For the third year in a row, Spain’s Global Challenge has focused on providing a safe and educational space for children during the summer when parents need to go to work and don’t have a reliable service provided by traditional structures.
In the period from June to September, Associació Educativa Itaca in Barcelona and the Balia Foundation in Madrid, with support from The Human Safety Net and its volunteers, have been implementing a For Families programme of educational and leisure activities that included excursions to get to know the city, sports activities, and swimming pool expeditions.
The idea behind the Urban Summer Camp project is to give children a safe, educational space where they can be during their school holidays (or at least part of it), every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This programme gives essential relief to working parents.
Sanaa Charraf (mother of a five-year-old Camp goer):
“I think the camp is great, my kid really enjoys it. My kids have already attended for two years, and I would continue to sign them up. Instead of being at home, they are with other kids, they learn, they disconnect from the routine at home, they have excursions. One of the most important things is that I know they are well cared by Balia´s team wile I work”
During the summer, the organisations continued their usual educational programmes, but from a more playful perspective. In addition, the Summer Camps programme ensures children have access to at least three healthy meals a day.
What are the benefits for the kids?
The relaxed atmosphere in the Summer Camps allows the educators to reach the children more easily and favours a bonding experience between children and parents. The excursions that were part of these programmes would be unattainable for most families involved, thus giving these children the feeling of getting ‘out of the city.’
These new activities generate in kids a stronger bond with the educator, allowing for a more complete and in-depth intervention when needed. It is also an excellent chance to work on hygiene and eating habits.
Seven tips for summer activities with your kids
Paula Aragoneses from Fundación Balia and Laura Candelario from Associación Educativa Itaca have shared with us a few tips on how to create a playful and educational summer with your children:
- Always look for activities that gain the interest of your kid and that promote movement and psychomotor skills;
- Your family members and children should be the driving force for change and for proposing activities; their opinion is important;
- Use safe and lively spaces that encourage creativity and imagination;
- Try various activities and keep it multi-disciplinary: handicrafts, games, gymkhanas, songs, etc.
- Carry out outdoor activities in environments to which they usually have less access: swimming pool, excursions;
- Encourage healthy routines and habits;
- Propose diverse activities that are fun for the children while at the same time fulfilling an educational objective.