summer camp

Kids look forward to summer for so many different reasons, but probably one of the best parts of school ending is getting to attend summer camp and spend their days having fun and doing all sorts of outdoor activities.

I mean, where else can they go where the sole purpose of their entire day is to play, run, swim, do crafts, and a bunch of other cool stuff that someone else plans for them? My own son literally counts down the days until camp starts every year -- to the point where he almost drives himself crazy with anticipation when the first day finally arrives.

Even if you don't work and are home with your children all summer, it's still such a great idea to sign them up for camp even a couple days a week so they can have amazing experiences they'll remember for the rest of their lives.

Here are 6 reasons why summer camp is awesome for kids -- not to mention being a positive thing for parents too.

1. It establishes independence -- Sure, going into a new situation where they don't know anyone can be a little bit scary at first, but kids need to learn to be comfortable being away from their parents (aside from going to school during the year). Camp is a great way to give them a nudge to be a little more outgoing.

2. They make new friends -- Most camps have kids attending from a variety of schools, so it's a great place for our children to find new buddies to pal around with who they aren't used to seeing every day. As an added bonus, if your kids attend the same camp year after year like mine does, some of those same kids return. Hanging out with their "summer friends" becomes something they look forward to all year.

3. It wears them out -- Let's go ahead and state the obvious -- kids come home from camp exhausted, which is definitely a good thing, not only because they get their excess energy out, but also because moms and dads are pooped and need a break too. Check out this photo of my little guy from yesterday. He didn't move off that couch for an hour, wound up going to bed early, and slept late this morning. (Score.)

kid worn out from camp

4. They stay in a routine -- Kids thrive on structure, and if their summer days get too unpredictable, going back to school in the fall can prove to be a challenge. Camp keeps them on a schedule so they don't deviate too far from their regular routine.

5. It keeps them active -- As much as we try our best to keep them occupied outside, sometimes the lure of the TV or video games is tough for our children to resist and they convince us to let them be couch potatoes. At least if they are at camp, they're getting plenty of exercise instead of sitting around.

6. It allows them to be kids -- And this is perhaps the single best reason to send your kiddos to camp -- because it's the one time during the year when they can laugh, yell, squeal, and play to their heart's content without anyone giving them grief for it. They are only little for so long, and they deserve to let loose and make memories they'll cherish forever.

Do your kids go to summer camp?

 

Images via Camp Warren/Flickr/Mary Fischer