Reasons Why Parents Are Thankful for Day Camps

Day camps for kids are a great way to keep children busy during the summer months. Day camps offer great programming, from swimming and basketball to arts and crafts. Your child is sure to love kids camp in Toronto, but what’s in it for you? Surprisingly, a lot! Parents can certainly benefit from enrolling kids in day camp. Read on to see how.

Alone Time

When you become a parent, alone time becomes a thing of the past. You learn to do a multitude of tasks simultaneously as you are constantly running after the kids. You never have a minute to yourself. By enrolling your kids in day camp, you are gifting yourself with a little bit of ‘Me’ time. Take this time to relax with a hot bath with no child yelling, MOM! Or go shopping by yourself. Enjoy time with a friend. The options are truly endless. While your kid is having fun at camp, you can be having a little fun of your own!

Watch Your Child Make Friends

There is nothing harder on a parent than watching a shy child have trouble making friends. At day camp, it is much easier to make friends as there are group activities and children can enjoy finding friends who have similar interests. You will benefit from summer day camp as your child learns how to make friends and you see them begin to build relationships with others.

Babysitting Help

Many day camps are offered for the entire day which can be helpful when you are a working parent. Camp drop off can coincide with your work schedule, making it easy for your kid to go to camp without it conflicting with your work day. Drop your child off at camp, head to work, then pick them up at the end of the day. You have completed your work tasks and your child is filled with stories about their day. It’s a win/win situation!

Life-Building Skills

While parents take on the caregiver and teacher role with their child, it can be difficult for some children to pick up skills from their parents. At camp, children can learn from a variety of sources, such as the counselors and other kids. While you might struggle teaching your child how to throw a baseball, a camp counselor can easily help. As your child attends summer camp, you can begin to see just how much they learn from others, including self-confidence, leadership skills, swimming, etc. Children often learn by copying others so by being around children their own age, your child will be able to learn new things that might have otherwise been unattainable.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we offer a stimulating environment within our day camps. We have programs for children of all ages so you can easily find an option for your child. Enrollment is simple and you will see your child having fun, making friends and learning new skills. In the meantime, you can enjoy a little time to yourself while your child is away at camp!

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.

How Day Camps without Screens Improve Preteen Skills

How Day Camps Can Be A Positive Influence in Youth Development

Day camps for kids are an optimal way to provide entertainment as well as a learning opportunity for your children. Day camps offer programming that stimulates the mind and body, keeping children active year round. For preteens, day camps can be an opportunity to put down mobile devices or move away from the computer screen and focus on real interaction. Preteens often want to be online and away from the world, but too much screen time can be detrimental to the child’s development. Learn how day camps without screens can provide a boost to personal skills of preteens.

Listening Skills

To begin, the preteen will boost their listening skills. Have you ever tried to talk to your child while they were on their mobile device or laptop? It’s like talking to a brick wall! The child is so focused on the screen that they do not hear you or only half listen to what you have to say. By taking away the screens and focusing on interaction with others, your preteen will develop better listening skills.

Working Well with Others

During day camp, many activities take place. From team sports to art and music, your child has the ability to learn new skills while working with others. It is important for young people to learn how to work well with others. During day camp for kids, your child will be able to learn how to work with their teammates during sports or complete a project in art class. By not having access to a computer screen, your child can focus on building relationships with others and learning how to build on teamwork skills.

Communication

A preteen is not the best communicator, especially if they are focused on a computer screen. Children need to learn how to communicate with others, such as acknowledging when a question is asked or simply saying hello. By allowing your child to attend day camp, they will be in a group with other kids their age as well as interacting with camp counselors. Communication skills are built upon during activities or events. As your child will not be focused on a computer screen, they will be better able to learn how to communicate with others.

Finding New Interests

It can be difficult to pull your preteen away from the computer screen but attending day camp will help them find new interests. Taking part in quality activities can help your child find a new passion. Perhaps your child shows an interest in art or a particular sport. Take notice of what your child enjoys at camp and consider lessons on the subject or additional classes. Giving your child an alternative to screen time can only boost additional social skills as well as life skills.

Overall, camp can be beneficial to your preteen. At Zodiac Day Camp, we offer a wealth of day camp opportunities, including leadership building, first aid, babysitting courses and more. Your preteen can learn life building skills as well as have the potential for employment once courses are complete. Contact our office today to learn more about our many preteen programs.

10 Skills To Teach Your Child Before Sending Them To Camp

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So your child is going away to summer camp, how exciting! If this is your child’s first time to go to summer camp, you will want to make sure you go over a few life skills to ensure their time at camp is a pleasant one. Most parents overlook a few key factors that must be discussed with the child to ensure summer programs for kids are safe and enjoyable. Read on below to see just what you should discuss with your child before heading off to camp.

Be Aware of The Outdoors
To get started, you want your child to be aware of the outdoors. This can include knowing what creatures are present in the area and how to respond if approached. Many camps are located in primitive areas where wild animals are present and children need to know how to act if they come across such creatures.

Know Your Plant Life
Children heading off to day camps for kids must be aware of plant life. Children need to learn what poison oak and poison ivy are so they can avoid these plants at all cost. Day camp would be miserable for a child who has been exposed and developed a rash due to such plants.

Eating Correctly
Many kids may think that going away to a summer program for kids means eating whatever they want. This is how many kids end up with an upset tummy. Teach your child the proper way to eat while away at camp. They must know to avoid eating too much junk food and ensure breakfast, lunch and dinner are all consumed for proper nutrition.

Being Clean
It is also important to stress to your child about being clean. Taking a shower is important but something that is not really on most children’s to-do list. Talk with your child about being clean, going over that deodorant must be used each day, teeth are to be brushed etc., to ensure your child is clean while away.

Bug Care
Since camp will take place outdoors there will be bugs. Teach your child how to use mosquito spray and which bugs should be avoided such as spiders and red ants.

Medication
If your child takes medication regularly such as allergy medicine or perhaps Tylenol for a headache, they need to learn how to do so responsibly. Teach your child the proper dosage amounts as well as when to take such medicines while away from home.

Contact
Your child needs to know how to contact you. Teach them how to use a regular house phone as well as how to use a calling card if needed. Consider what methods of contact will be available at the camp.

Getting Help
Teach your child how and when to get help when it is needed. Go over emergency situations and what should be done during specific scenarios.

Cleaning Up
Remind your child that their bed at camp should be made, trash thrown away and their space should always be nice and tidy.

Be Open
Teach your child to be open to new experiences. Tell them to try something new and have fun in the process.

Check out Zodiac Day Camp to learn more about camping options and what your child needs to know before attending summer camp.

Why Parents Send Their Children To Camp (Testimonials)

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Summer programs for kids are the perfect way to keep children busy while school is not in session. After school lets out for the summer months, kids can easily become bored and need something to occupy their time. Day camps for kids are a great way to integrate activities, provide ways of making new friends and just allow children to have fun during the summer. Below are a few testimonials from parents as they share why they send their children to camp each and every year.

David’s Testimony
David is a single dad of three girls who sends his children to camp each and every year. He has found that his children love to interact with others at camp who have similar interests in arts and crafts. David’s girls are 5, 7 and 10 years of age, each enjoying the experience that summer programs for kids can provide. David has found that his children are more vocal and outgoing after going to camp and interacting with other children as well as the counselors. His girls enjoy the activities provided as they are staying active during the boring summer months with the lack of school scheduling.

Grandma Martha’s Testimony
Grandma Martha has two young grandchildren, both boys, who are very rambunctious. The boys love to play outside and get dirty and Grandma Martha has trouble keeping up sometimes. To provide activities for her grandsons, Grandma Martha enrolls the boys in day camps for kids. The day camps provide outdoor activities, which the boys love, such as swimming and archery. Grandma Martha gets a break from the hectic pace of the boys while the boys enjoy spending their energy outside with others their age. As a grandparent, it can be difficult to play and interact with growing children. Day camp allows children to expend their energy and grandparents can provide love and support once they are tired after a long day of activity.

Sarah’s Shy Daughter
Sarah is a mom of one daughter, age 8. Sarah’s daughter has been having trouble overcoming her shyness and making friends. Sarah thought it would be a good idea to have her daughter attend one of the local summer programs for kids. She thought this would be a great way for her daughter to overcome being shy and hopefully make a few friends in the process. Sarah’s daughter loved the craft activities at camp and eventually was able to make a couple of new friends once she felt comfortable talking to other campers. Sarah feels that giving her daughter an outlet for her creativity and doing so with others who are like-minded allowed her daughter to come out of her shell and be more open to others.

To learn more about day camp options for kids and how your child can benefit, contact Zodiac Kids today. The day camp group offers several alternatives for day camp and summer programs to keep your child busy for hours each day. Contact Zodiac Day Camp to learn more.

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Why Summer Camp is Worth Every Penny

Summer camp is a great option for kids after school has ended and boredom sets in. Kids summer camp allows children to learn new activities, make new friends and just have fun. However, many parents feel like day camps for kids may be too expensive. While summer camp does have a cost, the end result is well worth it. Parents will find children learn new skills, from the physical aspects like swimming and camping as well as social, with meeting new friends and following directions. Learn just how children benefit from summer camp to know you are making the right decision in signing up.

Social Aspect

Day camps for kids are a great way to introduce socializing with others. If your child is shy, they can work on opening themselves up to others by attending a day camp. Children are paired together or work in teams during activities, easily having the ability to make new friends. Children who are already social butterflies will excel, rubbing off on the shyer children to help them become more open and willing to make friends.

Learn Important Skills

Day camps for kids allow children to learn important life skills. Take swimming for instance. By learning how to swim at summer camp, children will be safer in the water. Most parents try to teach their own kids how to swim but end up becoming frustrated because the child does not listen or is not interested. Learning this activity at camp is different. Parents are not around and children are more willing to listen to counselors. Children also are more willing to learn if they see other children taking part. It’s basically a win/win for parents as the kids are having fun and learning a life skill for safe swimming. Other skills can be learned at camp as well from camping to arts and crafts which helps children as they grow older with school assignments as well as in adult life.

Happy Child Equals Happy Life

During the summer months, children can easily become bored. They begin to hang around underfoot and want to be entertained constantly. With summer camp, you have an automatic option for entertainment. You can sign your child up for day camp so they can be entertained and have activities to enjoy during the day. Your child will be happy and wore out by the end of the day which means a peaceful home life.

It is so easy for kids to become bored once school has ended. The child goes from having something to do for seven to eight hours in the day to having to entertain themselves. By signing up for day camps, your child will be active and be happy, making friends and enjoying fun and exciting activities.

Learn more about summer camp by contacting Zodiac Day Camps. Programs are available based on age groups with quality activities offered in each category for children to enjoy. Find the right day camp for your child to stay active during the summer months.

Basic Swimming Rescue Skills For Your Child

Pensacola Sailors learn rescue swimming skills

A Rescue Swimmer School candidate performs a body sweep to check for entanglements or injury in the pool at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

One of the most important life skills to learn is swimming. Drowning is ranked the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. This tragic ending can be prevented with the proper water safety instruction and skills, and it should be taught at a young age.

There are bodies of water all over the world such as  lakes, seas, rivers, oceans, dams and pools. Drowning comprises of about 10% of unintentional injuries per day in the United States, many of which lead to death. About 73% of people who drowned in 2012 alone were children aged 14 and under.  The good thing is that many of these accidental drowning can be prevented by following safety regulations, and also by being equipped with the necessary rescue skills. With this in mind, you would agree with me if I argued that it is vital for your child to learn some of the basic swimming rescue skills. Due to this fact, Toronto swimming lessons are tailored to equip kids with safety swimming skills.

By making sure that your child learns the basics of swimming reduces his or her chances of drowning. In many swimming programs, the first lesson involves teaching the kids some of the basics of swimming. This includes certain styles to prevent drowning such as treading water, doggie paddle, and crawl stroke. This will improve your child’s confidence when in the water which is very important. But, it should be noted that even the best swimmers can drown, therefore being overconfident is not an option.

Kids especially those who swim in beaches should be taught how to spot and evade strong currents. If possible they should avoid swimming completely when there are huge swells in the sea. The ‘rip currents’ are very fast and pose a lot of danger to the swimmers, especially to those who are beginners. There are certain signs that can tell you that you will be in for very strong currents in the next few minutes. The water around changes its color, the waves change patterns from time to time, and there occurs steady movement of debris in the sea. Once you spot these changes in the beach, you should consider getting out of the sea immediately. Fortunately, in some Toronto swimming lessons the kids are taught how to handle themselves when they go to their swimming programs.

If by bad luck you find yourself in strong currents, the first thing is to stay calm. Many people drown because they panic. Once you are calm, then think quickly of what to do next. If there are people around call for help. In the unfortunate event you find yourself alone, don’t fight with the currents. Make a 90 degree turn and move parallel to sea shore. Rip currents are majorly active in narrow channels therefore by swimming in a parallel direction, it gives you a better chance of landing where the waters are a bit calmer.

If you realize you are losing control of yourself when swimming the best thing is to let yourself float on water instead of fighting to stay on cause. In Toronto swimming lessons, treading water is an important technique taught to kids as a safety mechanism to prevent drowning. Fighting to stay above the water only depletes your energy thus decreasing your chances of survival. Simply turn upright and try sweeping water with your arms in order to stabilize yourself, then easily do the kicking motion with your legs to stay afloat, and then you can call for help.

Finally, kids should avoid the use of drugs at all cost. The use of drugs only impairs your judgment. You might think you are on the shallow end when actually you are on the deep end of the pool. Also, drug abuse gives an individual false confidence which can lead to accidental drowning.

Zodiac summer camp is one of the best summer camps in the area. It offers first class swimming programs along other amazing programs such as adventure sports, fashion design, robotics and jewelry art for kids. For more info visit their website www.zodiackids.ca

Benefits of Trampoline Sports for Kids

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Children of any age typically enjoy using the trampoline for recreational purposes. While trampolines are usually associated with a casual day outside on a nice Sunday afternoon, others also utilize this device for improving their sports performance.

The trampoline itself is a sports device initially used for performances. Athletes and acrobats train regularly using trampolines, and they develop the necessary strength and muscle memory through constant practice. With trampoline use, the child can experience better fitness and body awareness, along with good cardiovascular health and higher spirits.

Trampoline sports in day camps are usually good options for a child to try out when they need some kind of physical activity. Better fitness also means that they will be able to reduce their chances for health risks associated with obesity and being overweight. Children with access to exercise equipment will be able to enjoy better lifestyles without having to worry about health problems caused by lack of movement.

Aside from weight loss, there are more benefits that trampoline use can provide for the child. A trampoline utilizes the entire body for movement, and this means that overall body strength is improved when a person is using the device. With a trampoline, you can strengthen your core muscles better without adding unnecessary stress on other joints and bones on your body. Using a trampoline for exercise is also gentler on thigh, core and leg muscles, as they don’t need to exert as much effort as when they are carrying your weight. This means that there are less chances for bone diseases and muscle injuries.

Jumping on the trampoline also requires a certain amount of strength, agility, balance, and posture. Continually using the trampoline for long periods of time would lead the child to develop better abilities in these departments, and they will be able to enjoy the benefits of having better posture and agility in everyday life. The physical exertion needed also requires for a person to breathe properly, so they learn to exercise their lungs and have better respiratory functions by playing with the trampoline.

It is also considered as a good cardiovascular workout by many fitness professionals and athletes. Studies have shown that jumping on the trampoline provides better workout and cardio results than running, jumping and most sports on foot. This kind of exercise has also shown to provide the child with a better mood and a nicer disposition, since they have used energy on a fun activity.

Trampolines have been used to help patients recovering from illnesses and injuries. Since childhood is a delicate stage, playing with the trampoline can assist those with depressive tendencies or going through any emotional difficulties. The trampoline requires a person’s full focus without them realizing that they have used up their energy. For overactive kids, it is a good distraction and a way to burn off some energy while providing a fun experience.
Being airborne is a great feeling and jumping is already considered a good exercise on its own. When a child is outdoors at day camps with their trampoline sessions, they will also get some much-needed vitamin D.

 

Why is First Aid Training Important

first aid training

We are living in a world where no one is completely safe. We cannot deny the fact that at some point in our lives we have been involved in situations that have called for our immediate actions. Accidents, food poisoning, electrocution, terror activities, choking, heart attacks just to name a few of them, are some possibilities that may happen at any time and therefore call for our preparedness. Having the knowledge of the course of action to take at these times can save a dying man or prevent a worse condition that was deemed to happen, such as paralysis. It’s therefore important to teach kids at a tender age these skills for their own benefits and also to help others. Kids are most prone to emergencies as their immune system is less developed as compared to adults.

Reasons for first aid training

  • Every second counts– It would take less than six minutes for someone bleeding seriously to lose consciousness and die. Also some deep cuts, if not treated or cleaned earlier, may lead to infection. Therefore the earlier the pre- treatment is administered, the better. After all, the basis of first aid is prevention of the worst.
  • Makes people feel more secure– There is the aspect of believing you are safe when you know that someone is looking after you. Maybe that’s why we are more comfortable in our homes as compared to when we are outside. The same case applies to first aid skills. You will feel safer knowing that in case of any accident, there is someone around you who can come to your aid.
  • As a job requirement– There are certain jobs where first aid training is a strict requirement. These jobs may include kids summer camps where kids go for holiday vacations. There are a lot of childrens activities that go on in these camps, and truth be told, you can’t prevent kids from jumping all over the place; after all ‘that’s why they are on vacation’. The kids might hurt themselves and may require urgent attention from a qualified personnel.
  • Disaster– When a natural calamity such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes strike, it’s not possible to access medical attention quickly. Therefore, it’s up to those who are better off to help those badly hit by administering urgent attention like bandaging their wounds to stop bleeding or natural resuscitation to help them keep on breathing as they await medical assistance.
  • Helps to reduce pain– Not every injury requires a person to visit a health center. Some cuts which are not deep can be treated at home or temporarily before official treatment.

After having seen the importance of first aid training, it is also vital to ensure that all buildings or premises including our homes are well equipped with the first aid kits. The essentials of a first aid kit include adhesive bandages, gauze rolls, sterile gauze pads, elastic bandages for wrapping wrist, knee and elbow, sterile cotton balls, and of course latex and non-latex gloves.

In every workplace it’s key to have one or more trained first- aider; depending on the size of the premises. For instance, in day camps for kids you expect a large influx of kids and therefore one first- aider may not be enough. You may require to hire more than one depending on the size of population.

Finally, it’s of utmost importance for each and every one to embrace first aid training as an asset to use in the future as we don’t know what tomorrow holds for us.  

5 Tips to Show Children Swimming is Fun

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Kids will enjoy swimming more if you build their confidence and help them overcome any fear of water that they may have. It isn’t always easy to teach a child that water is fun especially when it is their first experience but the best place to start is finding a suitable swimming program that will incorporate as many fun activities as possible. As you read on, you will find insights on fun activities to incorporate into your swimming program to allow little ones to enjoy their time in the water.

Here are 5 simple tips to help introduce your child to Swimming.

  1. Safety measures
  • Teach children about safety measures in their early stages of swimming. This will build their confidence and security.
  • Make sure that your child understands that they should always ask permission before going to swim if young always accompanied by an adult.
  • Be sure they wear lifejackets or safety devices in the water at all times.
  • Teach them to paddle both feet while holding onto the walls of the pool. This will help them if they find themselves deep in the water to prevent drowning.
  1. Easy games

Simple games will make swimming more fun for kids. Use water  toys to play different games with them such as:

  • Chase and play

Encourages kids to move about in the water. The game involves a child moving in the water and tagging another who then moves about to tag another in the proximity.

 

  • Talk to the fish

Involves blowing water bubbles and listening to pretend fish responses. This helps the children to control their breathing which is an essential step to swimming independently. Encourage your child to blow bubbles while his/her face is submerged in the water. When you do so yourself, you’ll need to come out of the water smiling as you don’t want to scare the kid.

  • A ride

While holding your child by their armpits and walking backwards in the water shout “motorboat go fast…go fast…slow…” This will develop their kicking strength in the water.

  1. Test the water
  • An effective and easy way to teach your child security in the water is by swimming with them. Actually you should be the first one to get into the water so that they can follow. When you are with them, you induce a sense of belonging and security and allowing them to swim freely and have fun.
  1. Splashing
  • Splashing is enjoyable for beginners especially little ones who just can’t help but spray everyone around them with water.  This is actually part of the learning experience by teaching them how to kick and move in the water.
  • You can also help by showing them how to float with his/her stomach on the pool water and head on your shoulder. In this position they can begin kicking and splashing giving them better balance in the water. In Toronto, swimming lessons for kids integrate these balancing and kicking aspects with safety measures.
  1. Taking a jump
  • First of all this should be done in the shallow end of the pool. It’s so important for your child to feel safe and trust that the teacher or parent will catch them. When they jump into the water and begin to kick it allows the process of staying above water and strengthening those swimming muscles.

Zodiac swim school in Toronto is one of the largest private swim schools in Canada.  It offers top-notch swimming lessons that will help develop aquatic skills and self- confidence to your children.