Summer camp is one of the most beneficial experiences a young child can have, and the positive effects go on to last a lifetime! But we know that a child’s very first summer camp experience can be a nerve-wracking time for both parents and children. At CYJ, we have 68 years of experience with this kind of thing, and we’ve learned a few tips you can use right now to make this summer a breeze. Here are three easy things you can do right now to begin preparing your little one for camp!
Read books and watch TV shows or movies about summer camp together.
These simple activities will help your kiddos become familiar with the concept of camp; that it’s a place away from parents with cabins, lakes, and outdoor activities. It will also teach them that camp is full of fun and adventure! The more fleshed-out your child’s idea of “summer camp” is, the more they’ll understand and be prepared for the real thing this June and July.
If you need some book ideas, check out
- The Night Before Summer Camp, by Natasha Wing and Mindy Pierce
- Froggy Goes to Camp, by Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz
- Wolf Camp, by Katie McKy and Bonnie Leick
If you need some movie ideas, check out
- The Parent Trap (both versions are great!)
- Addams Family Values
- Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown
- Camp Rock
If you need some TV show ideas, check out
- Bunk’D, from the Disney Channel
- Bug Juice from the Disney Channel
- Camp Lazlo from Cartoon Network
As we head into spring and the weather starts warming up again, now is the perfect time to take your little one on a camping trip. Exploring trails, going for a swim in a lake, and even making arts and crafts will give them a chance to become comfortable with some of the day-to-day experiences they’ll have at camp. By the time they arrive at their cabin, they’ll be pros! Two weeks ago we posted a blog full of awesome places to camp all over Texas, so check that out if you need some inspiration.
Practice being separated
This is always the hardest part, but a little practice now will go a long way toward alleviating homesickness this summer. Set up sleepovers with family and friends. The more your child is separated and reunited with you, the more they will see that they can have fun in a new environment and most importantly, that you’ll still be there to welcome them home when it’s over.