3 Ways to Introduce Summer Camp to Toddlers

Toronto summer camps are a great way to provide your child with something to do during the summer season. For children that are enrolled in school, summer camp is a great way to keep them busy once school is over. However, summer camps for kids are also a good teaching tool for smaller children. Toddlers who will eventually be enrolled in primary school can have fun at summer camp as well and use the opportunity as a way to prepare for a school day with scheduling and making friends. But how do you introduce summer camp to your toddler if they have never been away from home? Below are a few examples to help you prepare your small child for summer camp enrollment.

Talk About Summer Camp

In the months leading up to summer, talk to your child about summer day camp. Explain what they can expect, such as making friends, playing games, sports, etc. Start off by talking just a little about camp and then as the time draws near, find examples to share. Perhaps your child will be attending camp from 9 until 12. Start by talking about camp at 9am, stating this is when you will arrive, and continue to discuss what might take place until lunchtime, when you tell the child this is when you would pick them up. This gives them more of an idea of the time frame for camp as well as what to expect.

Visit the Facility

If you have the ability, visit the facility where camp will take place. They can see the facility and learn where activities take place as well as what to expect. By introducing the place where camp will be for your child, you are taking away one of the unknown factors. Many times, kids feel nervous or scared because a place is new to them. By introducing the camp to your child, they will know where the bathrooms are, their camp classrooms, etc.

Play Day Camp

Another great way to get your child excited about camp is to play pretend. Pick a day when you are not too busy and play like you are at day camp. You can be the counselor and your child will be the camper. By play acting, your child can have a better idea of what to expect from day camp. This is an excellent way to prepare your child and is also fun. Find out what activities camp will offer as well as the schedule so that you can come as close as you can to offering the same type of day. Your child will have a better understanding of camp and feel more comfortable being away from home.

At Zodiac Day Camp, we offer several day camp options, including camps for toddlers. Easily enroll your child for fun and excitement during the summer months. Contact our office today to find out more about how your toddler can enroll in summer camp.

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

Summer Day Camps: Why Go To Camp?

summer camp

Children are like bursts of energy that are sometimes very difficult to contain. And sometimes, in your own busy schedule you tend to forget spending quality time with your child, especially during summer holidays when your child has nothing but time to spend. What better way could there be to give him his experience of a life-time without the feeling of guilt that you didn’t do enough?

Kids are innocent souls who have yet to see the world with their own eyes and understand it. Imagine a place where you could get your kid to experience all those events that would otherwise be difficult in a daily routine – a place where he gets to explore on his own and explore new things.

Day camps that run summer camp programs are ideal places for such occasions where you can safely send your child and know for sure that he will certainly return with a bag full of wisdom and will be proud of that.

So, what do day camps have to offer?

Summer getaway: Summer programs for kids give them the opportunity to utilize their never ending energy. Before they get bored of sitting at home while you get busy in your own routine, send them to a day camp where they have their own stories to make.

Life-changing experience: Not every child is the same and every parent knows that. Some are smart while some are shy, some are active while some are studious. So, when you send your child to a day camp, they meet a lot of other kids and gets a completely different experience that they can cherish for a life-time. Things they would learn in a day camp will prove to be the building blocks of their character when entering adulthood.

Change in environment: Being a parent you will have a good idea about how easily kids get bored and how easily they get distracted. Constantly living in the same environment and following the same routine becomes very boring for kids. And at this prime age where they ought to have fun and explore the world, day camps provide the very opportunity that is needed.

Making new friends: Day camps have kids coming in from all over the place which provides a change of scenario for your child, and he gets the opportunity of making new friends and learning new things that he will not get the opportunity to learn in the mundane of home-to-school-and-back routine. Making friends from different backgrounds gives a new outlook to your child.

Activities: Kids love nothing better than playing around and exploring new places. Summer camp activities are designed keeping this very idea in mind. In day camps, they get to play around and engage in activities that make them learn a thing or two, all under the supervision of trained professionals. It boosts your child’s confidence. So, it is a win-win for your child as well as you, because you will know that your child is safe.

Build self-esteem: Summer camp programs are designed for all kids whether they are highly active or extremely shy. It provides the opportunity to your child to build his self-esteem and observe his surroundings. A learning experience builds your child’s decision making ability and you will see a great change in your kid.

So, after all this when your child returns home, they have not only made a new set of friends but is  proud because they found new courage to self-assess and explore new skills. A day camp certainly will leave a lasting impression on your child.

If you are in a dilemma of providing the best summer for your kid but don’t know how, then send your child to a day camp and watch him grow. Zodiac Day Camps has so many options to choose from. Visit zodiackids.ca for more details.

The Dangers Of Swimming Everyone Should be Aware Of

danger of swimming

Summer is just around the corner and many folks–especially kids–are itching to get out of the house or the classroom to go swimming. Many parents are thinking about the best swimming programs for kids. While swimming is a fun activity that improves wellness and physical fitness, there are some dangers that parents should be aware of. Signing up for swimming programs will help to lessen the danger for children as they how to properly swim and respect the water. Please think closely about the following:

Dry drowning

We often think that drowning occurs when someone is physically in the water. Dramatic movies and TV shows add to that assumption. However, there is an equally treacherous and much less well-known situation called “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning.” It can occur a significant amount of time after a person has left the pool or the beach. A swimmer usually breathes water into his or her lungs. As the fluid builds up, it can cause respiratory problems. The most common symptom is difficulty breathing. While this condition often clears up on its own, it can cause death if untreated.

Dry drowning can happen to anyone, but it commonly occurs in children because of their lack of experience in the water. Enrolling children in swimming programs is one way to reduce the chance of this happening. In addition, keeping an eye on kids in the bathtub and other shallow pools of water is a good idea as well.

Pool Hazards

While swimming programs for kids may teach children the basics of maneuvering around a pool with skill, not all focus on the hazards that may be found in and around the pool itself. Slippery floors and ladders could cause falls resulting in head injuries. It’s important that everyone knows that while pools are a fun place to hang out, it is important to be cautious for the sake of the other swimmers. Walking and entering the pool slowly can go a long way to improve safety.

Another particularly dangerous hazard is the pool drain. The suction caused by the device can be so strong that a person can be pulled under the water and unable to return to the surface. This is much more common in children than in adults. Lifeguards at public pools are usually trained to recognize this event, but it’s still important to keep an eye on your child. If you have a pool at home, make sure that children cannot access it unsupervised.

Disease Outbreaks

There is a commonly held, but incorrect belief that “chlorine kills everything.” As a result, pools are sometimes seen as the cleanest place around. Unfortunately, chlorine cannot kill off every single pathogen that ends up in the water, and the pool’s filtration system may not get rid of it quickly enough.

It’s possible to be infected by E. coli by spending time in pools that are not cleaned as much as they should. To prevent you are anyone from your family getting sick in a pool:

  • Avoid drinking pool water
  • Shower before and after swimming
  • Do not urinate in a pool, and report anyone who does to a lifeguard

In addition, consider attending or enrolling your children in swimming programs at pools that supplement chlorine with other disinfectants.

Overexertion

When kids are having fun, they’re reluctant to admit that they’re tired. Sometimes swimming seems less physically demanding than running or cycling, but it is a sport and sometimes you need to take a break. Swimmers who are too tired can become sloppy and lose their form. This puts them at risk for drowning. Swimmers should always have someone else watching them who can recommend when it’s time to take a break.

Despite the warnings above, swimming is a safe and fun activity. Just keep these points in mind and have a great summer!

For more information on swimming lessons for children, contact Zodiac Kids. Options are offered for children of all ages to become better swimmers.

The Social Impact of a Child’s Addiction to Gadgets

 

gadgets

Within the last decade, technology has become a primary part of everyone’s life. Not only in the communication sphere, but the rapid digital revolution has completely changed the educational and learning scenario.

However, one cannot deny the adverse impact of technology especially with our young people. Even children from 2-5 years of age are getting exposure to digital gadgets. Kids are spending vast amounts of time playing around video-games, watching TV and surfing devices. Texting, chatting and spending times in social media have taken up their recreational times. Children are alarmingly withdrawing from outdoor games and physical activities as they prefer to spend that time around a computer. The decline of social interaction is making them incapable of face-to-face communication, and also creates an emotional distance with friends and parents.

Addiction towards gadgets is giving rise to problems like sleeplessness, lack of concentration, anxiety and mood disorders. Continuous usage of gadgets and internet are snatching away the thinking capacity of a child. The inter-connectivity between childhood and imagination is a thing of the past now.

Nowadays, every dot of information is available in the internet and kids are left with little to imagine and fantasize. Continuous access to gadgets is eroding a child’s normal quest and curiosity and they are no longer seeking an elderly person’s guidance and knowledge. It can also be said that gadgets are eroding the inter-personal skills of a child and often they are irritated with the presence of another person during their time of surfing the gadgets. Another disadvantage is that digital gadgets are deterring the kids to indulge into their creative and artistic pursuits.

Though it is widely admitted fact that technical devices are meant for keeping closer connectivity among people, irrespective of geographical barriers, in reality it often brings about apathy among people and the worst sufferer are the kids.

One of the worst impact, the kids are facing as a result of technology addiction is Cyber bullying. Harassment, humiliation, threats have entered into the virtual world also. Infact sending degrading messages, pictures and videos have become simple, quick and immediate by means of the 24*7 online access.

The emotional and physical consequences of bullying on children are horrific; their self confidence and self esteem get lowered down. Many kids end up emotionally and psychologically distressed and some kids are even turning to fatal tendencies. Depression, anger, fears, shame are just a few of the many outcomes of cyber bullying and experiencing bullying in childhood proves to be a huge evil in course of a child’s normal growth potentiality.  

Therefore, it is needless to say that unregulated use of technology and gadgets by children can really take a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Parents must be aware of these problems and should try to keep their children away from the gadgets during their play days as much as possible. Taking them to summer day camps or a swimming school for kids will help divert their attention away from gadgets and the internet, enhance their skills, and make them more productive and responsible individuals.

In day camps, children will learn so many things while having fun at the same time. In a swimming school for kids, they will not only have fun but they will also acquire swimming skills that will help boost their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Lifeguarding: A Tough and Rewarding Job

Lifeguarding

The weather is warming up and everyone is preparing for the summer heat. The pools and beaches will be full of people seeking to cool off, which means that pool managers will be out looking to employ Lifeguards. This begs the question why should you as an individual offer to work in a pool or beach as a lifeguard?

Lifeguarding is one of those jobs that involves much risk and therefore has earned its place in the history books. Those who take on this job may not receive much as payment compared to other fields but, they are assured that what they do is respected. They are also well trained and certified to join a group of other celebrated heroes and heroines who offered these services before them. No hard work goes unrewarded and because of their service to helping humanity, the work done by lifeguards never goes unrecognized.

Some of the world’s greatest men and women were lifeguards. For example did you know the 40th US president Reagan Ronald was a lifeguard? Also Hollywood Actors Jack Nicholson and Jake Gyllenhaal, were lifeguards. These great men offered their time and lives to keep others safe.

As a lifeguard, you will learn skills that will help you and others later in life.  Swimming lessons in Toronto, kids are taught first Aid and CPR techniques. How would it feel if you just saved someone from drowning?  Saving lives is the joy of every lifeguard. If you are that person who likes talking to new people or if you are bored at home and are looking for a new challenge why not look into starting a lifeguard course this summer? This just may be the opportunity you are looking for.

Not only is it a rewarding job but you will also burn body calories and have a great workout as you help the youngsters train and swim along with the students. At swimming lessons in Toronto the lifeguards are actively involved in all pool activities such as helping those who don’t know how to swim move to safety areas such as shallow depths and help them train. This movement in water helps strengthen their body muscles and ligaments.

Zodiac Swim School is proud to offer National Lifeguard Society Courses (NLS) at their Swim school where many certified lifeguards have successfully graduated from and we thank them for their dedication and work they do each day to keep others safe.  

How Early Should You Send Your Child to Camp

Camp provides your child with enriching experiences that will build their self-confidence, communication skills and discover talents that they did not know. Before you enrol your child in a program, you must determine if they are ready for camp.

Some children have yet to reach a certain level of maturity for day camp. This results in bad experiences and anxiety throughout the camp. Your child may not want to return to camp because of these. You must consider the maturity level or age of your kid before you sign them up.

Determine the Maturity Level of Your Child

The ideal age to send children to summer camps for kids is around nine years old. At this age, most kids are mature enough to have some responsibilities such as bathing, dressing and taking care of their own things. However, some kids are independent enough to do these things on their own at an earlier age. Some children are mature already to go to camp as early as six or seven years old.

Determine how responsible your child is by observing the way he or she takes care of their things. Do they put them away after or just leave them wherever they play? If your child knows how to return things to where they should be, they are ready to participate in any summer camps for kids.

Is He or She Responsible and Independent Enough?

Some kids are not ready to be away from home for a long time, especially if their parents are nowhere in sight. These children tend to feel anxious about staying at day camp. They will not enjoy the experience because all they would think about is going home.

If your child is nervous whenever you are away for a long time, it is a clear sign that they are not ready to go to camp. They may need a bit more time to feel comfortable doing things on their own.

Is Your Child Ready for an Adventure?

It is difficult to determine how your child will react when you leave them for a long time. If they are comfortable with staying at a friend’s house for the whole day or at grandma’s, they are ready for summer camp.

Is your child curious about their environment? Do they like being outside the house? Are they sociable with other kids they just met? If your answer is yes to these questions, your child is confident and independent enough to participate in any summer camps for kids.

What are your child’s interests?

Identify the interests of your child to know if they will feel excited about going to camp. You have several options as to what type of program your child can enjoy. Show them some pictures or videos of the activities at camp. Take them to the facility to familiarize with their surroundings before the actual date. Some children like sports some prefer arts. Determine what piques your child’s curiosity so that they will have fun at summer camp.