Thursday, April 21, 2016

Imagination Runs Free at Summer Camp

Summer camp brings to mind long days spent running wild and free in an outdoor environment. While it is true that kids spend a lot of their time engaged in physical activity, it is also important to know that summer camp programs are designed to spark a child’s imagination. In addition to the traditional camp crafts, kids are encouraged to develop their creative abilities through activities that fit a variety of interests.

Importance of Imaginative Play

Today’s kids are inundated with experiences that limit their ability to use their imaginations. For example, schools are often so focused on teaching academics that they cut programs such as drama and art. Unfortunately, this puts kids at a disadvantage because an imagination is essential for developing the creative skills that lead to success in adulthood. Imaginative play opens up doors for them to learn valuable lessons that build upon critical skills such as problem solving and it also serves as an outlet for relieving stress that frees kids’ minds so that they can focus on developing their talents.

How Camp Supports Creativity

Summer camp programs tend to use a fairly strict schedule to keep kids busy every minute of the day. However, there are blocks of time built into that schedule where kids are able to let their imaginations run wild. Special programs, such as dance and drama, are provided as options for children to fill certain blocks of time. Camp counselors and other staff members use these programs to encourage kids to stretch their imaginations as they participate in creative play. During camp activities, counselors and other members of the staff reinforce the development of imagination by offering kids positive encouragement for their successes. Performing for other campers and their families on special days reaffirms the importance of developing a kid’s imagination. Free periods are also built into camp schedules that allow them a chance to try out new activities in the interest of building their imagination.

Imagination-Building Activities

While at camp, kids still enjoy traditional summer camp activities such as macramé and jewelry-making. Yet, there are some new activities that have been added to the mix. For example, Lego robotics mixes science with creativity so that kids can make moving sculptures using their own imaginations. Puppetry and balloon animal classes give kids with an interest in volunteering a way to put their imaginations to good use by performing for others. Open-ended art, such as pottery and painting, also allows kids the chance to create a physical piece that reflects their creativity. It is also important to note that many of the best chances for kids to build their imaginations are spontaneous. Telling stories around the campfire, cloud watching and stargazing all have the potential to spark a kid’s imagination.

When a kid is encouraged to let their imagination run free, the world opens up with tremendous possibilities. Not only will imaginative play offer immediate enjoyment but it also helps kids build skills with long-lasting benefits. Whether they’re making up camp songs with friends or focusing on creating a beautiful piece of art for mom and dad, summer camp is the place to fully unleash their imagination.

Let your kids experience the art and creativity activities 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 5, 2016

Summer Camp Gymnastics Programs

The beginnings of gymnastics can be traced back to ancient Greece where soldiers used it to train for the battlefield. Over the years, new exercises and equipment were added until it became the Olympic sport that everyone knows today. At summer camp, kids are given an opportunity to progress through the different levels of gymnastics as they gain strength, flexibility and stamina. Whether your child is interested in gymnastics for fun or for competition, here is what you should know about gymnastics programs offered at summer camp.

Skills Taught in Gymnastics

At first glance, gymnastics appears to teach primarily physical skills such as balance and strength training. Yet, kids in gymnastics learn other skills such as poise when they must perform a routine in front of an audience. As they work toward more complicated moves such as flips, they also gain confidence through taking safe risks. Spatial awareness, perseverance and rhythm are a few more skills that kids learn in gymnastics. Perhaps one of the most important things learned in summer camp programs is how to go from an “I can’t” attitude to a “Look what I can do!” thought process. Learning to trust their abilities is an essential trait that will help kids succeed in many areas of their lives.

Health and Safety Precautions

As a parent, it can be a little unnerving to watch your kids fly through the air for the first time, but you can rest assured that summer camps take every precaution possible to keep them safe. For example, only state-of-the-art equipment is used and it is inspected regularly to make sure it is in top condition. Instructors also undergo a rigorous selection process to ensure that they are properly certified and they are often avid gymnasts themselves. Once hired, instructors and their assistants continue receiving training throughout the year to keep them up-to-date on the best techniques for teaching gymnastics as well as first aid. When gymnasts enter the program, they are assessed to make sure they never try complicated techniques before they are ready. Spotters, mats, foam pits and other safety equipment are also used during training to reduce the possibility of injuries.

Benefits Beyond the Gym

Kids who participate in gymnastics enjoy benefits that extend into the classroom as well as their social lives. Mastering a gymnastic technique, such as a perfect vault, often requires repetition along with the ability to overcome temporary setbacks. This helps them develop the patience to work on complicated math problems in academic tutoring that may require multiple attempts before getting it right. Gymnastics is also unique among many sports since it allows kids to compete individually and as a part of a team. This develops a personal sense of responsibility along with leadership skills that have a lasting impact academically and socially.

Learning to tumble, flip and leap are all fun activities for kids that can give them a break from their normal daily routine. Yet, as each skill is mastered, it provides additional benefits that extend well into every area of their life. Whether your child prefers to take a class for an hour after school or they want to dedicate entire summer days to honing their skills, lessons at summer camp will give them what they need to successfully master the sport.

Let your kids experience the gymnastics program 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.