Kids Summer Programs Ideas and Resources for Parents & Teachers—
Summer is a time for rest and relaxation, but there’s no reason that kids can’t also learn while doing their favorite activities. When you encourage kids to journal about their summer activities, they have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences. Reflection allows for greater understanding and a deeper level of learning that is hard to obtain without analysis.
As kids journal, they also develop higher self-esteem and greater confidence in their opinions. Journaling also promotes creativity and free expression, giving kids the chance to develop their individuality.
To maximize the benefits of journaling about summer activities, it’s important to help kids find experiences that share some of the same core traits. Options like art projects, volunteer work, and team-building exercises promote many of the same values that kids gain through journaling.
Consider the following ways to get kids active this summer—as well as a few tips for creative reflection in their journals.
Kids Summer Programs Ideas and Resources
1. Art Projects
From individual drawings to community murals, art projects are one of the best ways to foster creativity and expression in kids. When kids engage their artistic sides, they become more comfortable expressing themselves and sharing their ideas. Art’s subjectivity opens doors for new ideas and fresh ways of seeing the world in a way that is similar to the benefits of journaling.
Getting kids involved with art is a great way to begin promoting some of the core values that journaling offers. Then, as kids reflect on their artwork and feelings through their writing, they will develop a deeper understanding of art’s power. Encourage kids to think about issues like the meaning and methods in their artwork. Offer writing prompts that help them consider the reasons people are drawn to art and the choices involved in the artistic process.
2. Volunteer Work
Similarly, volunteer work is a great way for kids to see the world in a new way and to develop a deeper understanding of important issues in our society. Whether kids spend time helping the less fortunate or raising funds for a worthy cause, volunteering and service can broaden their perspectives and help them to see the world around them in a new way.
Reflection after volunteer work is an important way for children to process their experiences and to understand the value of service and charity. Ask kids to think about how they felt while volunteering and how they imagine it would feel to be in need of donations. As they reflect on what it means to help others and to give service, kids will develop a more complex way of understanding their world.
3. Team-Building Exercises
Activities and events that require team cooperation are also a great way for kids to develop confidence, understanding, and self-esteem. When kids have a common goal that they must solve together, they learn about respecting the opinions of others—and about compromise.
Many camp activities and summer programs are already filled with team-building exercises. To help kids get the maximum benefit from these exercises, it’s important for them to reflect on the experiences in their journals.
Encourage kids to write about the ways in which their own ideas contributed to the group’s experience. By seeing their thoughts as a part of the whole experience, kids will develop more confidence in their ideas as well as a greater sense of respect for others’ opinions.
Until next time, journal on…