Benefits of Summer Camp for Preschoolers

May 14, 2019

Summer camp is one of the bright spots of many a child’s summer activities. It’s a chance to get outside, make new friends, try new activities and build independence, social skills, and critical thinking. It’s a good fit for many elementary and middle school-aged children, but when is the right time to start? Is summer camp a good option for your preschooler? It can be hard to let them go for so long, and it may feel like they need a break for the summer. But some programs accept children as young as three years old, and it can be more beneficial than you first think.

First of all, it can give children who have not been in a structured school system a taste of what’s to come and will prepare them for what is expected in the future. They’ll begin to experience days that aren’t laid back like at home, but that have them following a schedule and dealing with group situations. They have to be responsible for their belongings, as well — it’s more of a consequence if you lose a toy (or jacket, or backpack, or lunchbox) at school than at home, of course. it‘s always helpful for kids to learn these consequences now and build habits to avoid them, rather than learn them later and not be able to cope.

As mentioned above, your child will gain experience in group settings and have to learn how to get along with children. Summer camp can also be the beginnings of friendships for your preschooler. They will have the opportunity to independently make friends within the group instead of just having kids as friends due to proximity or convenience, which also means they will meet a whole host of kids that they wouldn’t have the chance to meet otherwise.

Along with new kids, your child will be able to learn new skills that you may not have the opportunity to teach at home. This could be anything from using sporting equipment to art supplies to musical instruments, and it may kindle an interest that follows your child through life. Depending on the camp your child may also get a good exposure to the great outdoors, and learn about different parts of nature from birds to flowers. Playing outside fosters independence, a love of the environment, interest in physical activity, and the opportunity to learn science in a hands-on way. What’s not to love?

And as hard as it will be to drop your little one off the first day and leave them to their own adventure, summer camp will help your kid to develop independence away from Mom and Dad and cope on their own. That’s a great skill to foster especially before they jump fully into school, and will help them transition into adolescence smoothly as they begin to think and make decisions for themselves. Plus, when you pick them up every day they will have a plethora of stories for you about how much fun they had.

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