Be Wary of These Apps

Being able to enjoy some much-needed downtime is just one of the perks of summer, but our team at Drama Kids International wants to help ensure that your kids are using their time for good!

If your kids, tweens or teens have their own cell phones, more than likely, their world revolves around games, social media and various apps. Let’s face it, cell phones have practically become a new appendage—and the younger generation is far more technologically savvy than many of us are! With so many excellent apps available at the touch of a screen, there are still some apps that you should be looking out for on your child’s phone.

1. Kik. This is a free messaging app where the messages don’t show up as texts. Usernames are used, and it is possible for strangers to begin communicating with your child through Kik. Sadly, this app has already had a tragic outcome for a young girl that has raised awareness throughout the country.

2. WhatsApp. Another messaging app cracks our list, this time one that “has done for messaging what Skype did for video and voice calls.” WhatsApp allows users to communicate via messaging and share photos and videos in small groups or private messages. It is encrypted, but there are valid security concerns.

3. Snapchat. We hate to break it to you, but this app isn’t one that’s just being used for the fun face filters. While the photos have a timer or “self-destruct,” those pictures posted and sent on this app can still be saved via screenshot. Sexting and harassment are constant concerns with Snapchat. Another concern is the new feature, “snap map,” which can share your child’s location.

4. Whisper. This is an online community where users can interact anonymously. Some of the content posted can be extremely personal and often inappropriate for those under the age of 18.

5. YouNow. This app is just another in a long list of livestreaming video apps. Users can create and watch live broadcasts, but unfortunately, they can also accidentally share personal information with viewers they do not know.

We know that you’re already monitoring what your kids participate in with their cell phone, but remember, there are always new “bad apps” that pop up daily. Taking the time to communicate the dangers of certain apps and how to be smart with an online presence to your kids is very beneficial!

If you don’t already use a monitoring app on your child’s phone, TeenSafe is a great option. Available for iPhone and Android, this app allows you to securely monitor texts, phone calls, location, and web history.

Your kids are going to enjoy their downtime to the fullest over the summer, but remember, idle hands often lead to no good! Give them something other than their cell phone to focus on by taking advantage of the fun, educational and engaging summer drama programs that Drama Kids International has to offer!

8 Enjoyable Summer Activities for Children and Families

 

Summer is in full swing and that means one thing—you’re more than likely continuing to search for fun summer activities to keep the kids active and entertained.

It should come as no surprise that we at Drama Kids International know a thing or two about how to keep children occupied with fun activities. Since we want summer to be enjoyable for the whole family, here are 8 excellent ideas to try out!

1. Learn a new skill together. Have you ever wanted to take up painting or learn a musical instrument? Chances are, your child would enjoy picking up a new skill, too. Check out your local community center and see what they’re offering—perhaps a family paint night is on the schedule.

2. Join a summer reading club. Do you have avid readers in your home? Keep on encouraging your bookworms by enrolling them in a summer reading club. Their nights or rainy days can be occupied with books, which keeps their minds and imaginations active. Your local library can be a great resource and more than likely has a book club your child can join!

3. Visit the theatre. No, we’re not talking about going to the movies! Your little drama enthusiast will love a trip to see a show—and you’ll be helping to support community theatre!

4. Have a garage sale. Want to teach your child the value of a dollar while ridding your home of items that are no longer needed? A garage sale (or yard sale, depending on where you’re from) is a great way to make some extra cash. Your child can help price and sell some of his or her old items and then will have a little spending money for the summer.

5. Rearrange the furniture. Have your kids been wanting to redo their rooms? Let them try out their hand at interior decorating by planning a new look for their bedroom. It can always be changed back if it doesn’t work out.

6. Utilize local parks. Your area has built those parks for a reason, so why not go out and enjoy them?

7. Visit a historic site nearby. Practically every town has some sort of historic site either in it or nearby. Take a little trip to visit it and enjoy the history—it can also serve as a fun learning activity!

8. Check out a drama camp for kids. OK, this one happens to be our favorite on the list! Not only do we offer year-round drama programs for children, but we also have many super fun AND developmental summer drama camps kids and parents alike rave about. Each camp ends with an end-of-week performance! Through our website, you can find a Drama Kids location near you and then learn what they’re offering this summer.

We hope that this list of 8 summer activities can help make the summer break an excellent one for you and your family. Remember, for even more drama-based ideas, you can reach out to your local Drama Kids location.

How Participation in the Arts Boosts Academic Achievement

how participation in arts

If you’ve ever wondered what benefits your child is getting through Drama Kids International programs, have we got the blog for you!

We pride ourselves on having drama programs for children ages 3–17 that are designed to help with acting skills, public speaking skills, creative thinking skills, leadership skills, networking and social skills, self confidence, and self-esteem, as well as teaching kids to have a positive approach to life. What’s even better are the extra benefits that Drama Kids can gain through their participation in the arts.

According to a National Educational Longitudinal Survey (NELS), there are ways that youth involved in arts programs are achieving more than students in the national sample.

The NELS found that youth in arts are 25 percent more likely to report feeling satisfied with themselves, 23 percent more likely to say they can do things as well as most other people can, and 23 percent more likely to feel they can make plans and successfully work from them.

The arts are not just helping the younger generation feel more satisfied with themselves and confident, but they are also encouraging further education. Youth in arts programs are 31 percent more likely to say that they plan to continue education after high school.

The academic achievements were further expanded on in the NELS. Being involved in arts programs resulted in youth being eight times more likely to receive a community service award and four and a half times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem. They are also three times more likely to win an award for school attendance, twice as likely to win an award for academic achievement and four times more likely to participate in a science or math fair.

We can’t wait to show you the “dramatic” difference Drama Kids can make in your kids’ life, whether it be building up their drama skills or boosting their self-esteem!