JFF: Do You Send Your Little Ones to Day Camp?

Updated on May 30, 2013
M.W. asks from Flushing, NY
14 answers

If so, what is there favorite camp activity?

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answers from Reno on

Yes because I work full time outside of the house. They swim three days a week there and the kids LOVE it, they also do crafts, watch movies, do bbq. I am so grateful for summer camp. (it is also held at their so that is an added bonus) They meet lots of new friends (any child can attend even if they dont go to the school). It is expensive but worth it

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answers from Washington DC on

DD loves crafts. She will do a week of VBS with her friend and 2 weeks of themed camp with her preschool. She's still a little young for a lot of our park and rec type programs.

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answers from New York on

Never did. I actually loved the no schedule life of the summer. I would thi k the sprinklers for little ones.

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answers from Wichita Falls on

Yes, it is a Godsend to get the kids out of the house. Their favorite activities are swimming, swimming. and more swimming (and one snowball fight as a gift for my oldest's birthday)

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answers from Springfield on

My oldest just finished kindergarten and will be attending a variety of week-long, half-day camps. Science, art, college for kids, Vacation Bible School. He didn't do any camps last summer, but he did do VBS. He liked it so much that he ended up doing VBS at three different churches and asked if he could do them again this summer.

My 4 year old just finished his first year of preschool. He is going to attend our park district's "Summer Fun" program that meets two mornings a week.

It's hard to find the right balance. Hoping it will get easier as they get older. I think some downtime during the summer is great, but during the last two summers I did not sign my oldest up for enough, and he was really starting to get board. My youngest wasn't bored, but I think "Summer Fun" will be good for him.

If you're looking for some good places to start (for your 3 year old, I'm guessing?) you might try the YMCA and your local park district. It doesn't necessarily have to be camp. It could be a swim class or a gymnastics class. But camp is good, too.

Good luck with your decision!

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answers from Portland on

Kiddo went to a morning 'camp' program at his preschool for the past two summers-- I'd say he loved tie-dying and just playing with friends.

This summer he'll do a short morning soccer camp through parks and rec. He's six now.

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answers from Detroit on

Yes, every day all summer. They are a combo of full day or half-day depending on the week. I choose based on what the child likes, so sports and lots of movement for 6-year-old, and the preschoolers do art, nature, some water play, etc. They like field trips a lot, too.

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answers from Boca Raton on

My younger son has gone to science camp, gumbo limbo camp at the beach, and Cartoon Camp. Cartoon Camp was the hands-down favorite because they got to do video game tournaments before the day started, and at breaks. He also loved to draw and was quite good.

Older son has gone to basketball and football camp.

I think it's neat to try things they might naturally like or love to do. Makes it more fun and enriching. Otherwise I'm not a huge fan of camps.

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answers from Grand Forks on

My kids do a week of YMCA camp each summer. When they were 4 and 5 they did 1/2 day camp. When they were 6 they did full day camp. When they were 7 they started going to sleep away camp. When they did 1/2 day camp their favourite activity was swimming. When they did full day camp their favourite activity was the field trip to the waterpark and rock climbing. At sleep away camp they love it all, kayaking, canoeing, zip lining, rock climbing, water trampoline, hiking, sailing, swimming, fishing...

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answers from St. Louis on

When I was a kid i loved going to camps. I am very outdoorsy so i went to hiking camps and learned alot about myself when I was there. It also helps to possibly get another friends parents to let there kid go so he or she at least knows somebody.

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answers from Houston on

As a teacher, I saw summers as a time for my son and I to bond--not for me to send him off to camp.

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answers from New York on

My son will be goin to the YMCA this year he 4.
They have swiming indoor pool. So swiming rain or shine for them


answers from Washington DC on

i had to. i worked, no choice in the matter. and they liked it to some degree, but we would all have enjoyed more down and lazy time during the summer, for sure.
their favorite camps were the ones where swimming and baseball were involved.



answers from Dallas on

Growing up, my favorite "camp" stuff was horseback riding, softball, and swimming.
We've always stayed very busy doing our "own" thing all summer, having lots of fun and lots to do, but this year will be my 6 year old's first time at daycamp: 1 week of day camp with the cub scouts he just signed on with. That includes hiking, BB gun safety and shooting, archery, water play, arts & crafts, etc and he's really looking forward to it.
The boys do swim lessons every summer, but that's not a camp as much as a 2 hour/day thing where I'm present and watching through the window, for 1 week. Our library offers free things: a musical, a dance troop, arts and crafts, storytime for my youngest, youth chess club for the oldest, a 2 hour fencing class, the critterman, a live snake show, etc...all that is free and stuff the 2 boys can do together with me. We have season passes to 6 Flags, Hurricane Harbor, and membership to area museums. We all 4 take Krav Maga classes, we'll be doing a little bit of "school" everyday (and making it fun), we're going on an exciting summer vacation where we'll learn culture, history, art, music, and lots of physical activity outdoors, so we're working on our own "family summer camp" all summer long. Day camp is great and is enrichment where they can get out and meet some peers, and that's good too.
My friend's daughter LOVES zoo camp, does that a couple weeks every summer, and wants to be a zoologist when she grows up. My brother enjoyed football camp, swim team, space camp, and robotics club. Really, when choosing a day camp I'd go with something that would excite the individual child's individual interests. Every kid has their own idea of what is awesome and fun, and all these different options just give them an opportunity to explore it.

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