Summer break is almost upon us—have you gotten your kidlets booked into camps yet? Depending on their age and interests, there is a camp for them. Everything from arts and theatre to skateboarding and science, a camp is out there to perfectly fit your child.
But…once you’ve gotten the camps booked and the kids excited to go, you still have to pack. No, not pyjamas and toothpaste (unless your kids are headed to overnight camp); more like backpacks and lunches, sunscreen and water bottles. Here are thetop 8 things you will need to make sure your kids are ready for day camp this summer.
Don’t Make them Scream for Sunscreen
Number one in our books everyday: sunscreen. Apply it before they go and pack a (labelled) bottle in their bag so they can reapply every few hours (their camp counsellors will love you). We’ve got lots of different sunscreen brands to choose from for kids of all ages.
Wee ones have big appetites—especially when they’re super active like they are throughout a full day of camp. Make sure to fill their lunch boxes with healthy food and snacks so they can keep energized.
Sending kids to camp with a waste-free lunch is a necessity. Camps (and schools) are putting the kybosh on garbage and it starts with great lunch packing pieces. We love the line from Kids Konserve— it’s fun, stylish, and easy to use. It includes containers in various sizes, reusable food wraps, stainless steel straws, and lunch totes.
Hats are the best protection against sunburn; they offer a much higher SPF than sunscreen. If your kidlet has a fave brimmed cap, make sure they wear it. You may also want to introduce them to sunhats this year. With a full brim, their ears and back of their neck are protected. The bucket hats by Calikids also have a velcro chin strap to ensure a perfect fit on their wee noggin.
Quench Their Thirst
Kids need to drink water—all day long. Outfit your littles with a water bottle that you fill in the morning and they can refill during the day (camps have a place to fill up and a designated time to remind kids to fill their bottles and reapply their sunscreen). Eco Vessel and Crocodile Creek make some with funky designs, Nalgene makes great ones in different sizes and S’well makes a bottle to match every mood and outfit (check out the extra fun prints from S’ip by S’well!).
A good backpack is important. One that holds everything they need and that they like, so they won’t deliberately leave it on a bus. Their school bag will of course work, but sometimes it’s nice to get a new one for camp. Kids have given their two thumbs up to the ones from Skip Hop and Zoocchini.
Once you’ve gathered up all the necessities for camp, you will want to label EVERYTHING. Bottles, lunch containers, sunscreen, hats, rain coats, backpacks, sports equipment…put a label on it all, or you risk it not coming home. We have stick-on and iron-on labels from Stuck on You and they stick to just about anything your kids might lose.
You will need a convincing smile and a good, sturdy hug. When your kids get on the bus or you drop them at camp, make sure you smile and give a good hug goodbye. Trust us. Them knowing you’re happy that they are going will go a long way in helping them adjust to their new surroundings. After that, you’re free to cry in the car, where they can’t see you (yes, your wee babes are growing up).
There you have it. A checklist of everything you need for your kids to have a comfortable, fun and entertaining stint at summer camp this year. You may also need tissues…and coffee…just to get yourself through those first few days of adjustment.