When children say they hate sports or they don’t want to play, it is usually because they feel self-conscious about their skill level as compared with other “typical” children their age. At Harbor Haven, we not only build up skills, but self-esteem, in our renowned sports program.
While soccer, softball, basketball, field hockey, volleyball, kickball and tennis are all part of our program, we break each one down into components and teach them one at a time. We adapt games as needed, but our ultimate goal with our campers is to build their confidence and ability enough to join in at recess time in school, or feel comfortable in gym class. Most groups attend sports period once or twice a day, with our trained, professional sports staff. A systematic approach to skills building is used, with each day building upon the next.
Click on one of the athletic activities below to read about how Harbor Haven facilitates your child to "get into the game!"
In our sports program, competition is not stressed, but accepting that winning is not everything is an important concept. Since we verbalize the realistic and attainable goals we are setting for the children, they also begin to understand that each step and sub-step should promote a positive feeling. We praise the children for each achievement and effort no matter how big or small. At every physical activity our focus is on gross motor development, motor planning, body in space awareness and other skills our children need work on.
Everyone at Harbor Haven ages 5 and up has tennis instruction and play---age appropriate of course. Our 5-year-old Bright Beginners, Juniors and Intermediates have tennis in the wonderful gym at our facility; while ages 10 and up use the courts at our next door neighbor---the West Orange Tennis Club. Our fabulous HH physical education professionals make learning tennis more fun that you can imagine!
Wow---do we have bikes! All sizes, all kinds, with and without training wheels, tricycles for little ones, adult tricycles for our older campers who need them and even a bicycle built for two! In addition we have healthy helmets for everyone. Our physical education professionals, along with our occupational therapist (at times, as needed) provide excellent instruction and fun ways to utilize the space that we have for riding. Many a camper has learned to ride without training wheels at HH through the years!
Relax, take a deep breath, and hold your bodies in a lotus pose---it’s time for yoga at Harbor Haven. Our wonderful music therapist is also our yoga specialist! Leave your shoes at the door and come on in. Campers at Harbor Haven are so calm and focused in yoga and enjoy every moment of it.
Karate specialists from Dragon Kim in Livingston come to Harbor Haven two days a week to provide instruction and fun for our campers ages 5-15. Our campers are amazingly focused and on task during their Karate periods. Their motor skills and ability to follow instructions are greatly improved due to this wonderful activity!
Can you visualize a multi-player ping pong table---where the whole group can play at once? If you can, then you know what Poly Pong is! An outdoor game in a tented area, poly pong is a winner at camp.
The hottest game in all the camps is Gaga! Similar to dodge ball (but gentle and non-aggressive) the walled area of Gaga is the rage at HH as well.