In the zoo world, we spend a great deal of time thinking about animal enrichment – toys and treats to keep our animals physically and intellectually stimulated and using natural behaviors. While you might not make a puzzle feeder for your child, searching for enriching out-of-school experiences is just as important. Numerous studies have shown that summertime can be a huge roadblock to a student’s progress. Knowledge and skills can be lost over the summer break and put students at a disadvantage when they return to school in the fall.
While downtime – and time to play and be a “kid” – is extremely important for your child’s development, continuing to provide educational opportunities over the summer can be a valuable tool in your parenting arsenal to help set your child up for success in the classroom. While things like television and video games are entertaining – and great in moderation – they’re no substitute for real-world experiences. And sending your child to education-based summer camps like Tanganyika’s Safari Camps are a great way to keep your child immersed in an education-based environment, encourage their creative talents, and provide them with unique experiences and memories.
Each week of Safari Camp features a different theme with an emphasis on science-based education. Don’t get me wrong – we have a TON of fun at camp. Each day’s activities include plenty of time for games and free play, but the majority of our day has an educational focus. With Park Tours, in-classroom animal visitors, science experiments, group projects, and cooperative learning games, we thoroughly explore our class topic each week. While camp may not have the structure of a traditional classroom, our focus on learning and exploring the natural world helps keep your child’s mind engaged throughout the summer.
In addition to exercising your child’s intellect, Safari Camp also gives campers a chance to unleash their creative side. Daily craft projects provide a tangible takeaway from the day’s activities, but they also give campers a chance to work on their motor skills, which can also atrophy from lack of use over the summer. Additionally, each week, campers work on a “movie trailer” where they are tasked with choosing their characters, creating costumes, and acting out their part for the camera, giving them a way to explore their creative side in a way not often seen in the traditional classroom
Not only will summer camp experiences impart knowledge – after all, knowing the difference between herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores is important! – but our campers also take home memories that will last a lifetime. The experience of petting a ball python or feeding a giraffe is one that will help connect them to the natural world in a unique and exciting way. Plus, you never know what experience might be the “spark” that helps your little critter figure out what they want to be when they grow up. Even if our campers don’t remember a single fact they learned during the week, they will remember riding Charlie the camel or watching Audrey and Charlotte, the otters, high five their keeper during their demo.
Summertime should be about fun – barbeques, hanging out in the pool, sleepovers, and camping trips all provide valuable life experience for your child. But by adding a little learning into the mix, you can make a huge difference in your child’s academic progress and let them explore and get wildly connected to this awesome world that we live in. Safari Camp enrollment is open now for elementary students. Head to our website to learn more!