Today we wrapped up 10 fun-filled weeks of our popular summer camp. Every week was a new adventure for our campers, with weekly themes including Animals, Pirates, Ocean, Summer, Camping, Circus, Space is the Place, Superheroes, Olympics and Back to School/All About Me.
Our campers’ daily routine included free play, language activities, sensory exploration, movement, interactive art, and snack. “The use of a daily routine gives children the sense of security to investigate their world,” said our Camp Coordinator, Melissa Izquierdo. “This, in turn, opens the door to exciting learning opportunities.”
Fun With Themes
Our weekly themes helped engage and motivate our campers to learn language, sensory regulation, and social skills—all while having a really good time. During “Space is the Place” week, we focused on language development using space-themed books and interactive art projects. Activities like discovering moon sand, digging astronauts out of sand and rice and beans, swinging into outer space, and jumping on the moon focused on sensory exploration and regulation.
Our themes also carried over to home. For one parent, Karina, whose five-year old son attended ICT camp for the third time, the Olympics theme opened up a new opportunity for social learning and language development at home. “My son got excited about the Olympics theme,” Karina said. “We had more social interaction at home because he wanted to talk about the Olympics activities at camp.” Karina says that they also watched Olympic swimming together. “It gave us an opportunity to talk about new things.”
Karina also used a camp activity at home to help her son with sensory integration and fine motor skills. “After he did it at camp, I froze toys in ice at home and he worked to pick them out.” The reward at the end, she said, made it a motivating and fun sensory activity.
Emphasis on Social and Emotional Development in a Nurturing Environment
One of the hallmarks of our practice is our focus on social and emotional development. Kids learn so much through interacting with friends. We know that making friends can be tough for kids with developmental delays, so we emphasize teaching social and emotional skills in every intervention we offer. Our camp is the ideal setting for this learning, because the kids are together in small groups and our therapists have countless opportunities to help our campers socialize.
Karina’s son, who is on the autism spectrum, struggled with back-and-forth banter, interpersonal boundaries, and making friends. Karina said that he made strides by the end of the summer. “I noticed that he came out of his shell,” she said. “Now he has an easier time initiating conversation with other kids; he knows how to ask a question, listen, and respond.” Karina said that she credits ICT camp with helping her son become more aware of himself and how his behavior relates to others.
We thank our staff, parents, and especially our campers—all of whom helped us have another successful and fun summer!
You can find out more about our winter, spring and summer camps here, and as always we’re available to answer your questions so please don’t hesitate to give us a call.