Summer Camp Experience for Little Kids: Choosing a Camp for Young Children

By: Melissa Martz for, Canada's trusted source for camps and schools. Vintage Sports Labels

It is possible to find a camp for your young child, which suits their needs, based on the interests and the activities they enjoy. Whether your child goes to camp for the day or overnight you want to make sure they have fun!

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.

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.

Another great benefit of day camp is that many offer drop in programs, which are ideal for parents who work shifts. These camps allow you to drop your child off when you need the care, they get the camp experience, and you only pay for the days that they attend.

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 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 overnight 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 they normally wouldn’t do (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.

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.

Give your kids the best camp experience this year. Meet with top camps across Ontario and Quebec at the Our Kids Camp Expo.

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