Sunday, June 2, 2013

How to Prepare Your Kids for Summer Camp

View camping.jpg in slide showThe end of the school year is now upon us. It’s time to start thinking about activities for your kids to do in the summer, especially if you’re a working mom and need to keep the kids occupied while you’re at work. Summer camp is a fantastic experience for any kid to get out and experience nature, build relationships with other adults who can be mentors and grow in social skills by getting to know and interacting with new friends at camp. If your kids are small or shy, it might be best to start them off with day camp. If they’re old enough and do well socially, overnight camps or even week-long camps might be the way to go. If your kids are growing up in the city, it will help their development to expose them to the great outdoors. Whatever the case, here are a few helpful hints to prepare your children for summer camp.
Label Their Stuff
You’ll be the counselors’ best friend if you take this proactive step to ensure that your children can keep track of their belongings. We've all seen gags on TV and in movies where moms will write their children’s names inside their underwear. Nowadays beautiful, printed clothing labels are available to save your kids the embarrassment. Kids name labels come in a variety of formats, and are perfect for labeling any clothing, toys, books, toiletries, or other personal items your children may take to camp with them.
Test Separation
If you’re concerned that your child might feel an overwhelming sense of separation for a whole week at camp, try out a more familiar environment for a week by leaving the children with a close relative or at their grandparents’ house. Stay within a close driving distance throughout the time, so if you children do experience significant separation anxiety, you can easily come pick them up. Also, if your children will be at the same camp together, it can help relieve separation anxiety, because they’ll have one another (or even cousins) to depend on.
Set the Tone
Set a positive tone when speaking about camp, and share your own memories and photographs with your kids to help prepare them for the experience. Show them crafts they might make, or activities they might participate in. If the camp offers canoeing or other activities your kids don’t do on a regular basis, consider giving them a chance to try some of these activities prior to camp to alleviate any fears or lack of confidence with doing something new that might be more significant when they’re in an unfamiliar environment.

About the Author: Sage is a busy mum who is excited for her kids to experience summer camp for the first time this year.

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