School’s out and many parents have their kids enrolled in summer camps and programs to keep them active and away from excessive TV watching and iPad surfing. As a parent, how do you know if your child is reaping the physical and developmental benefits that children’s programs offer? Ultimately, you want to ensure that they are having a positive experience in their program.
“We have evidence that when kids are exposed to positive experiences through HIGH FIVE driven programming, it has benefits immediately and long term to provide them with a resilient, caring and healthy approach to life,”said LJ Bartle, Director of HIGH FIVE® Canada.
Below are some ways to ensure that your child is benefiting from the summer program or camp they are enrolled in:
Is the instructor qualified? – Many camps and children’s programs are led by volunteers, part-time and seasonal instructors. While many are great leaders, even full-time staff might not be qualified in working with children. Look into if the organization requires or provides instructors with training such as First Aid and HIGH FIVE. A HIGH FIVE trained instructor will intentionally design activities so your child is developing and participating appropriately. Find an organization near you that uses HIGH FIVE at HIGHFIVE.org/Parents.
Ask your child the right questions – Questions as simple as “What is your instructor/leader’s name?” and “Does the instructor/leader know your name?” can give insight into how engaged your child is in a program and if they are participating in activities. Asking your child to name other children in their group gives insight into whether or not they are making friends and having fun with their peers.
Check if your child appears motivated – If your child seems bored or overly frustrated, there could be an issue with the skill level of the program. Boredom is usually a result of a skill level being too easy. For example, your child may be enrolled in a sport or arts camp where they are at a more advanced level than their peers and they are not being challenged. On the flip side, if your child always seems frustrated it could be because they are being pushed well beyond their skill level. Your child’s instructor should be able to identify your child’s skill level and ensure that they are participating in appropriate activities that motivate them.
For more ways to review your child’s program, and for additional questions for your child, please visit HIGHFIVE.org/Parents.
About HIGH FIVE:
HIGH FIVE is Canada’s comprehensive quality standard for children’s programs founded by Parks and Recreation Ontario in 2001. HIGH FIVE holds true to the following five Principles of healthy child development that our research indicates are essential for providing a positive experience for kids: A Caring Adult, Friends, Play, Mastery and Participation. The HIGH FIVE quality framework consists of Training and Development, Program Assessments, Policies and Procedures, and Awareness. For more information, please visit www.HIGHFIVE.org.