Parents! Does the word “Summer” ignite feelings of panic about how you are going to entertain your child all season long? Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services is again offering a variety of fun and enriching camps for preschoolers this summer. Our camps are built to be inviting, caring and chock full of age appropriate activities for your little one, to help to ensure a positive first camp experience.
Camp is a great opportunity to try something new. Because our camps are usually half-day and one week long, it gives parents flexibility to pick and choose from a variety of themes and topics so kids can have varying experiences. It can also provide some “drop-off” practice for the first day of preschool.
Here are some tips to help get you over the hurdle of deciding if your young child is ready for camp, as well as tips for making the transition much easier:
Your child may be ready for camp if …
- Shows signs of independence, goes to school, is accustomed to being separated from you for extended periods and or has older brothers or sister they look up to.
- Enjoys making new friends and doing hands on activities.
- Enjoys playdates with other children.
Which camp to pick?
- Is your child crazy about the outdoors, dinosaurs, soccer, dance, art, bugs, fairytales, cooking etc? Pick a camp that will keep your child’s interest. Many camps will have a theme listed when you sign up. Consider your child’s interests when making a selection.
- Ask neighbors and friends about camp suggestions, they can be some of the greatest resources.
- Consider if your child would do better in a full day or half day camp setting. If a full day would be too long, consider sending them to a half day camp. Many times a half day is a perfect amount of time for a new camper.
Tips for a better transition
- A short and sweet goodbye works best for all. After you sign your child into camp, give them a hug and kiss, introduce them to their leader, and tell them to have a great day.
- Make sure your camper has what they need to go to camp. All their clothes and lunch box are labeled with their name since many times campers may have the same items.
- If you have specific parent questions about camp or the activities call before the camp starts that way you have your answers before dropping off your child on the first day.
- If your camp is held at a local park or community center it may be a good idea to visit the location with your child beforehand.
- Before the first day of camp you may want to talk to your child about going to camp and the exciting things they will be doing.
- On average, 8 year olds are ready for “sleepover” camp. To ease the transition, kids should experience sleeping over at a relative’s or friend’s house at least one night before going to an overnight camp.