Camp is good and intense experience for children to advance their cognitive and social skills and spread their own wings. While at the camp, children will be given new routines different from what they do in school or in home and they will get to meet new friends. That should be exciting enough for them to anticipate the experience.
But that is not the case for some kids. That is why you need to help prepare your kids before they leave home. Not just the packing but also help them face their jitters of going without you.
Here is the list of ideas parents can help their child prepare for camp:
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Talk about in advance. Tell them about your own camp experiences that would make them excited or find a book about it that you can read with your kids.
Include them in the decision-making process. Include the child in evaluating camp options. Look for their friends who want to go to the same camp with your child.
Settle anxiety by focusing on the positive. Bring out the child’s excitement about the camp by showing him pictures at the camp’s website and telling him about the fun activities they will get to do.
Practice separation through sleepovers and play dates. Train your child to not be anxious about him/her being separated from you by letting them play out of the house or a friend’s house.
Pack a few of their favorite items from home. Letting your child bring along with him/her a stuffed toy or a picture from your home will make them feel comfortable.
Give him protection against the harmful effects of the sun. Like sunblock and hat. teach them how to apply it on their body themselves.
Inform the camp director of your child’s medical concerns. Tell also your kids that they can approach their camp director for health or any other concerns. Like for example if the kid has an asthma, he/she should tell the coordinator.
Consider getting a health certificate first. A physical exam before going to camp will assure you and the camp that your child is capable of completing the course. Or find a specific camp that will accommodate your child’s health conditions such as chronic asthma and other severe ailment.
Let your child pack a lot of water. If it’s a sports camp your child is attending, let the child bring enough water to keep them hydrated. Two to three liters of water for a whole day is enough.
Remind not to share personal things. Sharing of things such as hair brush or hats will expose your child to lice infestation. In case he/she gets lice, you can get rid of it by using a lice shampoo and lice comb.
Proper preparation is important to help your kids enjoy the summer camp. With these tips, kids will be able to have fun, make friends and make memories while learning relevant skills.