toddler girl covered in paint

How To Know If Your Child Is Ready For Summer Day Camp + Tips On Preparing For Camp

Summer camp’s known for being fun, exciting, and beneficial for your child’s mental and physical health. That’s why it’s not surprising if most parents are anticipating about it. It’s one of the best ways your kids can do while school is temporarily out. But the question is: how would you know if your little one is ready for a day camp?

Just to give you a heads up, a day camp is different from sleepaway camp. It is thrilling and energizing; however, unlike overnight camps, it’s less stressful — and it’s perfect for almost every child. 

Normally, it focuses on a specific theme or activity and it lasts for a week or even a whole summer. Since it won’t require being away from home, toddlers and teens can enjoy it without their parents worrying about them.

If you’re looking for a specific camp nearby or you’re working on a specific budget, you can download LetsKamp now. This free mobile app allows you to filter summer camps according to their price and location.

Anyway, below are some tips on how to know whether your child is ready for summer day camp or not.

Assess Their Reaction

kid on a camp preparing bonfire

While most summer camp for kids is intended for those who are over 3 years old, you can still find camps that will cater to children that are 2 years of age. However, before you enroll your little one, be sure to explain what a summer camp is to them and ask whether they want to join it or not. 

If you receive positive feedback, such as “Yes, I want to go to camp!” then there’s a good chance that your child is not only summer camp ready but will enjoy a new adventure. After all, it’s possible that he/she has heard it from a friend or watched it on TV and he/she wants to try it personally. Nonetheless, if it’s his/her first time, be sure to get your little one ready first — and I’ll share tips on how to prepare for summer camp in a bit.

On the other hand, if your kid is not excited about the idea of summer camps, the best approach you can do is to find out why. Chances are, your child may be afraid to be far from home, too shy to meet new people, not confident about making new adventures, and the list goes on. Talk about it and try to explain the benefits of a summer camp. If your little one’s too young to understand this, you can always try next time.

Meanwhile, if your kid has no reaction at all, you can state various activities, such as swimming, basketball, playing an instrument, etc., and check if it will draw a response or not. No reaction at all? You can ask yourself these questions instead to know if your child’s ready for day camp or not:

  • How does your child respond with sleepovers? Is he/she comfortable with sleeping with other kids or another family member aside from you and your spouse?
  • Is your child able to follow instructions properly?
  • Do you think he/she’s comfortable with meeting new people?
  • Is he/she up for new adventures?

What’s Next?

If your child’s response is positive and you’re confident enough to send your child to a day camp, without a doubt, he/she can start camping and meeting new people. However, if your kid has a negative reply and you tried to talk to them but still you got the same answer, it’s best to wait first.

The thing is, you and your little one should be on the same page. Consider your child’s answer and decide whether your little one should start camping this year or not. This is important as this will influence your child’s participation in the program.

Preparing Your Child For Day Camp

Before you enroll your child to a summer camp, you need to get yourself and your little one ready. This would help both of you know what you should expect from the program. Summer camps offer a lot of benefits but it pays to prepare your child first so he/she can start his new adventure smoothly.

toddler wearing yellow jacket and bag ready for summer camp

Below are some tips to prepare your child to a summer camp:

  • Call the facility first. Ask whether your child’s age is appropriate to join their program. While some camps accept toddlers, there are activities that are suitable for kids that are over 5 years old.
  • If you’ve been to a camp before, share your positive experience to your child. Talk about the new friends you made, the activities you’ve done, the new food you’ve tried, etc. Whatever it is, make sure that it will encourage your kid to join the program.
  • Visit the website (if applicable) and show it to your child. Show photos the facility, the activities, and other campers. This will keep your child excited and looking forward to summer camp.
  • If you’re from North Virginia, you can also download LetsKamp app to see the list of summer camps available in your location. However, if you’re from a different region, you can register your zip code from the website so you’ll get a notification when this app is live in your place.

These are just some of the tips on how to know if your kid is ready for summer camp. Do you have other tips or stories you’d like to share? If yes, feel free to join our growing community by creating a free account or sharing your thoughts below.

Happy camping!

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