Children have been attending summer camp for more than a century. The key is to find a camp for your little one which suits your child best based on their interests and activities they enjoy, whether they can go for the day or overnight and, of course, having FUN!
Is Your Three or Four Year Old Ready for Camp?
Day camps are becoming increasingly popular in Canada. One reason is because it continues with the daily routine of going to school—go in the morning, come home in the afternoon.
Children as young as three or four years of age have camps that cater to their needs. Even if they can’t handle a full day, there is always the “playground programs” that are run at many schools for half-day intervals.
- First determine if your child is even ready for camp, either day or overnight—especially if this is their first taste away from home. Get advice with the five steps to finding the best camp.
- Day camps are especially ideal for young children, expanding a child’s educational and social experience beyond that offered by their regular daycare.
Questions, Questions, So Many Questions About Camp
- Research all potential camps that spark both yours and your child’s interests, and make a list. I heard a parent say once in a television interview, “No question is a dumb question. Always ask, ask, ask and ask. If you do not ask the questions, you are not going to receive the answers.”
- You want a unique, fun and challenging experience for your child. Just like at their education at their preschool or elementary school, you need to be aware of what programs, activities and services the camp offers. Here is a list of questions you should ask the camp director when searching for the appropriate camp for your child.
Day or Overnight Camp?
- First and foremost: determine if your child is able to be away overnight. There is really no set age to start day or residential camp, although most require that campers are at least six or seven years of age. Readiness is more important than age.
- Camp is a great opportunity for kids to engage in activities the normally wouldn’t do otherwise (e.g., horseback riding, nature walks, songs, games, skits).
- Choose from lots of day and overnight camps for all different tastes. Just take a look at all the different types of camps available.
The benefits of camp are many:
- Improved confidence and social skills
- Summer education—making the most of the outdoor learning environment.
- Play—Many kids don’t get enough unstructured play. They have time at school, time at home and TV. Camp is a great way to fill that void.
- Leadership building
- Learning water safety
- Teaching independence
Going to camp is an incredible opportunity for your child. Even as adults, they will recall all the fun adventures they had. Many form life-long friendships from their camp experience and those friendships would not have happened if they hadn’t gone to summer camp. Help your child’s life experiences and social network of friends–send them to camp.
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Did you send your child to camp at a young age? What was their experience like? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.