In the wake of this long period over which our children and teenagers had to stay at home, the restrictions in Switzerland are being lifted just in time for camp and course organisers to plan some summer programmes. Some courses and groups are starting sooner than normal to cater for kids who are finishing school earlier this term; they have a lot longer to keep themselves busy. And how will they prepare for the return to school after the summer school holidays?
Families who are now able to travel again all over Switzerland and now, across the border, might consider trying to book activities or a camp in Basel or Geneva while the rest of the family stays in France or Germany to get a change of scenery.
Is your child or teenager an active sporty type who has been trapped indoors?
Not only kind and compassionate kids will enjoy the bubbly atmosphere at Cooltour 2020 in partnership with Blindspot. Watch this newsclip, in German, to learn more.
The dates are 25 – 31 July 2020 for kids with and without disabilities. It is held in Bern for ages 10 – 19 years. Website here.
Over 400 camps across Switzerland for horseriding, football, cycling, hiking and a lot more are listed here on the Jugendsportcamps website. The website allows you to enter the age of your child, the location and to select your preferred dates to filter relevant camps. Zurich’s Department of Sport runs this site but camps are located across the country.
Teenagers and kids who need an academic boost
Older students who didn’t have much educational help through lockdown might be attracted by academic courses or tutoring. Coaching is on offer in Switzerland both online and in person, weekly or as an intensive course (daily attendance for a week or two). Fit4school is the largest network of tutoring and coaching centres in Switzerland with 24 centres across the country including Zurich, Basel/land and a new centre is opening in Suisse Romande.
As well as the ‘learn how to learn’ study skills courses, fit4school has new Mathematics and German courses this summer. Your family could go and discover another part of Switzerland and plan a course for your child to attend before school starts again. Website in English here.
Chess and technology camps or courses
If your child doesn’t want to do any schoolwork during the holidays, it might be easier to keep him or her busy over the coming summer at a chess class or learning a new instrument or sport. Various local options are available in person individually, in pairs or groups.
There are half and full day camp options for chess at Chess4Kids in Zurich, Baden and Zug. Website in English here.
In Basel and the region, the educampus non-profit association has a growing programme of activities for all ages such as Game Design for one week in June – July. There’s also a two-day course in German in August, in Muttenz and Basel, learning about money.
City holiday programmes
In Zurich city there are still places available for many diverse summer holiday courses with waiting list places available for a lot more. Website, in German, here.
However anxious we are about our children or other family members getting sick, going out is now essential for our kids to resume social contacts and learning. Once they leave home regularly again, train them in hygiene as soon as they arrive back home, ensuring they develop good habits such as always washing hands on arrival, hanging outdoor clothes in one place, and leaving shoes outside your front door. This will protect them against more than one disease, for years to come.
Enjoy a summer full of learning and fun in Switzerland!
By Monica Shah
Monica Shah Zeeman founded Children First Association in 2006 in Zurich, Switzerland. She opened the first English Nursery and an International Kindergarten in Zurich in 2012. She has been a partner of fit4school-Zürichberg since 2018 offering coaching for kids, French Gymi-prep courses and holiday intensives. Monica has a son who has finally finished his schooling in 2020 like a mole indoors but happily online. As the Matura was cancelled in Canton Zurich he has found some time to advise his mum in the past few months on what children and young people really want.
Photo credit: Sportamt des Kantons Zürich