Camp News

Happy kids doing arts and crafts togetherHow Art and Creativity Aid Your Child’s Development

Art and creativity play a significant role in your child’s early development. Many children use art as a form of expression, with various types of art revealing children’s thoughts, interests, and feelings. In fact, many children communicate ideas through dance and bodily expression. If parents learn how to interpret their child’s artistic language, they can glimmer into their child’s inner world.

While art and creativity are beneficial to children at any age, early childhood is the most advantageous stage to teach artistic disciplines. Studies show that participating in creative and artistic activities when children are young helps them learn other subjects like math and reading. Children also easily retain information when they’re young as their brain soaks up new information like sponges. That’s why at Frogbridge Day Camp, we focus on including a variety of creative and artistic activities for children starting at age three.

Literature Enhances Children’s Cognitive Skills

Learning to love reading as an adult isn’t easy. Most adults who enjoy reading every day usually read often as a child. There are few experiences in the world that are so enriching as reading to your children. When you read stories to your child, it enhances many cognitive skills, such as:

  • Language
  • Imagination
  • Memory

Books and stories can transport a young mind to a new world, so reading feels more fun than a chore. As a parent, if you share stories with your child from a young age, combining books into their free time when they’re older will be much easier. Your child will no doubt learn how to read at school, but they must also read at home for this ability to truly develop.

Painting & Drawing Develops a Child’s Personality

Learning how to paint and draw at a young age plays a significant role in a child’s maturity and personality development. These tasks advance excellent motor skills, creativity, reading, writing, and self-esteem. Many children express their emotions and how they’re feeling through their paintings and drawings before they speak about them.

To inspire your child’s inherent creativity, allow your child opportunities at home to paint and draw. Whether your child leans toward paints, clays, or crayons, provide the necessary materials so they can let their imagination run free. To create outside the box, let your child play with materials other than paper, like cardboard, canvases, chalkboards, or even chalk on the outdoor sidewalk!

Theatre Teaches Important Values

When children are involved in theatre, they use their imagination to put themselves in another character’s shoes. It helps them think about how others might feel in experiences vastly different from their own, teaching children respect, empathy, and open-mindedness. Bodily expression and social interaction found in theatre help children learn to carry themselves with confidence as they grow.

At Frogbridge Day Camp, children can participate in a variety of performing arts activities that includes a show unlike any other through our TheatreWorks program. Letting children’s imaginations soar using bodily expression in theatre helps children express themselves. Maria Montessori, the famous philosopher and educator, has noted:

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”

Explore Creative & Performing Arts at Frogbridge Day Camp

At Frogbridge Day Camp, we focus on fostering children’s artistic and creative sides with a variety of creative and performing arts, like painting, ceramics, arts & crafts, drama, and more. We invite you to discover all the educational, fun, and exciting activities we offer children young and old alike by visiting and seeing for yourself the Frogbridge Difference. We offer daily personal tours throughout the year! Complete an online contact form or call our office at (609) 438-8275 to schedule yours today!

young boy works on a PCPros and Cons of Limiting Screen Time for Your Kids

We all do our best to limit the amount of screen time our kids have. The Mayo Clinic suggests that children under the age of 2 should have no screen time, children between 2 and 12 can have an hour of screen time a day, and teens and young adults can have up to two hours. Many parents, however, wonder about the benefits of limiting kids’ screen time. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of restricting screen time for your children.

Pro: Children Will Have Time for Other Activities

By placing a strict limit on how much time your kids can spend on screens, they’ll have plenty of time for other activities such as reading and exercising. Children should spend less time glued to their screens and more time outdoors playing with friends.

Con: Kids Need Screen Time for School

This is especially true now, with most kids learning remotely. They have to be online for their education, so try not to hold their school screen time against their personal time. Whenever they have a break, such as for lunch or recess, turn off the computer and read or go for a walk.

Pro: Good Eyes and Fewer Headaches

Staring at a screen for too long can have negative effects on our eyesight. After a few hours of mindless scrolling, we may start squinting or feeling headaches. Chances are your kids will feel better and have healthier eyes by limiting screen time.

Con: Jealousy of Older Siblings

As kids age, it becomes harder to limit their screen time, especially for teenagers. But giving free reign to your teens and limiting tech time for your younger ones could cause kids to be jealous of their older siblings. If you start to see them become angry, talk to them and explain how you want them to have enough time in the day to play outside and be with friends.

Pro: Awareness of Their Surroundings

It’s tempting to scroll through Twitter or read text messages while waiting in line at the grocery store or for your food to be ready, but if you’re not paying enough attention, you may not know what’s happening around you. Limiting screen time for kids will get them in the habit of being more aware of their surroundings, thus protecting their safety.

Con: The Internet Is Great for Learning

While it’s not great to spend your entire day looking at a screen, the internet is a fantastic learning opportunity for your children. Kids can play learning development games that teach them math, English, science, or other languages. By limiting their screen time, you might be limiting their ability to learn.

Steps to Take When Allowing Screen Time

While screen time in moderation can be beneficial, there are steps you must take to ensure your child is safe both from both strangers on the internet and vision strain from the screen itself. Some of these steps include:

  • Avoiding screens at night: Blue light from smartphones and tablets affects how our body produces melatonin, the hormone that makes us tired. Too much screen time at night can see your child up for hours past their bedtime.
  • Supervising your children: There’s content on the internet and app stores that’s not appropriate for children, which is why it’s always important to keep an eye on their search history. You should also set a password so your children can’t download every app they see.

Partaking in a few of these simple steps can significantly increase your child’s safety and well-being when it comes to screen time.

Turn Off the Screens at Frogbridge Day Camp

After an abnormal year filled with screen time as a result of remote learning, put the phones, laptops, and tablets away and sign your kids up for a summer at Frogbridge Day Camp! Across our 86 acres, campers can enjoy various outdoor activities like fishing, archery, and swimming.

If you’ve never experienced the wonders of our camp, we encourage you to book a private tour. We’re following all proper government guidelines, including social distancing and requiring face coverings when visiting our camp. Call (609) 795-7209 or complete a contact form to schedule your tour today!

AdobeStock 236056544Fun Ways to Celebrate the New Year with Your Kids

If you have kids, you’re likely not celebrating the New Year at bars and clubs anymore. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have just as much fun, or even more fun, celebrating with your family. From having dinner together to making a fort, the fun ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve are endless. Here are some of our favorite, kid-friendly ways to celebrate.

Decorate Your House

With a quick trip to the party store, you can transform your house into party central. Blow up balloons, get New Year’s top hats, headbands, and party glasses that read 2021! Party crackers and poppers are also a great way to add to the festivities.

Have a Special Dinner

Just like you would on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving, have a special dinner with your family. But instead of ham or turkey, ask your kids what their favorite meal of the year is. Chances are you’ll be making chicken nuggets or mac and cheese, but eating your favorite meal is a great way to cap off the year.

Make Resolutions

A few days before December 31, sit down with your kids and ask them what they want to accomplish next year. This could be anything from reading more to helping out around the house. Throughout the year, check in with them to keep track of their resolution. At the end of the year, whoever made the most progress can get a small reward like extra dessert or staying up late.

Countdown to the New Year Early

If you’re worried your kids can’t make it to midnight or will get too cranky if they stay up late, do the countdown before midnight. If you search “ New Year’s countdown” on YouTube, thousands of videos will pop up. Netflix even offers a countdown with cartoon characters your kids will love.

Watch Fireworks

No New Year’s Eve celebration is complete without fireworks. If your kids can make it to midnight, head outside. There’s sure to be someone in your neighborhood setting off fireworks to celebrate. Sparklers are a fun way to get your kids in on the fun, too. You can also search New Year’s firework displays on YouTube from all over the world. Some of the best come from Sydney, London, and New York City.

Make a Fort

If you think you’re too old to enjoy building a blanket and pillow fort, you’re mistaken. Making one with your kids brings out your inner child—plus you’ll have no issue getting them to sleep that night. They’ll most likely fall asleep in it long before it’s bedtime.

Host a Virtual Party

You’ll most likely be ringing in the new year at home with just your immediate family. You could also host a virtual party on Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. A virtual party will keep everyone safe, and it still allows you to start the new year with the people you love.

Play Games

Board games are a perfect way to pass the time. Games like Monopoly and Scrabble take hours and are perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Just make sure you’re not having too much fun that you miss the countdown.

Sign Your Kids Up for Frogbridge Day Camp

While you’re ringing in the new year, sign your kids up for a summer day camp in Central NJ at Frogbridge Day Camp. Across our 86 acres, our campers enjoy various outdoor activities like fishing, archery, and swimming. If you’ve never experienced the wonders of Frogbridge Day Camp, we invite you to book a private tour for you and your family to explore our facilities. We would love to host your children at our beautiful camp this summer. To learn more about our facilities, call (609) 208-9050 or register your child for camp online.

AdobeStock 219986522Five Holiday Gifts Kids Can Make from Home

There’s nothing more meaningful than a homemade gift, especially when it comes from a kid. The joy and excitement kids feel when they can contribute to holiday gift-giving is heartwarming, and they often don’t realize how sentimental their gifts are to those who receive them. Whether your kids are looking to make gifts for a grandparent, classmate, teacher, friend, or you, there are plenty of inexpensive and creative ways for them to create the perfect gift. What’s great about making gifts at home is that it’s both memorable and a way for kids to stay busy and tap into their artistic abilities. Better yet, gift-giving helps kids instill the true meaning behind the holidays. Get crafty this holiday season with these five kid-friendly gift ideas!

Personalized Calendars

A unique way for kids to show their appreciation is by making a personalized calendar. Custom calendars are a cute and practical gift as the new year approaches. The key is tailoring the calendar to the recipient. For instance, if the calendar is for your kids’ friends, include elements that are representative of their relationship. Best of all, there are countless ways to personalize calendars. Start with the following:
  • Add photos
  • Choose a theme
  • Put stickers on special occasions
  • Use favorite colors
  • Attach embellishments
Of course, making a year-round calendar is time-consuming. Consider making a calendar for a couple of months out of the year. To make it easier, you can even print calendar charts online and glue them on a piece of construction paper. From there, you can let your kids dig in and personalize however they’d like.

Refrigerator Magnets

Have your kids upgrade their art into refrigerator magnets. Magnets are a small token of gratitude that can truly touch someone’s heart all year long. They’re relatively simple to make and will add some awesome decor to someone’s refrigerator. What’s more, you can repurpose unused items around your house. All you need is magnetic strips and a powerful adhesive like hot glue or gorilla glue. Try bottle caps, arrow clips, buttons, and photos. Whoever receives this gift will love this outside-the-box idea.

Reindeer Chow

Put down the arts and crafts and head to the kitchen to make some delicious reindeer chow with your kids. Reindeer chow will surely satisfy someone’s sweet touch. On top of that, you can spend quality time with your kids’. Grab a jar, pick out your favorite snacks, mix them together, and pour melted chocolate all over. Most people prefer to use pretzels, Chex Mix, M&M’s, and cereal. It’s so delicious, you may just have to make some for yourself!

Custom Cookie Tins

Cookie tins are a great way to share goodies during the holidays. Start with a blank cookie tin, which you can find at any crafts or container store for 5 to 10 dollars. Fill the tin with pre-made or freshly baked cookies, brownies, or candy. Then, get to decorating. Your kids can directly draw on the container, or they can draw on a sheet of paper and transfer it to the tin. Perhaps you’re looking for something even simpler—print out a picture or type out a message. Seal the tin with a clear coating spray and wrap it up! It’s that easy.

Mason Jar Snow Globes

Here’s a new variation to the traditional snow globe: have your kids create mason jar snow globes filled with ornaments.  Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Holiday ornaments
  • Clear glue
  • Glitter
  • Water
  • Mason jar (or old sauce jar)
  • Hot glue
The first step is to glue the bottom of the ornament to the underneath of the lid. Pour a couple of ounces of glue into the jar, add warm water, and stir it all together. Add the glitter and put the lid back on tightly. Shake it and admire your spectacular snow globe.

Join Frogbridge Day Camp for Endless Summer Fun

As the holiday season wraps up, many of us are looking forward to a fresh new year start. You know what that means—the countdown to summer time officially begins! All of us here at Frogbridge Day Camp are ecstatic to get out of our winter boots and into our wet suits for a fun-filled summer. If you don’t know who we are, here’s a quick rundown. Frogbridge Day Camp is located on 86 acres of pure bliss in the stomping grounds of Millstone Township, New Jersey. Since 1999, we’ve helped campers learn, grow, and experience the world in an inclusive and warm environment. One visit to our camp and you’ll realize that we’re the ideal match for your little one. We have countless programs and activities, both indoor and outdoor, that kids ages 3–15 can participate in. Don’t wait for a second longer to join us at Frogbridge Day Camp. Call (609) 208-9050 or complete a contact form today!

AdobeStock 179869522Five Activities to Do with Your Kids During Christmas Break

Winter break is typically best spent traveling to see family and friends or celebrating with a fun Christmas family vacation. However, a trip away may not be in the works for your family this year. During the holidays, don’t despair when these uncertain times leave you with a house full of bored kids. There are plenty of ways to take full advantage of your break—you may just have to get a little creative! Use these five original activities to keep both you and your children busy, sane, and accomplished this holiday season. Whether you’re working from home or not, these are activities you’ll surely want to carve out time to enjoy with your kids. No need to worry—spending the Christmas break at home can be productive, meaningful, and memorable for the whole family.

Decorate Your Home with All Things Jolly

There’s no better way to spruce up your home and occupy your kids’ time than with decorating. When your kids get to be a part of the decoration process, it’s almost guaranteed that they’ll get pumped up for the holidays. Who knows, it may end up becoming a Christmas tradition for you and your family. Plus, Christmas decorations don’t have to be expensive, and you can even spread the jolly into their bedrooms. For ideas on how to decorate your home, Christmas tree, and stockings, check out these simple Christmas arts and crafts for kids!

Cook and Bake: The More the Merrier!

Cooking or baking is a great way to keep your kids entertained come Christmas time. This doesn’t mean you have to make gourmet meals, but you can show them how to make your favorite holiday dishes and desserts. Not only will this get them cooking at a young age, but it will also instill comfort and happiness with food and the holidays. It’s the perfect time to bond and share family recipes or stories while preparing something delicious for your family to enjoy. Of course, kids love making a mess and mixing all sorts of things together, but we’re sure their favorite part will be seeing the masterpiece they helped create. Look over these easy Christmas recipes for you and your kids to make:
  • Chocolate dipped candy canes or pretzels
  • Homemade hot chocolate
  • White chocolate–covered Chex mix and cereal
  • Gingerbread cookies and houses
  • Red and green mashed potatoes
  • Candy cane shaped pizza

Wrap and Make Gifts Together

Gift-giving is so special, especially when it’s homemade and unique. Receiving a gift from a kid is even more heartfelt. Whether your kids want to make gifts for their friends, grandparents, cousins, or other family members, all you need is some construction paper, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. There’s not much else to it! They can even repurpose some old things laying around the house, such as picture frames or shoe boxes. If you bought gifts, you can have your kids help wrap them or even make custom wrapping paper.

Participate in Local Christmas Activities and Events

Christmas-time snow calls for outdoor fun and adventures. Gather up your skis, snow tubes, and sleds for an action-packed day in the cold. End the night with a warm cup of hot cocoa and smores. Load your family in the car and drive around the neighborhood to see the Christmas lights and decorations. Drive to town to go pick out a Christmas tree together. Or, perhaps your town is hosting safe and socially distanced events for the community. Whatever the case, many of these activities are only around for the season, so don’t miss out!

Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movies

Watching Christmas movies is the ultimate way to indulge in the holiday spirit without breaking the bank. If your kids have their favorite Christmas movies, pick out a few and watch them on the weekend while enjoying some of the freshly baked meals you made together. Or, you can share some of the Christmas movies you watched as a child. Luckily, there are tons of Christmas movies to choose from. Some of the best Christmas movies for you and your family to watch, both traditional and modern-day classics, include:
  • Home Alone
  • A Christmas Story
  • Elf
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • The Polar Express
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

Countdown to a Summer Spent at Frogbridge Day Camp

Christmas time is almost here! Before you know it, the next major event your child will be counting down to is the summer vacation season. Unfortunately, planning activities with your child for three long months is not an easy undertaking. Why not let an experienced summer day camp take over for you? Don’t miss out on the chance to give your child the best summer ever at Frogbridge Day Camp in Millstone Township, New Jersey. Frogbridge Day Camp is the best of summer day camps in Central New Jersey, complete with indoor and outdoor activities designed to give your child the opportunity of a lifetime. We’ve begun 2021 summer day camp registration and tours, so when you’re ready, come discover the Frogbridge Difference today by calling (609) 208-9050 or completing a contact form.

AdobeStock 382815706How to Host a Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner is stressful. People wake up at the crack of dawn to start cooking the turkey, all while trying to prepare the sides that need to be ready a few hours later. Add a few children into the mix, and the scene could easily make even a world-class chef overwhelmed. Here are few tips for hosting a kid-friendly Thanksgiving, with everything from picky-eater-approved foods to keeping the kids entertained.

Serve Kid-Friendly Foods

There’s no denying that kids are picky eaters. After an entire morning and afternoon of playing, they may not be in the mood to try unfamiliar foods. With so many delicious items like turkey, potatoes, and stuffing, kids may just want a simple peanut butter and jelly. To keep with the holiday, cut the sandwich into the shape of a turkey. Some other kid-friendly foods to have at your Thanksgiving dinner are:
  • Mac and cheese: Mac and cheese is a classic kids food. Adults love it, too. But when making it for kids, simply make it from a box. Kids love it when the noodles look like their favorite characters.
  • Turkey nuggets: Turkey may not be your kid’s favorite, but chances are you’re cooking one on Thanksgiving. Instead, cut some turkey into small pieces, cover in bread crumbs, and bake.
Making dishes kid-friendly is an easy task. All it takes is a little creativity.

Have a Kids Table

Keep the adults at one table and let the kids have fun at their own table. Place a large sheet of paper on the table, provide crayons or markers, and let the kids color. They’ll finally be able to fulfill their dream of coloring on the table. Plus, it keeps your nice tablecloth mess-free. You can also buy Thanksgiving-themed paper plates to avoid one of your fancier dishes accidentally getting broken.

Kid-Proof Your House

Kid proofing your house will go a long way in creating a kid-friendly environment. Remove anything breakable well before guests start arriving. Close or block off any areas that you don’t want curious kids wandering into.

Keep Kids Entertained

Thanksgiving is a time for family to come together and catch up on everything that happened throughout the year. To children, however, it’s a long, dull day. Keeping them entertained before dinner is critical to ensure they don’t act out. Here are a few ways you can keep your kids busy while dinner is cooking.

Play Games

Before your guests arrive, pick out a few board games for the kids to play. Monopoly, Connect 4, and Candyland are classic games, and the adults can join in on the fun too.

Watch Movies

When inviting your family over, tell them to bring one of their favorite movies. Once everyone arrives, let the kids decide what film they want to watch. Make some popcorn, and they’ll be busy for at least two hours.

Create a Scavenger Hunt

Put together a list of items for kids, or adults, to find throughout the house. Items could be food, decorations, or everyday objects. The person who finds the most by dinner can have first dibs on dessert.

Let Kids Help

A sure-fire way to keep kids entertained is to let them help with the festivities. They can help set the table or stir ingredients with you. You could even trust older kids with cooking a dish or dessert. Children who feel like they have an important role to play are less likely to act out.

Discover the Great Outdoors With Frogbridge Day Camp

While it may be challenging to keep kids entertained during the winter months, it’s easy to keep them entertained during the summer at Frogbridge Day Camp. Across our 86 acres, our campers enjoy fishing, archery, swimming, zip-lining, and rock climbing. If you’ve never experienced the wonders of Frogbridge Day Camp, we invite you to schedule a personal tour. All tours are private, with one family at a time, following all recommended protocols such as social distancing and face coverings. To schedule a Frogbridge Day Camp tour, call our office at (609) 208-9050 or complete our online contact formtoday.