I have two inquisitive little boys, ages five and seven, who are already “over” the novelty of the typical summer camp experience.
Their less-than-stellar ratings of the generic camps where they swim, play sports, outdoor games and such, have been due to the fact that there are always too many kids, and that the camp instructors lack enthusiasm.
The high-school-aged instructors’ faces usually exhibit very clearly that they would rather be anywhere else in the world, if only they weren’t stuck babysitting a bunch of littles all day.
So, for this summer break, we’re trying something a little different.
A culture-focused camp featuring music, food, dancing and art!
The kids will be with a smaller group of children, and led by instructors who actually have a passion for the subject matter!
While there, we made a visit to the beautiful Italian Club where the boys roamed around and enjoyed checking out the intriguing Italian artifacts on exhibit.
I pulled up the club’s website on my i-Phone to find out if they offer any children’s programs and learned that they host a summer camp called Campo Italiano!
Check out this super fun curriculum:
Music: O Sole Mio, C’e La Luna, and other authentic Italian favorites.
Language: Animals, actions words, household items, and time. Professor Toto will be used as a learning tool.
Storytelling: Pinocchio, Strega Nonna Zoe Sophia, An Adventure in Venice, Tony’s Bread, Old Befana.
Traditions: sports, A visit from “Christopher Columbus”, games (Scope and Tombola), holidays in Italy, and Andiamo in America.
Cooking: Italian Pacatini, sphingi, arrancini, Italian soda, and guest Chef Waylon and a surprise lesson.
Arts and Crafts: crochet, mosiac picture frames, Venetian Masks, and stained glass.
According to the director, the lessons are designed to be fun and educational emphasizing Italian vocabulary and customs.
This is a great (and affordable) way to help develop a child’s appreciation for other cultures’ languages, history, arts and traditions.
To find programs like this near you, start by looking into local chapters of cultural organizations to see if they offer any educational classes and/or camps.
Below are links to some of the many summer camp programs I found online:
The Main Line Chinese Culture Center just outside Philidelphia, Pennsylvania offers camp curriculum on Chinese-American culture with a focus on developing productive future relationships with the people of China.
The camp is designed to broaden the children’s understanding and appreciation for Chinese language, culture, history, arts and customs.
If it’s French summer camps you’re looking for, check to see if your local chapter of L’Alliance Française offers one. L’Alliance Française de Chicago offers this wonderful camp.
Also, look to your local university language departments for language & culture-themed summer camps.
And this German-themed summer camp sponsored by University of Arizona.
Do you have tips on finding fun and engaging summertime experiences for your global kids?
Please share your ideas in the comments section.