5 Ways to Set Your Kid Up for Summer Camp Success
Signing up for summer day camp can help little campers reap big benefits, including building independence, self-confidence, social skills and more. But it can also be challenging for kids to readjust from the familiar routine of home or school. This summer, fend off pre-camp jitters and ensure your kid’s a happy camper with these six summer camp tips.
If your kid’s nervous about camp or has never done summer camp before, let them dip a toe in the pool before asking them do a flip off the high board. In other words, if your schedule allows, look for half-day camps and/or one-day-only camps rather than signing them up for a week-long, 8-AM-to-6-PM program. And hold off planning every second of the entire summer with back-to-back camps. See which camps click with your child and sign them up for more of those later in the summer. Granted, you run the risk that they’ll be full, but it’s usually easier to add camps as you go than to switch things around after you’ve already signed up.
Recruit a friend.
Nothing settles a case of the pre-camp butterflies like knowing a buddy will be there too. Coordinate your child’s plans with their friends’ parents for the win-win.
Work on resilience.
Help your child feel more confident by building grit and independence: Play games together and let them get used to losing sometimes. Pow-wow with parents of your kid’s friends to plan an all-day play date trade or even sleepover swap. Praise your child for being brave enough to swim across the pool. Dance and sing along to the song “We’re Stronger” from Q’s Pop Playlist available on the Q Wunder app.
Ask open-ended questions.
Instead of asking your child if they’re worried about camp, ask how they’re feeling about going and really listen to their response. Rather than brushing off fears with “You’ll love it when you get there — it’ll be great!”, acknowledge their concerns and talk about how they might deal with them. Asking your kid open-ended questions and discussing their answers can also help them prepare for situations that might come up at camp. Start with You and Q card questions, such as “What does it mean to be brave?” from Q’s Race to the Top On the Go! pack.
Let them know what to expect.
Ask the camp if you and your kid can take a quick tour of camp facilities and meet a few counselors ahead of time. If that’s not possible, at least look at photos of the camp online. Go over what will happen during the day, what time you’ll pick them up, and what you’ll do together when you see each other later — including share the day’s adventures with each other!
Get your kid set for summer camp — help build key social and emotional skills with the free Q Wunder app!