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The Benefits of Structure over the Summer Months for Mental Wellbeing

KIS one student looking at laptop and students playing basketball

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you but how do we encourage these healthy habits for our kids especially in an age where ever-evolving technology is constantly distracting them?

Summer break often means freedom and relaxation, but for some kids it can also lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety due to unstructured days, loneliness and the temptation to spend too much time absorbed in what others are doing on social media, ultimately leading to depression. Planned physical activities, new learning opportunities and structured play provide a much needed break from technology. Never under estimate the power of unplugging our kids…and for parents too.

We all know physical exercise is one of the recommendations to combat mental health conditions and summer camps can provide a perfect opportunity to provide a structured environment through planned activities. Camps can also be a good opportunity to meet other students, in other schools, outside of the normal class group settings. Having a wide varied friendship group can be beneficial especially if the mental health concerns are related to social groups.

Girl on her mobile phone

Combating Loneliness: The Power of Connection

During school breaks, children miss regular interactions with their peers and as much as our kids moan about their highly structured day, without a regular routine it’s so easy to fall into bad habits. According to the American Camp Association (ACA), camp-like environments enhance social skills and happiness by fostering new friendships, participating in group activities and connecting with others. These social connections are vital for reducing feelings of loneliness and improving overall mental well-being. That being said, many families choose the long summer holidays to travel overseas and connect with families, but there are also families with working parents who stay in Bangkok and families just arriving in Bangkok and this is where camps can be of huge benefit to help them combat loneliness.

group of kids happy & hugging each other outside

Building Confidence Through Learning New Skills

Summer holidays are an ideal time to explore new activities and develop new skills. Whether learning a new sport, mastering a musical instrument, or engaging in creative arts, these experiences help children achieve new milestones and discover new interests. This sense of accomplishment boosts their confidence, which is crucial for positive mental health.

Benefits of Physical Activity

Lucas Rivera, the Athletics & Activities Director at KIS International School emphasizes the importance of physical activity, stating, “Engaging in physical activities is crucial for students. Research has shown that active students tend to achieve better academic outcomes and develop stronger social and emotional skills. This holistic approach to education prepares them for lifelong success.” Physical activity not only keeps children fit but also supports their academic and emotional growth.

Boys playing tug of war

Academic Enrichment to reduce the “summer slide”

The “summer slide,” is a decline in academic skills during school holidays, it’s a common concern amongst parents. Summer camps with educational components offer a fun and engaging way to continue learning, helping to prevent this decline. Camps that introduce new subjects can ignite a love of learning and keep children’s minds active during the school break. We are not advocating putting kids into camps all summer long, they also need time to relax, unwind and just be bored, but a camp mixed into their holidays schedule can reignite learning so their ‘brain is not asleep’ for when they return to school as may parents and teachers witness!

By providing opportunities for social connection, skill development, stress reduction, and continued learning, summer camps play a vital role in promoting positive mental well-being.

2 girls reading in a field at a summer camp

For more information on summer camp programs at KIS International School Bangkok, visit https://www.kis.ac.th/summer-camp. 

KIS International School Bangkok offers exciting day camps this year for children aged from 3 to 18, with programs ranging from 3 days to 3 weeks.

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