Camps Give Children Opportunities to Explore New Skills, Build Self-Confidence

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By Jessa McClure
The summer months are coming and if you’re worried that your kids will soon be looking to you to provide entertainment and stimulation when they are “so bored,” then a summer camp might be just the solution. Whether that means a week-long day camp or several weeks of sleepaway camp, there are numerous opportunities to spice up your child’s summer vacation with exciting opportunities.

For Musicians in the Making

There are so many reasons to expose your children to music at an early age. Not only are children who play a musical instrument more likely to have improved cognitive ability and memory skills, but being involved with music also boosts confidence and improves social skills. So, when should you start? You can start as soon as your child is born if you choose something like Musical Minds, LLC presents Kindermusik with Kathleen Cole. Not only is the Kindermusik program world-renowned, but it helps give children a multi-sensory experience that will help promote brain development and improve physical and social skills. Children will develop these skills and find their musical abilities through dancing, singing and listening to classical music. Parents will also enjoy being able to connect with other families of young children. But if you’re looking for more formal music lessons, then try some of the opportunities available at the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio, Jensen’s Yamaha Music School or Music Masters Summer Camps. Your child can learn everything from the violin to the piano to the guitar through private lessons or groups classes. And if your child would rather bang on drums than learn a classical instrument, then the camps at For the Love of Drums might be a good fit. “During our camps, the children will get an introduction to the drum set and different percussion instruments,” said For the Love of Drums owner, Monica Castanares. “But it’s not just a lecture. It’s an interactive jam session.”

For Young Performers

Does your child have a flair for the dramatic or aspire to be the next Broadway or movie star? The summer months are a great time to get involved with programs that promote the skills necessary to be successful in the theater world.
Not only will your child get a great chance to make new friends and learn how to perform on stage at places like the
Magik Theatre, Showstoppers Academy, Camp Broadway and Woodlawn Academy of the Performing Arts, but they will also build their confidence and find their voice. “If a child or teenager is interested in performing, they will get all of the experience and coaching they could ever want, but the camps are also great for kids who aren’t thinking about a career on Broadway,” said Magik Theatre marketing manager, Beth Graham. “[The camps] help develop self-esteem and promote teamwork.”

 

 

For Little Swimmers

Taking a dip in the pool during those oppressively hot summer months is a great way to cool off. But learning to swim and knowing what to do in a water emergency is more important than you might think. Drowning is the second most common cause of death from injuries among kids under the age of 14, according to kidshealth.org. Children who know how to swim are less likely to be victims of drowning. If you want your child to be equipped with the skills that might save his or her life or the life of someone else, then you can sign up for swimming lessons at Green Tree Tennis and Swim Lessons, Love to Swim and Tumble School, Martin Swim School or the YMCA of San Antonio to name a few.

 

For Athletes

While team sports opportunities are more plentiful during the school year, there are not always numerous during the summer months. This might be a great time to try something new with your athletic child. Something like martial arts could not only give them the chance to work out their muscles and learn a new skill, but research has showed that children who participate in martial arts have better self-control, patience and discipline. You could try this ancient art at any of these, and many other, locations: Pro Martial Arts Karate, Studio Martial Arts or Victory Martial Arts. And if your child wants an athletic challenge that makes them feel as though they’ve stepped into one of their video games, then try a fencing camp at Olympian Fencing Club. “When parents hear ‘playing with swords’ they think it’s a dangerous sport,” said club owner, Velizar Iliev said. “But it’s actually one of the safest sports.”

 

For Techy Kids

If your child would rather build their own video game than be a part of it, then they might enjoy some of the technology-based camps and opportunities in the area. With camps like Camp Invention, Bits Bytes & Bots Computer Adventures, and Venturelab, kids can learn the ins and outs of their favorite technological devices, discover the world of science, build robots and even create and promote their own product. “In our Startup camps, participants go through the steps of entrepreneurship—brainstorming, market research, building a prototype,” said Venturelab director of programs, Nick Honegger. “The final day of camp they have a pitch day and we bring in the parents, and the kids actually get to sell their products.”

 

For Kids Who Want to Jump

If you’d rather not commit to a camp experience or weeks-long classes, but you still want to give your child some summer fun, then consider taking them to one of the many jump places in town. Not only are they colorful, kid-friendly and light on the wallet, but they will also help your child expend some energy. Some of the jump places in the area include Altitude Trampoline Park, Pump it Up, Flipz and Thin Air Park.

Whether your child is interested in finding their inner athlete, their inner musician or just wants to make new friends, there’s an opportunity to explore these interests through formal camps and kid-friendly locations all over the city. So, hop on the internet and see what is available locally this summer.

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