Day camps can be a great option for parents who work during the summer. It’s a fun childcare option where kids get to meet other kids, be active, and learn new things.
But day camps, especially for younger kids, can be a little scary.
Here are 11 tips to help you and your child prepare for day camp:
1. Allow your child to help choose their summer day camps, based on their own interests.
If they get to help choose, they will look forward to it more. One positive experience will lead to future positive experiences.
2. Register your child with a friend
Going to a new place with a lot of new kids is easier if a neighbour or playmate is there with them.
3. Bring your child to the day camp location a few days before it begins.
Walking around the building and seeing and talking about the activities they will participate in will allow your child to get used to the idea of going there.
4. Choose a durable backpack appropriate for your child’s size.
A backpack that is too large can become awkward and heavy for a child to carry. Having a mesh pocket for easy access to a water bottle will help ensure they stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Pack the backpack with essentials together – water bottle, sunscreen, hat, raincoat, lunch, snacks, swim suit and towel.
Feeling prepared for the day will help any kid feel a little more excited to go.
6. Label your child’s belongings with their name.
Talking about keeping track of their belongings will help them be careful where they put things at camp, and lower the risk of losing something special.
7. Layer your child in weather appropriate clothing and running shoes.
Again, feeling prepared will help a child feel comfortable.
8. Read all of the parent and camp info together with your child.
Allowing them to learn more about the day camp before they go will help them know what to expect.
9. Fill out all medical forms and make sure your child knows about their own allergies or special needs.
Make sure all medications or Epi-pens are easily accessible to camp staff.
10. Pack a note or photo in your child’s lunch each day to let them know you are thinking about them.
Knowing mom or dad is still thinking of them, even while they are in a new place, can help a child relax and settle in to their day.
11. Talk about camp together before, during and after.
Each morning talk excitedly about what adventures the day might hold, and when you pick them up at the end of the day encourage them to tell you stories of what they did. This will help the child process their experience and become more excited for the next time they attend day camp.
What helpful tips have you used to prepare your child for day camp?
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