The Importance of Play at Camp

5 June, 2018

By Sherri Quintero, Director of Early Childhood Camps

Summertime is an excellent time for kids to get outside and play.  Sending your children to camp is a great way to ensure that play is a large part of your child’s day during the summer. Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that “play is essential to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth.”

Here are six benefits of free play for children:

  1. Builds creativity and ability to come up with unique ideas.
  2. Develops motor planning skills, helping the child to create and carry out ideas, motor actions, and activities.
  3. Fosters decision-making skills. Unstructured play provides many opportunities to make choices while playing alone or while playing in a group.
  4. Fosters independence. Helps children learn to think independently and teaches them how to entertain themselves.
  5. Develops social skills and collaborative play skills. Free play allows children to develop conflict resolution skills and learn to take turns.  It also helps children develop their skills as leaders and as followers.
  6. Provides opportunities for children to discover their interests and skills!

Camp has always been a large part of my life.  From JCC Early Childhood Camps, to Camp Hilltop at the JCC Camps at Medford, then to overnight camp, and back to Chaverim, JCC Camps at Medford’s teen travel camp, and now working at camp as an adult, play is what keeps me here.  The reason why children dream of summer camp, is the opportunity to play.

We invite you to join us at camp this summer, and we’re here to meet you at our Open House this Thursday, June 7 Katz JCC Early Childhood Campfrom 6:30-8:30pm! We’ll be giving tours and will be happy to answer all your questions.  Any new camper who registers at the Open House will receive $75 off your tuition! (Mention this blog to receive your registration discount)

See you at camp!

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