Summer is a fun time and a great opportunity for the kids to experience new things. Whether your little ones are going to day camp or sleep away camps, here are a few tips to get them ready so everyone has a fun summer and a pleasant experience.
Let them in on the decision. There are so many camps to choose from nowadays. Give your kids some options and let them pick their favorite options. If your child has a say in the camp they will attend, the odds of them having fun and a successful experience are better. This year we asked our son what activities and sports he would like to try out or further explore. Our oldest wants to sharpen his baseball skills, so he chose a baseball camp. Our middle son loves anything related to animals and he decided to do a camp at a local zoo.
Show and tell. Talk to them and show them what to expect. The first day of camp can be nerve racking for kids. Yes it is going to be fun, but they are being dropped off at a new place with camp counselors they have never met and all new kids. Let them check out the camp online. Visit their website and look at pictures and read activity descriptions. Go on Facebook and see if they have a site with old pictures of all the fun kids had last year. This will give your child an idea of what to expect with familiar images when they arrive.
Buddy up. Send them with a friend if possible. Talk to other moms and try to coordinate camps with kids they already know. This will make camp transitions easier for your child. It will also help them build some good memories with a bestie. I still remember going to sleep away camp with my best friend and we talk about how much fun we had more than 20 years later.
Rest up. Make sure they get a good night’s sleep the night before. I know during the summer months bed times tend to get pushed back and it is hard to get them to bed when the sun is still shining. But remember, if your kids stay up too late the night before emotions and attitudes may be affected in the morning before camp. Once camp has already started, they will be having long days, sometimes out in the hot sun, so make sure they get a good night’s sleep every night, so they are ready with tons of energy for the next day. We tend to keep our bed time consistent throughout the summer because we find it makes for happier kids and happier parents.
Prepare ahead of time. Get ready the night before. Make sure things are all packed and ready to go so that the morning is stress free. Sleep away camps require a lot of prep, but so do day camps. Sunscreen, towels, lunch, snacks, water, flip flops, sneakers, change of clothing, may be on the list of necessities and you don’t want to be running around trying to gather all these things at the last minute. Designate a bag for all their supplies and be sure to label everything. Make sure your child knows what their stuff looks like for easy recognition throughout the day.
Now go have fun and make some great summer memories. Are any of your kids going to an eccentric camp this year? Our boys will go to candy camp at the candy store. Don’t worry, they don’t sit around and eat candy all day. They play candy related games and do candy science experiments. It’s creative and fun! I would love to hear from you!