Children should not spend more than two hours a day in front of the television or the computer. Exceeding this limit can affect in a negative way some aspects of their health such as sleep, self-esteem, burn up of calories, social relationships or performance at school. In Spain, 30% of teenagers exceed this limit. This data have been extracted from the guide for parents called “Salud Infantil y Medio Ambiente. Una relación de por vida” that has been recently published by Fundació Roger Torné; It collects advises to protect children’s health from environmental factors.
The guide also recommends that children should practice physical activity at least during one hour per day, without it being replaced by computer’s games which involve body movement. This activity is good for the circulation of the blood, for the development of children’s bones, for the metabolism and it also prevents diseases and obesity, among other benefits.
All these advises are taken into account and put into practice during Airea, the summer camp holidays organized each July by Fundació Roger Torné.
It is several months ago that vacancies for the two Airea shifts were sold out; Airea is a project that we have been preparing from the end of 2010. Summer camps holidays in our Foundation are not a set of games to entertain children during those days, but all the activities are prepared with the purpose of teaching children healthy habits focused on the diseases prevention, on the body strengthening, on promoting the contact with Nature and the learning of skilfulness to promote intellectual development.
In our Foundation, we are aware of how good it is for children to lose touch during holidays. Losing touch with television, computer games and also mobile phones. It is not only us who say that. As we have already seen, many scientific studies (some of them can be found in the bibliography our guide is based upon) support these advises. Likewise, organizations and professionals we have named sometimes in Inspira regarding how technology affects children’s personality or WHO recent advice regarding the risk of continuous exposition to mobile phones and wifi nets do.
This is why there is no television on our summer camp holidays, neither electronic games, nor mobile telephones. Children lose touch with them all in order to be in touch with Nature and with the sense of membership of a group where each one has an important role so that, all of them together, are able to achieve the games and activities goals. They also get in touch with their own breathing and with the idea of health and physical well-being. All of this is carried out in a recreational way while hey enjoy their holidays.
On Airea camp holidays, children from 5 to 12 years old live together during one week or twelve days (depending on the shift); likewise our summer camp holidays are especially prepared so that they can be enjoyed by little children suffering from respiratory problems, obesity, or suffering from alimentary allergies. Regarding these cases, the preparation of menus is essential for us so we count with one nutritionist’s help who supervises the quality of food foreseen during the summer camp holidays. All the children in Airea, suffering from conditions or not, take part equally on each activity since respect regarding differences is promoted as well as the empathy for mates; this way nobody feels excluded and all of them can collaborate in a plan of equality.
It would be too long explaining each one of the activities that will be undertaken during Airea 2011 two shifts (one of them shorter, lasting one week, and created for little children and another one for elder children which lasts twelve days). We will explain all of this day after day in the summer holiday camps blog that you can follow from here, but explained in a global way, one day in Airea is structured as follows.
- The day starts with the yoga lesson, where respiratory education is practiced through games.
- Then breakfast comes and house tasks where everybody has a responsibility.
- Afterwards they have almost two hours of physical activity whose purpose is cells oxygenation and muscles strengthening. In order to achieve it, games are organized in Nature every day: orientation games, clues games, survival ones, observation of nature, etc.
- The morning gets to its end with the water game also used so that children can refresh themselves.
- After the meal and a while to rest, the afternoon is devoted to respiration workshops connected to handcrafts, painting, cooking… these activities are more relaxed than the ones practiced during the morning and they allow the intellectual development.
- Dinner time is early in Airea since rest and relaxation are also promoted.
- After dinner, the time comes to practice one of the activities preferred by the participants: The eveening. There is a different subject every night which they have been preparing during the workshops and the day activities.
- To finish, between 21.30 and 21.45 hours children get ready to go to sleep because the following day will come full of activities.
Not only do the scientific studies and the Foundation medical direction support the summer camp holidays benefits. The past years experience also does as well as parents’ faithfulness since they keep on trusting their children on our Foundation. This is why we got out of vacancies so soon this year. Likewise it can be seen through the comments parents left on our summer camps holidays blog during Airea 2010, where it was obvious they were very satisfied about their children’s look when they got back. They really could notice the children had lost touch.
We want Airea 2011 to be a success, mostly for the attendant children’s health. This is one of the most important activities carried out by Fundació Roger Torné so, on our side, everything is ready, including the possibility for you to get connected to our blog while children lose touch!