutors, to help with that tough math problem or complex essay. Because the programs are less formal than the regular classroom, kids tend to feel more comfortable asking for assistance. More confidence in academic ability not only leads to improved grades, but diminishes the chance that kids will skip school, drop out or exhibit other behavioral problems.

Safe and Sound
After school programs give kids a safe place to be during the dangerous afterschool hours when parents tend to be still at work and free time can lead to mischief or worse. Being in a supervised program lessens the likelihood that your child will either commit or be the victim of adolescent crime as they reach middle school. Attendees in this type of program are significantly less likely to engage in risky behaviors like smoking, drug use, gang activity, theft and vandalism.

Cool New Hobbies
Many after school programs include instruction in a wide arrange of outside pursuits from chess and woodworking to basketball and theater. Kids can sign up to take part in various electives, and your youngster just may find he can quickly give you a run for your money in a chess match or discovers an exciting new passion for art or tennis. In a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by a variety of other youngsters, it’s easy to get excited and try something new.

On the Move
Kids stay active at after-school programs, burning up extra energy on the playground or sports court. Some programs even provide instruction in everything from swimming to soccer, all of which have the super benefit of helping kids get into great healthy living habits. It’s not surprising that kids who attend after-school programs have been found to have a significantly lower rate of obesity.

Social Savvy
It’s not just academic skills that get a super lift from after school programs. Kids who attend have been found to have less behavioral problems, more self-confidence and better conflict-resolution skills. With adults around to help them deal better with peer issues, kids get some handy guidance in strategies for coping with day-to-day problems as well as lessons on respect for others and open-mindedness. Supervised activities and down time lets kids have fun with friends after school instead than lounging around on the couch waiting for mom or dad to get home, and it’s also a great way to meet new people and make new friends in a nurturing environment.

Let your kids enjoy the afterschool program 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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Top Five Reasons Why Family Fun Time is Important

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In today’s fast-paced world, where both parents often work and after-school hours are packed with sports, music lessons and other extra-curricular activities, it’s easy to let family fun time fall by the wayside in favor of frenetic schedules. 

However, family activities and traditions are perhaps more important now than ever. 

Don’t let this vital – and fun – part of your family life slip away; make a point of scheduling time together into yours and your kids’ jam-packed schedules. Here are five of the many reasons why.

Family Bonds
Time spent together just having fun is associated with kids and parents forming stronger emotional bonds, and it doesn’t have to be a major trip or expensive outing. 

Just a simple picnic at the park, a trip to watch the stars at a local observatory or a family bike ride around the neighborhood can be just as beneficial (if not as thrilling!) as a trip to Disney World. 

When you take time out of your hectic schedule to relax, hang out and laugh with your kids, it shows them that they’re important to you and you enjoy being with them. Kids who spend leisure hours with their parents are more likely to turn to them for advice or seek them out when they’re having problems.

From Better Manners to Better Grades
Youngsters who spend quality hours as a family have been found to perform better academically, be more compassionate and even learn better manners. 

Whether you’re taking the kids out for an ice cream cone, going on a family sledding expedition or just watching a movie, there are so many chances to teach manners, talk about values and even to show by example how to deal with things when they don’t go as planned. 

After all, as one mom put it, “I tell my kids that the bumps in the road aren’t bumps, they are the road.” Kids can learn to navigate them with kindness and humor.

Better Communication with Mom and Dad
When youngsters engage in fun activities with their family, more open communication tends to develop, and when kids feel free to talk more openly with their parents, they tend to get in less trouble. 

Something as simple as playing a friendly game of catch or splashing around in the pool can lay the groundwork for a more connected relationship between you and your kids. 

In a time when people of all ages tend to become a bit isolated by more technological modes of communicating like the Internet and texting, just getting out and playing as a family can set the ground for super inter-family communication.

Enhanced Self-Esteem
Whether it’s a family tradition of driving around to “ooh and ah” over Christmas lights, an annual shell collecting expedition to the beach or a Jack-o-Lantern carving ritual, times spend having fun as a family hone a child’s all-important sense of belonging, of being loved. 

When parents like hanging out with them, kids get the notion that they’re people of value, that their talents, personalities and opinions are important. Youngsters who grow up feeling secure of their place in the world gain a strong foundation of confidence and self-esteem that will serve them well on the sometimes rocky road to growing up.

Better Times in the Terrible Teens
Teens who have grown up spending active family time with parents often have fewer behavioral problems in these tough years. 

In spite of the fact that they may act like they don’t care about hanging out with you and may pass up family time for a get-together with friends, parents should keep scheduling special time and not take it too much to heart if it doesn’t always work out. 

After all, kids often need their parents the most just when they’re acting like they couldn’t care less.

Last but not least, family fun time is just plain fun, for you and your kids. There's not a lot more heart warming than hearing your child say "remember how we always....?"

You're a parent who makes their children a priority - keep up the good work by providing the best after-school care possible. Maplewood Country Day Camp in Easton MA is the perfect fun and safe place for your kids after school. Visit the site at to see the fun your child will have at Maplewood Summer Day Camp.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Why LEGO is the Best Toy for Kids

From big, toddler friendly DUPLO block towers to the intricately designed pirate ships and race cars of regular LEGO sets, the super-cool LEGO brand of construction blocks has been a timeless favorite of kids and kids-at-heart for over fifty years. 

Tots and teens and everyone in between have spent happy hours building cities, playgrounds, spaceships and castles to house enchanting miniscule astronauts, knights and Harry Potter characters, creating unforgettable imaginary worlds. 

Whether sprawled on the living room floor on a rainy day or taking a happy construction break with pals at summer day camp, kids around the world have enjoyed decades of building bliss and imaginary adventures with these incredible toys.

Fine Motor Skills
While they’re absorbed in the kinds of creative play that experts adore, totally unconnected to their various techie screens, kids are developing the fine motor skills and dexterity that will serve them well in everything from academics to art. 

From the moment your two-year-old first gets the red and blue DUPLO blocks to connect to the day your pre-teen actually completes his treasured Harry Potter castle, kids are improving these all-important skills while having a building blast. 

As anyone who has built a LEGO Star Wars spaceship can attest, it’s not easy to figure out how to build these intricate buildings and vehicles. Kids have the option of following enclosed instructions, much as an engineer would follow a blueprint, or they can strike out on their own, designing and building boats, skyscrapers, Ferris wheels and wagon trains of their own. They can plan, design and figure out how to build endless, delightfully detailed little worlds.

Amazing for Academics
Kids who play with building blocks and other construction toys are also hard at work developing creative problem solving talents, spatial skills and mathematical abilities. 

Once your little one decides he simply must modify his LEGO pirate ship to add a mast or a few canons, he has to figure out the design and how to make it work effectively, an absorbing, sometimes frustrating and (hopefully) ultimately rewarding task. 

She learns to be persistent and think outside the box (literally), skills that translate well into the academic world. The design and construction process itself is of course a super and fun-filled way to build on working with shapes, configurations and measurements.

Endless Creativity
Particular in today’s digital age, when kids spend hours glued to computers, televisions and smart phones, LEGO toys have managed to survive and thrive with their timeless appeal to the creative creature that lurks somewhere in all of us. 

Whether your youngster wants to build a whole town of his own design or follow the steps bit by bit to the perfect working robot, these inspiring toys that appeal to the child in all of us.

Wonderful World of Imagination
Whether they’re building a futuristic world of their own or re-creating the otherworldly adventures of Star Wars, kids at day camp and in playrooms around the world are exercising their imaginations in a big way when they pick up these tiny blocks and their equally tiny people. 

Anyone who has watched a child chatter away while playing with the little worlds of LEGO knows that the toy can magically transport young and old to the world of long-ago kings and castles, into the pages of a favorite novel or far out into the futuristic world beyond the stars.

Let your kids enjoy the Lego 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, July 20, 2015

Reasons Why Kids Should Play Sports

Kids at day camp love to play sports; in fact, youngsters thrive through getting involved in all kids of sports. 

From goofy soft ball games at summer day camp to recreational leagues and Little League All Star teams, there are so many ways that kids can learn and grow from playing sports. 

Physical, academic and social benefits can all be achieved while having lots of fun along the way.

Up and Out
In a time when so many kids are glued to their techie devices, being on a sports team gets kids into the habit of getting out and exercising every day. They may not be thinking about it while they’re out there practicing layups, running the bases or doing soccer drills, but it’s all contributing to their overall health and instilling habits that can lead to a healthier lifestyle right into adulthood.

Kids Learn to Function as a Team
From school and summer camp right through college and the job market, a “team player” is a valuable asset. The ability to put individual needs, differences and desires aside is a key component in being on a team, starting on your youth soccer league. Kids on a sports team need to learn how to get along with people they may not like and try to concentrate on what will work best for the team, even if it’s at the cost of their own individual glory.

Managing Time
Of course, schoolwork comes first, and extracurricular activities like sports should not get in the way of academics. By participating in athletics, your child will need to develop some good time management skills. You can help by showing him how to manage time and prioritize responsibilities so that homework, chores, sports practices, games and competitions can effectively fit into his or her schedule. For example, he may have to finish homework rather than watching some TV or playing outside afterschool in order to have everything done before practice.

Promotes Self-Esteem
A well-coached youth athletic team will help promote self-esteem. When helping your child decide which sport he’d most enjoy, look for one where she can grow and improve and be sure to provide positive reinforcement along the way. As kids work hard to get better and better at their sport, they’ll experience a joyful feeling of accomplishment and self-confidence.

Ramping Up Social Skills
Kids participating on sports teams develop social skills that allow them to have a good social standing the rest of their lives. Not only do they learn to interact with a variety of their peers, but they also learn to be able to interact effectively with older people, in particular their coaches and various sports officials.

Dealing with Adversity
Your child will inevitably make errors, miss shots and strike out at some point when they play sports. Learning how to handle these kinds of adversity can give them valuable skills for dealing with life’s “curve balls” right through adulthood. Learning from mistakes and coping graciously with adversity are excellent character building experiences that will serve your child well in school and beyond.

They are Fun!
Mostly, sports are just fun. You’re out running around, learning a skill you love and experiencing the thrill of winning and the not-so-thrilling lows of defeat. But whatever you do, you’re surrounded by your teammates and the sense of camaraderie and fun that accompanies the experience of being a part of the team.

Let your kids enjoy the experience of summer day camp 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.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Bicycle Safety Tips for Kids

Warm weather is coming up, with all the wonderful promise of sunny days spent playing at overnight summer camp, building sand castles at the beach and getting outside to enjoy the magical freedom of bicycle riding.

While everyone can agree that bikes and kids go together like peas and carrots, as Forrest Gump would say, it’s vitally important that kids of all ages learn and adhere to basic cycling safety rules. 

Injuries incurred while riding a bike account for more injuries in youngsters between five and 15 than any other sport. Don’t let your child be a statistic; teach him the rules of the road and have a safe, fun-filled summer.

Always Wear a Helmet
Not even the shortest little cruise around the driveway should taken without a properly fitting bike helmet. You can buy them at discount stores, sports outlets or bike shops; however, at a cycling shop you’re more likely to get some help with proper fit. If a helmet’s too tight, your child may just sling it over the handle bars once you’re out of sight, and if it’s too loose, it won’t provide proper protection.

Light It Up
Lights and reflective gear are another important part of bike safety, especially at the dangerous times of like dusk and after dark. Bikes should be equipped with reflectors and both white front and red rear lights. Estimated to reduce the risk of being hit by a car by roughly 85 percent, reflectors are cheap and easy to install. A pulsating rear light is a great safety feature, as it’s immediately visible to cars approaching from the rear. A headlamp will help your child avoid obstacles; even a tiny bump can unseat a rider.

See and Be Seen
Even if your child’s bike is properly equipped with lights and reflectors, bike clothing itself should be highly visible. Contrary to popular wisdom, white hasn’t been found to make a rider more visible; bright, neon or fluorescent colors are much better options whether riding in daylight or darkness. Clothing should also have light reflecting components like reflective markings, tape or even flashing lights.

Make Adjustments
Make sure your child’s bike is property adjusted to height and arm length. Have your youngster stand over the bike; there should be one to two inches between child and top bar on a road bike and three to four inches on a mountain bike. Seat should be level and the knee should be slightly bent when the leg is extended, and the handlebars should be at the same level as the bike seat.

Tune It Up
Especially before the first ride of the year, make a safety check of your child’s bike, or teach him how to do so. It’s a great idea to take the bike into your local bike shop for a spring-time tune-up; mechanics will make sure everything’s in working order so there won’t be any unpleasant surprises on that first trip down the hill to the playground. Make sure tires are properly inflated and brakes are working.

Take a Class
As spring approaches, many police departments, fire districts, schools and community centers conduct bike safety classes, so keep an eye on the local papers for a class in your neighborhood. Most are held in spring, so you can squeeze it in before your youngster heads off to sleepaway camp. Kids bring their own bikes and instructors go over rules of the road and other safety guidelines.

Follow the Rules of the Road
Kids should know to ride in the same direction as other vehicles, following the flow of traffic, and obey all traffic roads, including traffic signs and signals. At least one hand should be on the handlebars at all times. Teach your youngster to use signals, look before turning and watch for parked cars. Happy cycling!

Let your kids enjoy the experience of summer day camp 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, June 8, 2015

How Drama Classes Positively Affect Kids

One of the favorite activities for kids at day camp, drama classes aren’t just a ton of fun; they help kids grow, gain self-confidence and learn to function as a team. Although drama classes are offered in after school programs, at magnet schools and at community theaters, many kids find it especially fun and laid back to take the classes at summer day camp.

Let your kids enjoy the experience of summer day camp 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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Why You Should Send Your Kindergartner to Summer Camp

Let your kids enjoy the experience of summer day camp 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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Benefits of Drama Classes for Your Child

One of the favorite activities for kids at day camp, drama classes aren't just a ton of fun; they help kids grow, gain self-confidence and learn to function as a team. 

Although drama classes are offered in after school programs, at magnet schools and at community theaters, many kids find it especially fun and laid back to take the classes at summer day camp.

Artistic Development
A great way to spark a child’s interest in the arts, drama classes introduce youngsters to a wide range of theatrical activities. They learn about writing, directing, performing, auditioning, designing and building scenery and maybe even dancing, singing and choreography.

Working as an Ensemble
Kids in drama classes benefit greatly by learning to work together in a cooperative venture, taking others’ ideas into consideration, working through creative differences and learning to accept feedback. Not only do actors need to work cooperatively, but all members of the theatrical ensemble have to figure out how to work together toward the best possible production.

Academic Benefits
Though some parents worry that getting involved in theatrical arts will impede or take important time away from academic pursuits, studies have found quite the opposite. In general, students involved in the creative arts tend to do better academically, and a study by The College Board showed that these students scored nearly 100 points higher on the SAT than those not involved in artistic endeavors.

Developmental Development
The benefits of drama classes include opportunities for improvement of communications skills, particularly public speaking and projecting the voice. Kids in drama classes can also develop emotional skills such as empathy when they try to relate to their character’s feelings and motivations. The ability to walk in someone else’s shoes and see things from a different point of view are skills that will be useful throughout your child’s life, and by learning to understand their character’s emotions they can become more in tune with their own.

Social Skills
You’ll probably find that taking drama classes will result in a noticeable improvement in your child’s social skills. Your youngster will meet and bond with new friends in class, developing a sense of camaraderie with them as their characters interact during rehearsals and performances.

Improved Confidence
Contrary to what you may think, drama classes are not just for the outgoing child. Kids who are on the shy side may find that playing an ensemble role like a face in the crowd or a voice in a chorus can let them indulge their theatrical side without feeling too intimidated. As time passes, they may even gain enough confidence in their own talent to pursue more of a leading role.

Where to Find Drama Classes
If your child has expressed an interest in the theater, there are a variety of places to find classes. On the budget end, you may find instruction at community centers and town recreation centers or as part of summer camp programs. Kids who are more intensely interested in the theater may benefit from classes at a professional theater group where they can study the art with professionals in a real theatrical environment. Performing arts schools offer classes in musical theater, voice, singing and dance as well as drama.

Let your kids enjoy the experience of summer day camp 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.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Benefits of Chess for Kids

The ancient game of chess is finding a new generation of fans in kids as young as five, and intent little players can be found in the classroom, in after-school programs and at summer day camp picnic tables. The motto of the U.S. Chess Federation is “Chess Makes You Smart” and a growing body of evidence is showing that the game improves youngsters’ problem solving skills as well as writing and math test scores. The only “luck” in chess is executing a clever strategy yourself or having your opponent make a bad move, so hard work and good “if/then” thinking is critical. Even kids in day camp will settle down in the shade on a hot day for a fine battle on the chess board.

The Perfect Age
Although kids as young as kindergarten can tackle chess, second and third grades are considered ideal for learning how to weigh options, figure out quadrants and coordinates and foresee the series of consequences that make up the game of chess. At this age critical thinking skills are advancing rapidly. Playing chess and being “smart” are considered connected, a big lure for elementary school students.

History of the Game
Chess was invented more than 1500 years ago in India, possibly as a way to teach the children of the royal family to better understand battlefield strategies and become higher level thinkers. The game we play today, however, is rooted in the middle ages, peopled by romantic figures like kings, queens and bishops. Since that time, chess has spread around the world, outliving nearly every other game and receiving countless endorsements and accolades from educators. A universal game with worldwide rule consistency, chess crosses all socio-economic, religious and language barriers to bond diverse people in a game of limitless skill and strategy.

Increases Concentration and Memory
In order to play chess well, you have to focus intensely on the objective of capturing your opponent’s king, visualizing the moves of various pieces, the board itself and any potential countermoves. Spatial reasoning, attention span and visual memory all play into this timeless game of strategy, and kids who play vastly improve in these areas by memorizing classic moves and successful maneuvers from previous games.

Boost to Reading and Math Skills
Kids who play chess tend to score higher on standardized reading and math tests. The game itself involves intense problem solving and memorization of complex moves, so it’s not surprising that the game boosts math skills. It also nurtures the same skill set as reading: decoding, comprehension, thinking and analysis.

Improves Critical Thinking and Creativity
The game of chess involves a lot of “if-then” thinking as players visualize possible moves and associated countermoves. Each player needs to figure out not only what moves they want to make, but what their opponents may do in response, utilizing lots of imagination and creativity. Originality grows as kids learn to visualize a long series of moves, imagining all possible counterattacks.

Social Benefits
One of the great benefits of chess is that it can bring together people of all ages, races and genders. From kindergartners to octogenarians, chess helps build friendships among people who may not have otherwise become acquainted.

Builds Patience and Self-Restraint
A game of chess is a lesson in caution, patience and eternal hope even in the face of overwhelming odds. Hasty moves or following your first impulse are poor strategies, and the cautious, thoughtful player has a better chance of success. Much like the game of life, chess teaches us that no matter how bad things seem, there’s hope right up to the end. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Maybe he enjoyed the occasional game of chess!

Encourages Hard Work
To win at chess, you have to think hard, work hard, focus, practice and plan strategies, all activities that reward hard work. The harder you work at the game, learning classic moves, memorizing maneuvers that worked in previous games, keeping watch over the whole chess board and planning ahead, the more likely you are to say “check mate”!

Let your kids enjoy the experience of summer day camp 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.