Infants to Young Preschoolers
Of course your baby is too young to go to a month long residential camp in the mountains, but that doesn't mean your child is not ready for a smaller, but nonetheless beneficial and fun camp experience. Consider enrolling in a day camp in your area or in special workshop-type day camps offered locally. Unlike the traditional residential camps, many of these day camps are perfect for young children, and there is a surprising variety.The first step in determining age appropriateness is to ask the director or consult the camp literature. Many drop-off day camps will not accept children under four, and few will accept children who are not potty-trained. For the older preschool set, look for day camps that have a variety of scheduled activities, but for children under age three, you are more likely to find parent or caretaker attended camps as the best alternative. These "camps" are generally set in fun workshop formats, and may feature storytelling, games, music and other age appropriate activities.
Julianne Sydell of Raleigh, NC had been bringing her daughter to Kindermusik camps since she was six months old. "A friend told me about classes that she took with her young daughter, and I was skeptical about how involved such a young baby would get, but she smiled the entire time - it was clear that she absolutely loved it."Julianne says there was an extra benefit to the summer camp she first experienced. "Our first exposure to Kindermusik was a week long camp experience, but it turned out to be a very affordable way to explore the classes that Kindermusik offered without committing to an entire semester." Many groups that specialize in offering classes for kids offer camp versions, which allow parents an opportunity to preview what they offer throughout the year. Many local preschools also offer summer day camps as a way to preview the services they offer.