Summer Fun – Day Camps

Excited about his first day at summer camp.

 Do you remember attending summer camps as a child? I never went to one, so I can’t speak from my own memory, but I have heard they can be fun for kids. As a child, I often wondered why parents would send their kids to a camp when the kids were free from school and had time to spend with their parents. Now that I am a parent myself, I can understand their value. Parents aren’t free just because it is summer; they still have to work. And even if a mother is home with her kids, there is only so much she can do before their fights and demands for attention and activities get to her.

Enter summer day camps. While older children might benefit from camps where they actually stay at them for a few weeks, day camps are great for the little ones. You drop them off, spend a few hours doing what you need to do, and pick them up in time for lunch and naps – at least, that is how it is working for me. Logan’s school offers day camps for children from 3 to 12 years, so we signed both Logan and Lila up for the 3 to 5 group. They have 3 hours of activities every weekday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They started last week and the camp will last for one more week, ending on Lila’s birthday.

She was a little more hesitant.

Some of the activities they have been enjoying are dance, science projects, cooking, art projects, tae kwan do, French, and one day was a field trip to the railway museum. I like having them go because for 3 hours a day, they are completely occupied in a safe location, freeing me to catch up on housework, go shopping, relax, or whatever … at least, that was the hope. I have discovered that Scarlett has become more clingy since she lost her morning playmate and she follows me around like she is tied to me. She also wants to nurse more and insists on going outside after the others leave. Needless to say, I don’t get much done around the house as she has not yet learned to entertain herself.

Thankfully those are three hours in which I don’t have to listen to fights over who needs which toy, whose turn it is to pick the video, “mommy, I want to do this with you”, “mommy, he bit me/she hit me”, screaming, and so on. These are hours of peace that help me get through the rest of the day with them easier. Another benefit is that Lila is getting used to being with someone other than me, and since she will be attending this school come June, she will already be used to it and will hopefully settle in more quickly.

Have you ever, or do you, send your kids to day camps? What has your experience been and how has it made the summer more enjoyable for your whole family?

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