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 athletics periods multiple times a week, 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 and Lower Campers have tennis in the wonderful gym at our facility, while Middle and Upper Campers use the courts at our next door neighbor - the West Orange Tennis Club. Our fabulous Harbor Haven athletics specialists 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 appropriate sized helmets for everyone. Our bicycle specialist, 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. 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 to provide instruction and fun for our Lower, Middle and Upper Campers. 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!
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.