Why You Should Enroll Your Infant or Toddler in Summer Camp

by Lee Scott, Goddard School Educational Advisory Board Member
Two girls smiling on playground

It is summer camp planning time, and many parents of children who are three years old and older are beginning to explore their options. As parents review what best for their children this year, they will be looking for lower teacher-student ratios, good health and safety practices and camps that include lots of learning experiences to help children catch up on what they may have missed in the past school year. What about infants and toddlers? Will a summer program be good for them as well? The answer is yes, especially if your children have been at home for a long while, and here are a few reasons why.  

Value of Early Experiences

Summer may be the perfect time to get your infant or toddler started in a program. There will be plenty of outdoor activities as well as opportunities to play with others. Research has revealed that children are beginning to learn about their world in sophisticated ways, even during infancy. Enriching experiences in the early years will support your child’s social and intellectual development.  

Impact on Social Skills

Young children learn a great deal in social interactions. Socialization impacts problem-solving skills, language development, communication skills, self-regulation skills and many more. Through their dramatic play alongside and with others, they learn about the world around them. While sharing and being a toddler don’t always go hand in hand, they can develop a sense of how to get along with others through these interactions.  

Advantages of a Language-Rich Environment

Language development begins at birth, and the early stages of connecting with others start long before little ones can speak. Recent research has shown us that infants’ and toddlers’ brains are complicated. They can reason, draw conclusions and read emotions on faces, for example. Summer programs are language-rich environments that can support children’s cognitive and language development.  

Benefits to a Child’s Health

Summer programs include a significant amount of playful outdoor learning, which has long-term benefits for children’s health. The exploratory activities in outdoor play support gross motor skills (balance, coordination and agility) and impact muscle strength and heart health. Children will also have opportunities to develop their senses of sight, hearing, touch and smell through discovering nature.  

Explore programs that will work for you and your little one. You will both enjoy the experience. 

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