May 1, 2018

Why Summer Camp? The Benefits of Doodle Day Camp


Let’s imagine it’s June. School’s out. Your children are thrilled – two months of sleeping in, playing outside, and no homework! Parents may be less thrilled – two weeks of high energy, then a month and half of “I’m bored!” and “there’s nothing to do.”

Summer vacation can be a bittersweet experience for children. While it often seems like the gateway to fun and opportunity, in reality it doesn’t always turn out that way. After all – for most working adults, there is no such thing as “summer vacation.” For parents of young children, it can be even more stressful to coordinate child care without resorting to hours of daily screen time and a stuck-at-home schedule.

How does summer camp help beat the summer vacation blues?

Summer camp is a great way to make sure children of all ages enjoy their summer vacations in a safe, nurturing, engaging environment.

Summer camp is cost-effective.
Qualified, full-time babysitters can cost around $7000 for a summer. Considering this cost, summer camps are often priced lower or comparably, but come loaded with extras and specials benefits to give you incredible value for your dollar.

Camp is fun!
Children at summer camps spend their days participating in activities that have been specially planned and curated for their age and development. With less structure than a standard classroom setting, campers are free to let loose and explore the options around them. They’re able to explore new interests, foster existing ones, and engage with children who share those interests. Camps allow more time for open-ended fun than they get in school, which lets kids be kids. They learn through participation and exploration, and they have fun while they’re doing it!

Camp supports school-readiness.
Many parents think of school-readiness as simply a child’s level of preparedness for kindergarten. But backsliding is a real issue, and many students enter the school year less prepared for that year’s curriculum than they were at the end of last year. This is because over summer break, important skills like reading, critical thinking, and active focus aren’t being practiced and reinforced. These skills don’t require a classroom to practice – summer camps provide fun ways for children to continue learning without realizing they’re doing so. They enter the school year ready to engage, learn, and grow without playing catch up!

Camp is enriching.
While campers are busy with games and activities and play time and crafts, they’re learning. They’re learning how to interact with new people. They’re learning how to make friends, and how to treat others. They’re learning cooperation and creativity. They’re learning communication and compassion. They’re learning how to work together, how to share, how to make group decisions, and how to be flexible. They’re learning all these skills that are critical to their development and future success. Summer camp gives children the opportunity to learn in an environment that encourages social and emotional growth.

How does Doodle Day Camp stand out?

There are many great summer camps out there that offer the benefits above. And for older children, there are even more options. But not every camp offers the same benefits, and not every camp is built around the principles of appropriate early-childhood developmental skills.

Doodle Bugs!, including Doodle Day Camp, goes above and beyond in our focus on the social and emotional development of our campers. With camps for preschool-aged children and camps for school-aged children, each focused on age-appropriate activities, enrichment and development, Doodle Day Camp offers the ultimate summer vacation!

DB! makes children feel valued!
Even from a young age, people who feel as though they are valued and secure are more likely to develop healthy social skills, coping skills, and curiosity. Doodle Bugs! staff are highly trained to encourage healthy emotional expressions, robust social competencies, and respect for yourself, for others, and for the world around you. This social-emotional learning model translates into all children feeling respected and safe. At the end of the day, this feeling of security is the single greatest differentiator between Doodle Bugs! and other programs. We create an environment that your children will enjoy being part of, and everything else falls into place.

DB! values play-based learning!
When we talk about school-readiness, it doesn’t mean we sit campers down and complete worksheets together to keep their academic skills sharp. We believe in organic learning opportunities created through a nurturing, challenging environment. Children of all ages learn about science through hands-on investigations that encourage independence and creativity. They learn math through music and cooking. They learn cooperation and teamwork with relay races and team activities. In fact, they’re so busy having fun, they don’t realize how much they’ve learned! By focusing on appropriate developmental principles rather than inflexible expectations, children learn to love learning!

DB! believes in the magic of new friends!
These days, children (and parents) are under so much pressure to hit academic milestones early. We’re expecting them to enter kindergarten already reading, to understand basic math functions, and to have acutely-developed fine-motor skills. But in the process of pushing these hard skills, we’re losing our grip on the soft ones, like effective communication, creativity, healthy interpersonal skills, sharing, being respectful, collaboration, problem solving, and having empathy for those around you. DB! is committed to creating environments that foster these critical skills. When your children are in school, you know they’re learning to read and write, to add and subtract, and why the sun rises and sets. But you want your children to become healthy, well-rounded adults with close friends and the tenacity to go after life with gusto. DB! believes that by fostering those skills early, you’ll see magic happening among friends.

DB! keeps things interesting!
We’re committed to creating environments that get children excited about learning. Part of that includes practical, real-world experiences that supplement what they learn from each other and from our teachers. Campers ages five and older can take advantage of off-site field trips. When campers learn about cooking, they can take a field trip to a local grocery store to learn about the real-world applications of their skills. Field trips to local museums, zoos, theaters, farms, and parks give campers an opportunity to see how things they learn at camp are realized in the world around them. Beyond field trips, campers of all ages have opportunities to participate in exciting on-site events and special activities. Doodle Bugs! even offers on-site clubs that give campers a chance to explore new interests or get more involved in the things they like. Garden club, sports club, book club, STEAM club – they give children a chance to make friends based on shared interests, as well as the opportunity to start developing a rich array of curiosities and skills.

DB! loves spending time outdoors!
Each of our locations features large, unique outdoor play areas – because summer break is all about playing outside! Weather permitting, we believe in the benefits of outside play. Time spent outdoors promotes appreciation for a lifetime of outdoor exercise, and gives children opportunities to explore their environments and limits. From learning to respect nature, to enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, to the skills gained from less-restrictive outdoor games and play, we want to keep campers healthy and active

DB! gives children the Ultimate Summer Vacation!
Doodle Day Camp offers the same educational benefits as our school year programs, plus the extra fun of summer camp! Campers are encouraged to be curious, engage their personal interests, and challenge and investigate their environments. Weekly themes like “Slimeapalooza,” “What’s Your Superpower,” and “Imagination Innovation” drive interactive and collaborative learning in exciting ways, and spark new interests and creativity. By shaping parts of their own experiences, campers achieve a wonderful sense of community. They make new friends, develop new interests, learn new skills, and have fun while they’re at it!

Summary

Most summer camps offer children the opportunity to have fun in a safe environment over their summer breaks. Some camps take it a step further, and work to develop age-appropriate activities and learning opportunities for campers. At Doodle Day Camp, children benefit from a play-based curriculum, designed by early-education professionals, that focuses on critical interpersonal skills and social/emotional development – but they just know that they’re having the best summer vacation ever!

Ready to give your child(ren) the Ultimate Summer Vacation at Doodle Day Camp? Learn more and pre-enroll today!