Educate your children with summer fun

Juanjo Zabala

29 in June, 2016

Throughout the summer weeks, operators that manage leisure activities, either from voluntary work or from the professional field, expose their offer of activities so that children and young people can enjoy a busy summer. surprises Why do we have to decide? And what is it that can contribute to our children to participate?

The offer of leisure activities for school vacation periods has been growing more and more over the last fifteen years, until today it has a wide range that allows families to choose between proposals as different as a Sports campus in the city or a language stay in nature. The impulse in this regard has been generated mainly for two reasons: better regulation and professionalization of the sector and a growing need for families to take up children in non-school periods.
But what brings all this series of proposals in which our children can participate?
The relationship and coexistence between people continues to be one of the outstanding subjects of society. Interpersonal conflicts, whether in small or large groups, are present many times in the day to day, and we do not solve them because we lack tools of communication, respect and mutual tolerance.
The social sphere of the person
Leisure activities must actively contribute to making children learn strategies for a correct communication, understand the importance of knowing and respecting the reality of the other, and above all, becoming aware of the value of positive and respectful relationships .
Habitually, leisure activities program activities that allow work in this area of ​​the person. Collaborate with the group to achieve a milestone (help a magician, record ten baskets or find the path to the next point on the track game) makes each boy and girl feel part of the group and at the same time learn to evaluate the contributions of classmates.
At the same time, participation in the life of the group forces the individual to understand and respect small norms and operations that facilitate coexistence and maintain the right order. The use and order of the material, the displacement of facilities and the streets, the participation in different games and regulated activities, etc., are moments in which the child can learn the importance of agreeing to collective operations that , sometimes, prevail over individual desires.
Likewise, the context of a leisure activity is totally different from the school context, another moment of collective life of the child. While at school we are referring to it as a formal education space, leisure activities are part of the set of non-formal education proposals. The main difference is that while the school is a more institutionalized and graduated system, the esplais, escorts or campus are much more flexible formats in which children have the possibility to participate in more open and changing proposals. Both educational formats fulfill very important and complementary functions, because leisure centers (non-formal education) provide an educational context that is different from the school, the more attractive and, therefore, can generate more involvement and participation.
An important element in the socialization of the child should also be highlighted. Although there are some leisure activities that they do is give continuity to proposals that are developed throughout the course (this is the case of the esplais or district hearings), many other proposals are more specific and are carried out exclusively in Holiday periods (such as city hall stays or sports facilities campus). The boys and girls who participate in the latter make a break in the relationship they have with their usual group (the school, the football team, the coral ...) and integrate into a different one, where many times no other boy or girl knows. It is an effort to generate new relationships within a group of strangers, which forces them to get acquainted and discover new partners.
For this reason, leisure activities are great opportunities to establish relationships and ties with new friends, learn from them or them and question what the child works in their usual environments.
The work of values
All this collective work must contribute, in addition to the learning of habits and norms of relation, an approach to different positive values ​​that must help the child to build a more just, respectful and supportive personality. The list of values ​​that can be encompassed from leisure activities is enormous. These are worked from centers of interest, which are stories (most fantastic with the small and real ones with the big ones) around which the different proposals of the program revolve.
In addition, the same day-to-day life of the recreation, the sports campus, the colonies ... generates a multitude of coexistence situations in which a more or less important conflict is transformed into a great opportunity. Choose a game between the whole group and know how to refrain from leaving yours, sharing the material with a partner, be it scissors or a ball, do not cheat, share the attention of the monitor or monitor ... Solidarity, respect , the implication, the service, the collaboration, the initiative, the critic ... As we have said, the listing is inexhaustible.
And, of course, the more different the environment in which the leisure activity is developed in relation to the habitual environment of the child, the more experiences and opportunities it will bring. An English home in summer in the same school where classes are taught during the course generates fewer opportunities than the same house made in a colonial house where it lasts for two weeks.
In this sense, stays outside the city (in our case, outside of Barcelona) are the most enriching experiences of all. Although they are proposals that sometimes generate fear for families, over-protection of current parents, they are also the ones who have the most possibilities to offer different and totally enriching experiences for the child's education. Take care of the collective room, stop the table for the rest of the groups, prepare lunch, do a two-day trip sleeping on the floor, make the laundry dirty in the middle of the colonies, plant the shops and have - Keeping them standing for ten days ... It is undeniable that they are experiences only available to the children who participate in these activities and which, for those who live in them, become unforgettable memories.
Promote the autonomy of children
It is undeniable that the reconciliation of working life with the relative is, at present, a very difficult balance to maintain for couples with children. This difficult balance increasingly generates the need to "place" children in an activity organized during the holidays, so that they do not stay in their homes unattended. Given this, more and more families are aware that it should not be forgotten that this home, campus or stay is more than just a parking lot to place the boy or the girl, but instead end up becoming an enriching and unforgettable experience.
For this same awareness, it is important for parents to contribute to the training process. Constructive overprotective attitudes are not constructive, the only thing they do is prevent the boy or girl from being confronted with situations that create discomfort, while at the same time preventing them from developing procedures and strategies to solve them.

the author

Juanjo Zabala

Operational Director of the Claror Sardenya

Degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences (UI1). Diploma in Teaching in Physical Education (URLL). Master's Degree in Economic Management of Sports Centers (UB).

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