Spring has sprung, summer is right around the corner, and so begins the mad dash to register for summer camps, classes, and everything in between to keep our little ones busy! While for most families camp is a necessity either due to parental work schedules or as a sanity saver or, let’s be honest, both, it actually plays many important roles in the lives of the campers. Camp is a place where children can develop independence and confidence in their ability to do many different things. Children are given the opportunity both to learn that this world is made up of different kinds of people and to make friends with others they might not typically encounter in their communities. Camp provides children with opportunities to try new things, explore a variety of topics, discover their interests, and do things they don’t get to do anywhere else in a fun, non-traditional learning environment.
Summer camp is also an opportunity to keep those developing brains active! Studies have shown that children who participate in some type of summer enrichment activities are more likely to graduate from college. While this is an important finding, the most important thing about summer learning is that it’s fun. It offers our young ones chances to experience education and learning in a completely different manner, for the sheer joy of doing it. They are exploring and experimenting with things purely because they are curious, not because they are going to be graded. This alone is one of the most valuable tools we can give children. A toolbox complete with curiosity, initiative, and persistence will take any child anywhere they set their mind on going.
This summer everyone is buzzing about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) camps, and I would say that this is long overdue. If we want our children to grow into adults interested in pursuing these fields, then we need to give them opportunities to have fun exploring these roles in their early years. Play is simply the best way to inspire children to become interested in learning about STEM. Who doesn’t want a chance to experiment and investigate with materials while learning STEM concepts and being challenged to actively, creatively, and cooperatively solve problems, or in other words, spend the day being an engineer?
Get your children excited about going back to school to further their learning in the areas of STEM and beyond this summer at DCM. Every summer the Museum becomes a campground of exploration, discovery, and adventure. We offer a variety of programs that give children ages 3 -12 years opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math in a fun, hands-on environment.