Summer camps vs free play: What’s right for your child?

Summer camps vs free play: What’s right for your child? Cover Image

Summer camps or free play all through summer? Which would you choose? We look at both sides of the argument in this article.

So it’s summer time. The exams are over for the older kids and schools are shut all across the city as the children settle down for a wonderful, relaxed, two-month-long vacation. It’s time to hunt for the summer camps in town that will engage the kids. Or is it?

Things have changed rather drastically from the time that we were kids, haven’t they? When I grew up, my extended family of cousins all lived within walking distance of each others’ homes. So we’d be spending it all with one another or soaking up the pampering from our grandparents as they plied us with enough treats to keep us happy all summer long.

Today, most of us live in nuclear families, in tiny pockets of existence, far removed from close cousins and siblings. The current generation of kids is also more familiar with the idea of both parents working full-time. Let’s look at both sides of the coin and see what comes up.

Why summer camps?

It’s structured

You don’t have to worry about creating special activities for your kids on a daily basis. All camps these days come with a complete programme and schedule that can be seen in advance.

The variety

Have a kid who likes Nature camps? Or perhaps your daughter prefers Robotics? Our Summer Camp Guide alone lists over 500 camps in over 12 categories across many locations in the city. You’re guaranteed to find something that will work for you.

The boon for parents

Here’s the thing. Vacations are for kids. Parents don’t get time off. If you’re working- full-time, flexi-time, part-time, from home – you’re going to have to do that all summer long as well. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you know you need a break, even if it means just a couple of hours off. And you don’t have the luxury of taking a two-month vacation like your kids do. As much as you’d like to keep the children engaged for a long time, it’s pretty obvious that you’d run out of ideas too soon.

Why free play?

It’s flexible

That’s right. You don’t have to stick to a schedule, if you don’t want to. Feel like taking the kids for a swim one day and a Nature walk the next? Mix it up and have fun. It’s lovely to see where things can take you.

The variety

As you can tell, this is a common factor across both summer camps and free play. Kids have excellent potential for free play and exploration. This just gives them the impetus to take it further.

Time with your kids

Work can be taxing – whatever the form it takes and sometimes you just need a break from it all. What better way to unwind than with child-like and imaginative play time? Unwind with the children as they read books, quill artistic fare, go on a picnic, take a dip in the pool and watch movies together.

Would you prefer that a child be engaged meaningfully through the structured world of summer camps? We have those for you. Check out our Summer Camp Guide, 2016.

Or would you rather that the child explores the idea of free play and relaxation all summer long? We have something for you as well. Here are more than 60 days, 60 things to do with your kids this summer during the vacation.

Here at BuzzingBubs, we believe in the idea that there isn’t one size that fits all. As with everything, it ultimately depends on you, your children and your comfort. Do what works best for you.

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