What Types of Summer Activities Can Children Do in Jamaica?
(Ft Lauderdale, Florida, USA)
My 9-year-old grand-daughter will be visiting for the summer. We will be in Falmouth, Trelawny; and I would like to enroll her in any musical, theater, dance, tennis camp, etc., available within an easy commute. Can you identify any
summer activities being offered this coming summer?
QUESTION about: What Types of Summer Activities Can Children Do in Jamaica?
ANSWER: by Kesha Stewart
Hello my friend,
Your question sparked memories of summers spent foraging for mangoes in the pastures, fishing in the nearby river or pond, vacationing with relatives in other parishes, visiting the beach multiple times and eating all we could.
Although the activities have changed, summer is still a relief from the stress and grind of going to school every weekday. Children anticipate this time with bated breath. However, parents fear that the eight weeks of TV, junk food and horse-playing can be intelligence stealing.
On the other hand, some of us still have to work and we worry that the child/children will not be as well supervised as we’d like while left at home. Well not to worry. Right across Jamaica there are a lot of cool, educational and fun things to do over the summer no matter the parish.
Here are a few things your child can do:
1. Summer School – most schools have supervised summer school where not just the core subjects like mathematics and language is done but they will learn things like, art, grooming etiquette, introduction to a second language, enjoy traditional dance classes or work on their reading skills.
2. Vacation Bible School (VBS) - no matter the church affiliation, VBS is open to you. Kids of various ages and denominations can really have fulfilling times learning about/from the Bible, playing games and doing art and craft and even cooking.
3. Computer Classes- this is not just about games, children can sharpen up on computer skills such as using Microsoft office suite, researching, develop their creative skills or how to navigate the net responsibly e.g. how to deal with issues such as trolling and cyber bullying.
4. Summer Camps - This is a big WOW for most Jamaican children. They get to meet persons in their age group, learn from different presenters who come in daily and give motivational talks, provide mentorship or teach new skills such as baking. There is usually a camp counselling programme so emotional issues are addressed too.
5. Jamaica Library Service (JLS) has Parish libraries across the island as well as a network of branch libraries. They offer summer camps where students can do really interesting and educational activities like art and crafts, storytelling and learn social skills.
6. Private institutions and individuals also offer a range of activities such as gymnastics, swimming lessons, dance classes, music, second language, football, basketball, track and field, personal development and even robotics.
It would be a great idea to have your relatives in Jamaica seek out a programme or group of programmes which you feel will engage your child in the manner that you desire. Summer programmes can range from free, to pricey, so think about your budget too. Once you find something you want then find out all you can about how your child will be catered for, consider safety as well as food and refreshments so you can be assured that your child is getting the best and you are getting value for your bucks. With that said, I’m sure your there will be a lot of interesting and fun ways for your child to enjoy the summer here in Jamaica.