Benefits of Day Camp for Preschoolers

From the time a child is born, parents provide the ultimate care, love and protection. Once kids reach a certain age however, they benefit from being introduced to kids their own age and enjoy a little independence from mom and dad. Day camp for kids is a great way to give parents a break and allow small children to interact with kids their own age. Preschoolers can benefit greatly from attending day camp, from learning how to share to getting along with others. Read on about these many benefits below.

Time Away from Parents

To begin, summer day camp will provide children with time away from parents. The parents are able to take a break while the kids learn some independence. When kids are not separated from their parents, they may have a hard time going to primary school when the time comes. While day camp is not school, it gives children the experience of being away from home and the ability to adjust to new surroundings.

Sharing

Because kids are introduced to others their own age, they learn many valuable traits such as sharing. All children benefit from learning how to share be it during playtime or group activities. Children learn how to share with others which teaches compassion and friendship qualities.

Making New Friends

By attending summer camp, preschoolers are able to meet kids their own age and make new friends. Preschoolers learn how to interact with others, how to play together and how to get along. By learning how to get along with others at an early age, your preschooler will be better equipped to attend primary school and get along with classmates during school hours.

Self-Confidence

Many small children are often shy and have a hard time breaking out of their shell. With summer day camp, preschoolers learn how to socialize and have fun. Kids take part in group activities, sports, arts & crafts, drama,  and more which allow them to feel more comfortable as they try new things. Often times, it takes placing a child away from their parents and introducing them to a new environment for the child to be able to build independent self-confidence.

By trying new activities and earning praise, your child will feel more comfortable trying new things again and again. Your preschooler will also be influenced by friends in day camp who are willing to try new things. Many times, it takes seeing another child trying an activity for others to feel comfortable giving it a go.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we offer many preschool-aged programs that will be of benefit to your child in a variety of ways. By contacting our office, we can help you find the right summer program to help your child gain confidence, make friends and simply have a good time being a kid. Learn more by giving our office a call today!

Why Theme Days are important at Summer Day Camp

 

When your child is old enough to attend summer camp, you will find that each day offers new and exciting activities. Many kid camps in Toronto offer feature theme days so kids can express themselves even more and gain more camp spirit. Learn more about these theme days below and how they are beneficial to your children.

What Are Theme Days?

A theme day is a day that the camp has picked to represent something fun. It could be a colour theme, or a sport; basically anything. The goal is to make the day more fun and to encourage participation. Camp counselors will talk about the theme day leading up to the event and encourage campers to be creative in coming up with their own ideas. Theme days are just a fun way to keep campers involved and to promote creativity.

Dress-Up Day

As part of theme days, your child may be asked to dress up from time to time. Kids may be asked to wear certain colours or dress up like a character, food, etc. Camp counselors like to keep things exciting so theme days may be based on superhero’s or other categories that are exciting to children. Kids love to play dress-up and be creative. Plus, using their imagination helps the kids to gain more self-confidence in expressing themselves.

Camp Spirit

When everyone participates in dress-up and theme days, it helps to promote camp spirit. Sometimes kids can feel left out or sad about missing their parents while at camp. With these theme days and dress-up time, kids are able to feel a sense of teamwork with others and gain camp spirit. Children find theme days to be exciting at camp and enjoy taking part in the group activities.

Promoting camp spirit is done via themed days to create a sense of unity. When everyone is dressed in one colour or in a particular theme, it helps everyone feel as if they belong. Fun games and activities usually coincide with the theme day which helps to bring about even more camp spirit and unity to the day.

Many children are shy and may have trouble making friends. By helping them be excited about theme days and encouraging participation, you are helping your child to build self-confidence. On the next theme day, your child may be more willing to take part and be even more excited to create a fun costume. Encourage them to take part and see what happens as they begin to find new friends and feel more involved at camp.

At Zodiac Day Camp we offer theme days during summer camp to give kids something to look forward to and to promote creativity and imagination. By contacting our office, you can learn more about our camping programs and what type of themes we promote. Overall, we provide a fun and loving environment so your child is able to thrive and enjoy their time away from home, making friends and having a great time.

Questions Parents Should Ask Before Choosing a Day Camp

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

When choosing a day camp for your child, there is a lot involved. As parents, we have to do everything we can to ensure the camp we choose is right for our child. With so many day camps for kids available today, it can be hard to choose which one will work best for our kids. Below are a few questions you can ask potential camps to ensure that your child will be safe as well as have an enjoyable time during day camp.

What are your operating hours? How Does drop off and pick-up take place?

These are two important questions. First, you want to know the operating hours to ensure it meets your scheduling needs. Second, you need to know how drop-off and pick-up works. You want to be sure that your child will be safe and not leave with anyone not approved by you.

Are Counselors Certified in CPR or other Safety Courses?

Because camp counselors will be taking care of your child, you want them to be certified in CPR and other safety courses in order to protect your child. Counselors should have basic first aid knowledge including CPR and know what to do in an emergency situation.

Do You Serve Lunch or Should I Provide Meals? What About Allergies?

These are also great questions. You need to know if lunch and snacks are provided or if this is something you will need to provide. Asking about allergies is also important. If your child has a food allergy, they need to be protected. But it is also important to find out about other children’s allergies so that you do not send any foods that could harm them at camp.

What Activities are Offered?

When choosing a summer day camp, it is also important to find out what activities are offered. You want your child to be busy with fun activities like sports and arts & crafts. By asking what is offered during the daily schedule, you will be able to find out exactly what the camp offers and decide if the activities are something your child will show interest in. Think about your child’s interests. Do they like sports? Do they enjoy swimming? How about painting or dancing? Look for kids camps that incorporate these activities so your child will be sure to have a fun time.

When is Registration?

For most summer camps, there are registration deadlines. Camps only have so many spots for children as they are restricted due to the classroom size and counselor to child ratio. Find out about registration times so that you do not miss out on signing up your child for camp.

When looking for a quality day camp program for your child, look no further than Zodiac Day Camp. We offer a long list of quality camp options so that your child can have fun and make new friends. Contact our office today to learn more about the many programs we offer.

Day Camps for Your Budding Artist

When it comes to summer programs for kids, there are many to choose from. As the parent, it is important to choose a camp that includes activities that your child enjoys. If your child likes to play sports, then of course a camp that specializes in sports activities would be ideal. If your child is more interested in arts and crafts, than creativity programs would be more ideal. Let’s take the budding artist example and learn what your child can enjoy when attending summer camp programs.

Creativity

A camp that focuses on creativity will feature a number of artistic activities to help the children come out of their shell and express themselves. The standard option offered on the subject of creativity is arts and crafts, but this subject can span throughout several activities. Your child will be able to paint, draw and colour, exploring their imagination along the way.

Children can also have access to unique creativity activities such as sculpting, theater, music, and dance. Your child may come home and have found a brand new activity that they love and want to continue to enjoy year after year.

Imagination

It is important, especially for young children, to explore their imagination. Children need to be able to discuss what they are thinking and feeling, learning more about bringing their imagination to life. With creativity classes during summer camp, your child is invited to be silly and spread their imagination as far as it will go.

By giving such freedom, your child will begin to have a renewed sense of self confidence. A child that can use their imagination and put their ideas to practice, is able to make friends easily and feel good about themselves.

It is important that children who love being artistic have an outlet to express themselves. For the most part, sports take priority when it comes to activities offered at school or in after school programs. With special art related summer camps, your child has a place that fits their creativity needs as well as provides an outlet for them to be creative and explore.

When your child shows an interest in arts and crafts, let them explore. Look for summer camp programs that feature the art subjects they are interested in but also encourage your child to try new things. When they are able to try new and exciting activities in the art realm, they will be more encouraged to try new things and express their creativity and imagination.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we want to provide an outlet for creativity within your child. We offer several programs for children of all ages to be able to enjoy the arts. From arts and crafts to dance and drama, we offer specialized programs that meet the needs of little creative beings. Let us help your child explore their creativity and let their imaginations soar. Contact our office today to find out what programs we have to offer that will meet the creative needs of your child.

Easy Nutritious Lunch Ideas for Day Camp

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Going to summer camp means your child is set to have a great time, enjoying fun games and sports, making new friends and just enjoy being a kid. Whether your child goes to a summer day camp for a full or half day, you will most likely be providing lunch. When preparing your child’s lunch each day, you want to provide something nutritious but also stay within camp guidelines. Camps normally do not want children eating a ton of sugar or bringing any nut products as they may result in an allergic reaction for other kids. After a few days, you may run out of ideas for your kid’s lunch without them eating the same thing over and over. Below are a few nutritious lunch ideas that your kids are sure to love for summer camp.

Rev Up a Sandwich with Wrap Style

Instead of sending the standard turkey sandwich, choose a tortilla and create a fun wrap. You can use the plain flour tortillas or use a spinach wrap to add in extra vitamins and minerals. Use your child’s favourite sandwich meat and cheese, adding in veggies they enjoy as well for a full wrap. You can even cut the wrap into pinwheels so that they have bite-size pieces to enjoy. Add some fruit to the lunch and you have a full meal!

Meat and Cheese

Speaking of meat and cheese, why not pack your kids a little mix of their favourites. Take a few slices of sandwich meat, cheese cubes, pretzels and fruit and you have a nice tray of assorted items that your kids are sure to love. This can be done in a variety of ways so your child never gets tired of this meal idea.

Leftovers

When mornings are busy, leftovers are a great way to send a delicious and nutritious meal for your child to enjoy. After dinner, if there are leftovers, go ahead and pack them up and have it ready for the morning. This way, you can simply grab the meal and go!

Soup

If you have an older child in summer day camp, it can be quite nice to enjoy a cup of soup. Older children will be better capable of eating soup without making a mess and will be able to benefit from the vitamins and minerals included.

Following Camp Rules

Be sure to learn what rules the camp has on food items. You want to be sure that your child’s food can be heated if needed or send items that don’t require heating. You also want to learn about any allergies of children attending the camp, that way you won’t send food items that could harm them.

Alternatively, if your child’s camp provides a catered lunch option, let the camp take take away the hassle of meal planning and meal prep. Catered camp lunches provide a healthy and substantial food option ensuring kids get the nutrients they need. Many children’s catering companies are in nut free facilities and are conscious when catering to children with allergies.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we make it easy for you to pack nutritious lunches or to order the catered camp lunch, both of which your child can enjoy.  We are happy to provide more lunch tips!

Benefits of Adult and Tot Swim Classes

Swimming programs today offer lessons for children of all ages, even infants. It is becoming more and more common for parents to sign up their infants for swimming lessons in order to introduce their child to the water.  Swimming classes which the parents are involved in can lead to a better success rate for the infant to learn how to swim. Read on to learn the many benefits of adult and tot swimming classes.

Experienced Instructor

To begin, any infant swimming class you sign up for, you will find that the instructor is experienced in infant education. The instructor will have the knowledge and experience to provide quality training for your infant as well as for yourself. You will learn techniques that you can apply to help your child learn to swim.

Fun and Entertaining Environment

Tot swimming classes can be compared to mommy and me or daddy and me classes as the child will be learning how to swim through games, songs and playtime. The instructor will show you how to use these techniques in order to make your toddler comfortable in the water. By playing games, your infant will associate the water with fun. Song helps children to associate certain movements with particular songs which helps to build repetition with movements to learn swimming techniques.

Water Safety

Swimming classes will help you and your child feel more comfortable about being in or around the water. Your child will start to develop the building blocks of learning how to swim.

Pre-school Swim Classes

Parent and Tot classes are a great way to prepare your child for pre-school swim classes. Once your child starts these classes, you can continue on with each stage of learning as they grow. Your child will continue to learn new skills as well as working on their current skills to becoming a strong swimmer.

When you become a parent, begin to look into such classes for your children. Swimming classes are offered for children as young as 3 months. Introducing them to the water at an early age will help prepare your child for safe swim practices.

At Zodiac Swim School, we offer quality swimming programs for all ages. We teach and encourage proper technique as well as water safe so that your children can be successful swimmers in the future. Contact our office today to see what classes we have available for your needs.

Why you should use a reusable water diaper over a disposable

When enrolling young children in swim school, be ready for an exciting adventure! Your toddler will love being in the water and learning how to swim. The bonus for you is that your child has a good time and makes friends while learning how to be safe in the water. After enrolling in class, you may need to purchase items such as water diapers for your little ones who are not yet potty trained. A small child that is not potty trained will need to wear such diapers to keep the swimming pool clean. There are two types to choose from, the reusable water diaper and the disposable. In general, reusable water diapers are recommended for a number of reasons, of which we will list below.

No Saggy Bum

To begin, your child will not have a saggy bum. The material used in the reusable diapers are designed to fit closely to the skin, they retain any mess your child makes by not soaking in additional water that causes regular diapers to become heavy and loose. With a disposable swim diaper, even though they are less absorbent than regular diapers, they still soak in water causing them to loosen over the course of the lesson.

Environmentally Friendly

Reusable water diapers are an environmentally friendly option for providing your toddler with a swim diaper. With disposables, you will have to throw the diaper away once it has been used. With reusable, you can wash the diaper and dry, reusing it again and again. This helps you to save money as well as make a lesser impact on the environment with unneeded waste.

Better for the Skin

Disposable water diapers are made from materials that can affect the skin of sensitive children. reusable water diapers as they are made from quality materials that are more closely aligned with regular bathing suit materials that will not bother the skin, causing a rash or irritation.

Easy to Pack

With disposable diapers, you will need to bring plenty when you are attending swim lessons or going on vacation. The disposable diapers cannot be reused, you will need to be sure you have enough. This means more to pack when going on vacation or when you are attending swim classes. When using reusable swim diapers, you  only need one for swim class and maybe two for vacation. Having an extra means you have a quick option when a mess is made or if you need to dry the other diaper. Overall, you have more leeway when it comes to travel or attending classes when you use reusable diapers.

At Zodiac Swim School, we have seen the many benefits of reusable water diapers. We sell a variety of plain and patterned adjustable swim diapers.We provide a convenient way for you to purchase a reusable swim diaper for your child via our online store and pool locations.

Contact our office today to find out more about the reusable water diapers we offer or come by and purchase some for your child’s next swimming adventure.

5 Cool Spring / Summer Ideas for Teenagers in Toronto

When spring and summer arrive, it can be easy for teens to have extra time on their hands. Once school ends, the routine of the day is gone. You want your teen to be busy and have fun things to enjoy during the summer months. Swim school and Day Camps in Toronto offer great ways to keep your teenager busy when school is not in session. Keeping your child busy helps them stay active and spend their time wisely. Below are a few ideas to keep your teen busy in the Toronto area.

Babysitting Courses

For a fun and beneficial option for your teen, consider babysitting courses. Your teen will be able to learn how to be responsible for a baby as well as small children. Teens learn how to handle an emergency situation as well as provide standard care such as a meal or diaper change. Your teen can then use the skills learned to start babysitting and earning money during the summer months.

Bronze Star Qualifications

Pre-teens as well as teens have the option to train for Bronze Star qualifications in order to earn the training standard to begin the process for lifeguarding. Teens can build on their swimming skills, learning problem-solving skills as well as how to take charge during an emergency. A component of the testing phase of this program includes a 400-meter timed swim. After this course, kids can move on to Bronze Med and EFA-CPR B and more learning for what is needed to become a lifeguard.

Lifesaving Skills & Drills

Teens who are interested in leadership courses and have already passed the Bronze Star or are working on the Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross or National Lifeguard can qualify to take this class. Your teen can learn safety, surveillance and scanning in the water along with aquatic rescue, CPR, emergency response and risk management.

National Lifeguard Training

The professional lifeguard standard in Canada, available in Toronto, is the Lifesaving Society’s National Lifeguard certification. The updated version of this curriculum is important to being a competent lifeguard including knowledge, fitness and judgment calls. Included in this training program are object recovery training, underwater swim, sprint challenge, endurance challenge and more.

Standard Summer Camps

In Toronto, there are also standard summer camp options where your teen can make new friends and enjoy quality activities such as swimming and sports. If your child likes to stay active and had an interest in a particular activity such as swimming, soccer or arts & crafts, seek out camps that specialize in these areas. You will find that your teen is able to stay busy and enjoy learning new skills or taking part in new activities.

At Zodiac Swim School and Zodiac Day Camp, we offer programs for pre-teens as well as teens with a variety of options including lifeguard training, CPR courses and more. Contact our office today to find out more about what we can offer your teen in their age range and sign up for the next round of classes.

 

Summer Camp Activities to Keep Kids Busy and Learning

How Day Camps Can Be A Positive Influence in Youth Development

Sending your child off to summer camp means they will have the opportunity to learn and grow, making friends and enjoying fun activities along the way. Summer camp activities range from arts and crafts to sports, giving every child something to enjoy. When you enroll your child in summer camp, be it half day, full day or overnight, find out what activities will be offered to see what your child might be interested in. Below are 5 summer camp categories full of activities that every child is sure to enjoy.


Creativity

One category where children can learn as well as have fun is with creativity. With painting, drawing, culinary, music, dance, fashion, and more, your child will have many ways in which they can express themselves. As the parent, you will be able to see your child’s new artistic talents and have plenty of artwork for the fridge!

Discovery

Children love to discover and explore. With the discovery category, you will find there are many activities your child can be involved in from science experiments, robotics, creatures, technology  to nature and outdoor adventure. Your child will be opening their mind to a new way of learning by taking part in discovery programs.

Sports

One of the most popular categories, as far as kids are concerned, is sports. Summer camps offer a variety of sports so children have a wide variety of options to choose from. The most popular sports including swimming, basketball, baseball and soccer. Your child can learn how to play a new sport or expand their skills in sporting activities that they already enjoy.

Variety Programs

For your child to be able to see and do it all, consider a summer camp that offers variety programs. With variety programs, you will find that the camp is offering a collection of activities fitting into several categories including discovery, creativity, sports and more. Your child will have a collective grouping of activities to take part in, learning new things that they love as well as things that they might not like so much. Having a variety means that your child is introduced to new things and learns how to make decisions and how to get along well with others by taking part in group activities.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we offer a wide range of camp activities. Your child will easily be able to find a program that they enjoy, finding options that include sports, creativity, discovery and more. Contact our office today to find out what programs we offer that fit the age range of your child as well as activities they enjoy. We are happy to help you find a camp program that is perfect for your little one.

3 Ways Day Camp Connects Kids to Their Community

Summer day camp is much more than a place for kids to go and have fun. With Toronto Day Camp, children are able to learn more about the community, make friends and expand their horizons. It is important for children to learn about the local community and feel as if they are a part of their city. Below are a few ways that day camp helps to connect kids to the community, helping them to become productive citizens in the future.

Arts & Crafts

Most communities have an arts and crafts scene, be it with art museums, art galleries or craft fairs and festivals. With summer day camp, your child will be involved in arts & crafts activities, learning more about how the local community supports the arts. Local artists can come in to show the children how to create with certain mediums and the children can then apply what they’ve learned. From painting to sculpting, children are taught how art is associated with their community and learn how to have a role in such activities.

Sports

Most day camps offer sports activities such as soccer, basketball, baseball and more. Often times, children learn how to play a sport for the very first time while away at summer day camp. Once your child shows an interest in a sport, you can attend local events from pro games to local universities. Your child can see how the sport is played locally and even join a team for youngsters if they really enjoy the activity.

Meeting New People

As with any experience, your child is going to meet new people. The children that your kids interact with at camp are a great way to get to know the local community. Your child can make new friends from different neighborhoods, different nationalities or even different ages. Summer day camp brings together people who might not have otherwise met.

As your child makes new friends, you can schedule playdates and get-togethers, visiting new areas of the community along the way. Your child will be introduced to new people and learn how to make friends which is beneficial to their teenage years as well as into adulthood.

Overall, attending summer day camp has many benefits including getting to know the local community. By allowing your child to take part in day camp, they can learn more about the history of the community, the local art scene, sports and more. Your child will have a well-rounded idea as to what your local community offers and have a willingness to explore new things.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we provide a loving place for children to explore and learn. With a variety of program options, your child will get to know the community, take part in new and interesting activities as well as make new friends along the way. Discover more about our many programs we offer by contacting us today. We look forward to providing you with the camp options you and your child need.