Yes. Yes, I did. And here are just three (of many more*) reasons I believe that's true.
1) The gift of experience doesn’t clutter your kids’ bedrooms.
Okay, this is a big one for me (that’s why I made it Reason #1!)
Families – and individuals – are experiencing increasing physical (and technological) clutter. Too many things makes it hard for your kids – and you – to keep their spaces tidy, and research indicates that cluttered physical space increases stress levels. One study from UCLA observed a spike in stress hormones each time a mother dealt with the physical belongings of her family. In his article “How Clutter Affects Your Brain (and What You Can Do About It),” Mikael Cho summarizes the effect observed. “Physical clutter overloads your senses, making you feel stressed, and impairs your ability to think creatively.”
In her article “18 Excellent Gifts for Kids That Aren't Even Toys” published via The Huffington Post, Rachel Jones, mother of 6, writes “All of us who have children have too many toys scattered throughout the house . . .Gifts are good things! But too much of anything isn't good.”
She ranks “Classes” as her number one non-toy gift.
We at Compass Creative Dramatics have to agree.
Check out this post on becomingminimalist.com for even more reasons that trading in a toy for an experience can benefit your kids.
2) Giving your children the gift of experience shows you pay attention to what your kids like.
Does your child run around the house belting “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” Give her a chance to share that love with other kids. Is your teen aching to perform? Everyone loves for their interests to be noticed. And while your student might also be interested in Minecraft or Flappy Bird, encouraging face-to-face, guided social activities like theatre can help fulfill his or her potential. Multiple studies indicate that the highest achieving students spend a significant amount of their “free time” in structured, adult-led activities, which increase a sense of belonging and engagement.
This is the moment when I let you know that if you have not checked out our most recent blog post and our Stories Behind the Statistics page, you should.
Theatre sticks with you. And the stories you’ll find within those two pages are proof of that.
At theatre camp, students not only exercise their bravery and creativity. They exercise their collaboration skills, their empathy, their respect for peers and others, and through all that, their ability to trust and engage with adults and students alike.
If your child has attended one of our camps, you’ve probably seen that first-hand. And if your child hasn’t yet joined us – this is the year! Give your student the gift of art, of creativity, of collaboration, of experience.
It’s a gift they’ll remember all their life.
*Oh, you want more? Here are a few: physical activity, intellectual stimulation, arts exposure, critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration outside of their ordinary peer group, delayed gratification/an experience to look forward to, making new friends, reuniting with old friends, enjoying shared interests, expanding interests, encouraging healthy habits, increased confidence, unplugging for the week. Phew. Sure sounds like the perfect gift to me.
Register now in:
Wisconsin camp registration opens to the public on December 11th, so reach out to a friend or family member who has camped with us before to get a referral code that will allow you to register today.