Many preschools offer special camps during the summer months, and the day camp experience can be quite different from a school day.
Camps fill each day with exciting summer activities your preschooler may never have tried before as well as a host of new social experiences. Prepare your toddler for a fun-filled, non-stop day!
A familiar environment
Janet Leishman, director of St. David’s Episcopal Day School Camp in Wilmington, DE, says the children who attend the preschool during the year feel comfortable at the school’s summer camp.
Parents likewise appreciate the familiarity they develop with the staff and schedule of the school. “We offer lots of flexibility,” says Leishman. “Parents can pick the weeks they want to come — if they want a week here, a week there or just one day a week.”
Learn by doing
It’s important for most camps to be different, and even more challenging, than what kids get from a school environment.
Marci Rubin, director of Camp Kef at the Kaiserman JCC in Wynnewood, PA, has a mission for campers to learn by doing. She feels this goal is especially important for the youngest campers, called “keflets,” whom counselors separate into two groups — infants and ages 3-4.
The preschoolers at Camp Kef have many opportunities to get active and stretch their minds at the same time. “It’s a different kind of learning,” says Rubin. “The activities are very hands on — art, music, real sports, a nature program.”
At the camp, swimming instruction also makes up a large part of the preschoolers’ day. “Our goal is to have the kids be safe in the water,” says Rubin. “By having fun doing things, our hope is they’ll want to do more.”
In addition to skill-building activities, some camps offer special trips to keep kids learning and to provide a change of scenery.
Aliya Horsey, assistant director of Harvest Christian Academy’s summer camp in Wilmington, DE, says field trips are always one of the most exciting experiences for the campers, especially among the youngest age group. HCA’s preschool-aged campers go on special trips apart from the older campers to destinations such as Sesame Place, the
Philadelphia Zoo and Pump It Up! to enjoy these sites in ways appropriate for their age group.
A lesson in every theme
To keep kids engaged in activities and vary the daily routine, camps often adopt weekly themes that connect to the overall message and goals of the program.
The Mini Scholars program at Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, NJ, offers children going into preK or Kindergarten a week-long study of themes like Passport Around the World, which teaches campers to cook foods and perform dances from other cultures, and Science, Robotics and Engineering, during which kids conduct hands-on science experiments and learn basic robotics. Angela Wertner, director of summer programs, says each themed class “takes a scholarly subject and brings it to the level of the Mini Scholars,” preparing them for their future education.
Whether your preschooler likes science, sports or anything in between, summer camps across the Delaware Valley have new experiences for him to enjoy that will keep his mind sharp between school years.
Alexa Bricker is a senior at Temple University and an intern at MetroKids.