The heartbeat of Summer Day Camp.
Playing games fulfills a purpose in camper’s lives. This could include gaming for: relaxation, opportunities to exert control, enjoyment, creativity, socialization to prevent boredom, challenge, and achieve. Games can also be used to teach coping methods or stress management.
Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more narrowly defined as “learning through reflection on doing”. Hands-on learning can be a form of experiential learning, but does not necessarily involve campers reflecting on their product.
Games with a purpose:
- Increases Child’s Engagement
Studies have shown that campers are more likely to spend time playing a learning-based game if you are using a reward system. Keeping score helps translate the work the children is completing into a tangible benefit. By increasing engagement you’ll also see a rise in learning retention as children will be able to relate to the content easier through practice than just reading or watching a lecture.
- Creates Enthusiasm
Games are used to foster feelings of enthusiasm towards the activity, especially in areas that children struggle with, like math. Our program areas try to get campers excited about learning new or more in-depth concepts. By creating a game system with rewards, we have seen a difference in campers becoming excited and competitive while learning.
- Provides Instant Feedback
Most games allow for instantaneous feedback such as scoreboards and leaderboards , which campers can use to see where they stand among their peers. This information can push a camper to try the activity again to get a higher placement and creates motivation for further engagement.
- Make Social Connections
We often find that campers have trouble creating social connections with others. Games help campers who have trouble with social interaction and give them a reason to work together. This is especially true during team competitions that require campers to collaborate on challenges.
Games are fun.