For most kids, summer vacation is a long-awaited break when they can finally kick back, sleep in and watch endless of amounts of television. However, the “dream” summer vacation may actually become quite boring after the first week. Unfortunately, research shows that students’ learning trajectories often start to slide during summer vacation — a phenomenon commonly referred to as “summer learning loss.”
To help prevent “the summer slide,” parents can choose from an array of local summer camps and activities to keep children engaged and active. Whether your child is interested in theatre or music, sports or the sciences, each activity has a broader impact on development and learning abilities.
Arts and Music
Musical training has been shown to help children develop greater cognitive skills, achieve higher grades in school and boost creativity. This summer might be the perfect opportunity to sign your child up for an art-inspired camp.
Camp Broadway: Camp Broadway’s Original Summer program enables children to develop their confidence, character and presentation skills through ensemble performance and instruction in signing, acting and dancing by trained Broadway professionals.
Hippodrome Summer Spectacular Theatre Camps: The Hippodrome Theatre’s education program is designed to cultivate an appreciation of theatre and the arts. Throughout the camp sessions, children work on all aspects of a play’s creation in preparation for a public performance the final week.
Youth Ensemble: 5 – 6
Junior Ensemble: 7-12
Teen Ensemble: 13 -17
Contact: 352-373-5968 ext. 229 or thehipp.org
Science and Exploration
The goal of science education and exploration is to develop children’s innate curiosity about the world. Will a hard-boiled egg actually pop into a bottle without breaking when the bottle is heated? With one of the top research universities located within driving distance, Gainesville residents and their children can find out.
Florida Museum of Natural History Summer Camps: Your child can spend the day at the museum — a selection of classes allows children to investigate natural history through activities and hands-on exploration.
Ages: Grades 1 – 6
Contact: 352-273-2061 or http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/
Cade Museum Summer Classes: Children will learn about innovation and expand their creativity during summer programs and creativity labs at the area’s newest museum.
Ages: 6 and up
O2B Kids Summer Camp: A variety of weekly themes allow children to engage in science, dance, art, singing, writing, sports, field trips and constant play with their friends throughout the whole summer.
Ages: Incoming first- through eighth-graders.
Physical Activity and Sports
Children who are involved in sports and movement-based activities develop better motor coordination and improve their overall cognitive function, so check out the variety of opportunities to keep your child active all summer long.
Sun Country FunFest Summer Camp: Sun Country’s climate-controlled sports facility features six separate gyms, indoor playgrounds, an indoor rock-climbing wall and more to keep your child engaged this summer.,
Ages: 3 – 15
Contact: 352-331-8773 or www.suncountrysports.com
Gainesville Health & Fitness: Gainesville Health & Fitness will be offering free teen memberships all summer.
Ages: 13 – 17
Pro Marital Arts: Pro Martial Arts teaches children that character is the cornerstone of success through their karate training and education programs that emphasize anti-bullying and self-protection strategies.
Contact: 352-491-2527 or http://www.promartialarts.com/gainesville/
University of Florida Sports Camps: The University of Florida offers a variety of sport-specific camps for training and overall skills improvement.
Contact: Check www.gatorzone.com/camps for upcoming camps and information.