Top Tips to Prepare Children for Summer Camp

Updated: June 15, 2022

As we near summer break, you may find yourself still looking into summer camp options. 

With so many different types to choose from, where do you start? Well, we’re here to help! 

Whether you’re looking to send your children away to a basic summer camp, STEM camp, kids yoga camp, or to another type of specialized summer camp, we have the advice you need to ensure a smooth transition from home to overnight camp.

Read on to learn our top tips to prepare children for summer camp.

prepare children for summer camp

Ways to Prepare Kids for Summer Camp

Use our simple tips below to keep yourself organized as you plan to send your children away for a week, two weeks, or longer. You can also use these tips to allay your child’s anxiety about going away from home. We’re confident that these tips will help you and your children be fully prepared for all that overnight camp entails!

Know When Camp Starts

The most obvious way to prepare your children for summer camp is for you to be aware of when the program starts. Have the date written on a board where everyone can see it so that you can prepare fully for the date of departure. Also, discuss the upcoming date with your children. If they are anxious or worried about going away, sit down and talk about the fun they’ll have when the start date rolls around. 

Have Discussions with Children

Don’t underestimate the power of talking to your kiddos before they venture off to sleep away camp. You may need to have several conversations as the date of departure gets closer. Allow your kids to ask questions. This way you can answer anything they may be wondering about when it comes to summer camp. If you don’t know the answers, you can do some research to find the answers. Maybe you and your kids can research this together so they feel prepared for summer camp.

Make a List

Your overnight program may provide you with a list of recommended items, but create your list at home, too. Sit down with your youngsters to see what they want to bring, what’s allowed, and what you want them to bring. This will help you have a checklist to check off items. You can also add items you may need to buy to your list. 

Start Packing Now

With your list in place, it’s time to start packing. Pick out a big enough duffel bag and begin packing items that they won’t need in between now and the start day. If it seems too soon to start getting organized, include your kids. Ask them to gather certain items or select their favorite T-shirt to add to the duffel bag. Make it fun!

Practice with a Slumber Party

If your children haven’t spent much time away from home, you may want to ask a friend or family member about having a slumber party. Have your kids spend a night or two away from home with a friend so that they can get used to being away and learn to be more responsible for their actions. This can help ease the anxiety that may arise on departure day.

Teach Kids to Meditate and Be Mindful 

It’s important to give your children mindfulness tools. This way they can learn to be present and calm their minds and emotions if they feel sad or anxious while away from home. Consider practicing meditation with your teens and kids of all ages to help them cope with anxiety. To help you get going, here are 5 easy ways to teach kids to meditate.

Practice Kids Yoga Poses

Yoga poses for kids are a great way to teach kids to calm their own nervous systems. Yoga helps anxiety and helps kids feel more self-confident. So, why not practice yoga with your kids now – before they go away? This way they can continue doing yoga poses during their summer adventure. Oh, if you want to pack some printable yoga cards in your child’s duffle bag, this will give them loads of fun yoga poses to do with their new friends. Check out these ‘Animal Yoga Poses’ printable cards from Pretzel Kids!

What can you not bring to summer camp?

Typically, when you enroll your kids in summer camp, you’ll receive a list of things that are not allowed. The list will typically include the common sense items that most parents wouldn’t send with their children. Items like Swiss Army knives, firecrackers, or other dangerous items will not be allowed at summer camp.

So, it’s best to reference the camp no-no list that will arrive in your mailbox shortly after you register your children for summer camp. If you didn’t receive a list of what you can and cannot bring, contact the camp to see if they can provide you with a detailed list. This way you can properly prepare children for summer camp.

Prepare Children for Summer Camp and Have Fun!

prepare children for summer camp

Lastly, don’t forget to have discussions about what to expect so that your kids are ready to go away from home. As with most areas in life, when children are prepared, they tend to have less anxiety and stress. So, let your children know they must follow rules but can also have fun making new friends and learning new things. Summer camp is a time for your children to spread their wings, and learn how to cope without their parents’ guidance, and become more self-confident in their own abilities.

Camp is a place where your children can grow, expand their knowledge, and enjoy having fun with other kids during summer break. We hope that our tips to prepare children for summer camp inspire you to make the transition easier for your kids!

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