Summer is right around the corner and your preschooler needs a place to play and explore. Camps – particularly day camps – are an option for parents to consider for preschoolers. Figuring out what camp to choose is the big question, and it is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly for these beginning campers.
One of the first questions parents ask is if their three- or four-year-old is ready for camp. This question all depends on several factors, such as separation anxiety, potty training, and how well she or he responds to a changing routine.
If your child has been successfully attending preschool prior to camp, this is a definite sign that your preschooler can become a camper. All in all this is a personal decision and can only be decided by you.
The next step is finding the type of camp. Parents often contemplate whether they should go with a specialty or general-themed camp. Specialty camps are focused on one particular area, such as music, whereas general camps focus on a wide range of activities.
Think about what your child enjoys on a daily basis. How does she or he learn best and why? You want your child to enjoy the camp you choose, so make sure that it fits his or her personality and learning style.
During the selection process you should also take into consideration the set up of the camp, such as the daily schedule, and whether the camp is full or half days. Would a full day of camp be too much for your preschooler? If you choose full day, make sure there is some type of quiet break period and lunch for your child to rest and relax.
Other considerations are cost, location, and staff qualifications. Several great organizations that can help you to find the right camp are the National Camp Association and the American Camp Association. Both provide advice about how to choose the right camp for your child and resources for planning the camp experience. – Kimberly Evans