Ah, Summer. I can feel it now. The sounds of birds chirping and children laughing. The sun shining, the smell of sunscreen, your child’s hard earned neural connections disappearing. Wait… What?
Neural connections, or synapses, function under a basic “use it or lose it” rule. Summer learning loss is a hefty challenge that both students and classroom teachers face. In 2011, the New York Times published an article with a catchy title: This is your brain on summer. The article basically negated the notion that children need relaxing, unstructured summers.
Does this mean that students need to be doing flashcards and worksheets all summer? Certainly not. However, we must keep our brains engaged in pursuits that activate the portions of our brain responsible for language, critical thinking, and creativity. It is from these functions that our children can develop and retain the skills necessary for reading, mathematics, and other academic skills. We can accomplish this while still having FUN! Trust me, your child will be so busy laughing and smiling, they will have no idea they are actually strengthening their brains.
BCD Summer Camp understands these neurological needs and offers a wide variety of summer camps offerings sure to keep your child mentally engaged, while still having a great time. For instance, Lego Engineering classes couple the excitement of building and inherent draw of Legos with the neurological benefits of problem solving and critical thinking. Sports camp encourages not only coordination and teamwork, but also releases chemicals within the brain that promote cell development and strengthening of connections.
Our specialty camp offerings span a wide range of disciplines. Sports, Engineering, Movie Making, Art, Needle Crafts, Cooking, and Cake Decorating are just a few of the multi-benefit courses offered. As the school year approaches, prepare your child for a more formal school day by enrolling in one of our many “Academic Camps”, such as French, Jump Start to Kindergarten, or Upper Elementary All Stars.
Additionally, our day camp offers full day experiences that mix science, art, literacy, and math concepts into a balanced program for students ages 3-7. Children spend each week exploring a new theme (Insects, Outer Space, etc.) through a variety of modalities. You may see day camp children engaged in cooking projects, arts and crafts, nature walks, organized games, and outdoor play.
Outdoor play is increasingly linked to brain research, cognitive growth, and enhanced learning. A 2004 study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that time spent outside and in nature can lead to a reduction in ADHD symptoms as well as increases in attention span and impulse control. This is due in large part to the ability of natural environments to engage the mind effortlessly.
So, why wait? Keep your child active and learning throughout the summer. Avoid summer slide and sign your child up for BCD’s summer program today. For more information on BCD’s summer program, visit our website at: http://bouldercountryday.org/PROGRAMS_SUMMER_PROGRAMS.php.
Kath Courter and Stephanie Vaughn Simkins
BCD Summer Program Directors
Kuo, F. and Taylor, A. (2004), A potential natural treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: evidence from a national study. American Journal of Public Health. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1448497/
Musolf, D. (2014), Does outdoor play make kids smarter? San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved from: http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-living/ci_25181071/does-outdoor-play-make-kids-smarter
Smink, J. (2011), This is your brain on summer. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/28/opinion/28smink.html?_r=1&