Summer holidays are all about long, lazy days spent relaxing and doing whatever you want whenever you want. Unfortunately children do tend to get bored during those long holiday periods and often need some form of distraction to keep them entertained. For many children this means more screen time, whether in front of the old TV or the tablet or PC and it is worrying. In fact between TV, video games and computers, children are now spending almost a full working days (7 and a half hours) in front of some type of screen. There must be another way to keep children amused during summer break. One option that is still very popular is summer camp.
These days summer camps need not mean long periods away from the family in unknown surroundings. Instead a number of these facilities are day camps. In fact, over the last 20 years the number of day camps in America has increased by almost 90%. Of the 12,00 day and resident camps in the United States, 5,000 of them are primarily day camps. Given than only a third of children in America participate in some form of physical exercise every day, the fun activities at day camp can offer much more than just distraction. Both children and adolescents should be doing at least an hour of physical activity every day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Fortunately camps — whether residential or day — are still very popular and more than 11 million adults and children attend them every year in the United States. Fun activities at day camp often include team building sessions or individual pursuits that include aspects of muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening such as jumping rope, doing push-ups, climbing trees or doing gymnastics. Children should be doing these types of activities at least three times per week.
Camp can also be a good place to learn or improve swimming skills. Risk of drowning can be reduced by as much s 88% for children between the ages of one and four if they have swimming lessons. Day camps are great options for younger kids. For the four in five households that do not have a park, fitness or recreation center within a half-mile, day camps can offer access to facilities that are difficult to access normally as well as exposing children to outdoor activities and fun.
While your child might still spend hours in front of a screen, encouraging their participation in fun activities at day camp can make all the difference not only to their health and sense of wellbeing, but also to your own.