As the school year ends, you may be thinking about how to keep your kids busy all summer. My kids love trying out summer camps. And, while there are opportunities for kids to attend both day and overnight camps in our area, our kids aren’t too interested in going away for weeks on end.

Preparing Kids for Summer Camp #ICCAMPMABEL

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Mabel’s Labels. I received a voucher to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

We stick to day camps. And this year, our kids are going to several camps each. There are so many great options available – sports, band, academic, and activity camps are everywhere. How do you choose which is best for your child and get them ready to attend?

 

Consider Your Child’s Interests

My kids are so different from each other that it’s hard sometimes to believe they came from the same parents. One is more academically bent, another is more artsy and creative, while another spends much of her time having conversations with imaginary friends.

They need different types of camp experiences.

This summer all three of the bigger ones will be doing an old-school kind of camp experience when we visit the Institute at Lake Chautauqua where I’ll be teaching a Young Scholars science class for a week. They’ll be with kids their own ages, and will learn watersports like kayaking, sailing, and swimming. They’ll play group games like kickball and capture the flag, and they’ll put on talent shows and do crafts. Super fun.

In addition to that camp, my artsy daughter will take a two-week musical theater camp that ends with a performance of “Where the Wild Things Are” on the historic stage of the city’s community theater building.

Preparing Kids for Summer Camp #ICCAMPMABEL

My academically minded son will begin his summer with a sojourn at an invitation-only advanced band camp where he’ll continue playing his flute with several hundred other local youth musicians. A guest composer and conductor is there on a grant and will compose an original score for the kids to perform at a concert and record to keep on CD.

He’ll also join the junior high youth group at our church and get to know the other kids through community service and trips to Cedar Point. At the end of August, he’ll finish off “the best summer ever” with a stop-motion animation camp. Three hours a day for a week learning the ins and outs of software, special effects, and sound dubbing – a geeky kids’ dream come true.

 

Teach Your Child to Stay Organized

I worry though… all of my kids lose things on a regular basis.

How responsible is your child? Can he or she keep track of their own things? Is he responsible enough to know where he outs his stuff when he gets to camp, and bring it all back home at the end of the day?

Each child is an individual, so we parents need to problem-solve on an as-needed basis.

None of my children are particularly organized, so I was thrilled to learn about the Limited Edition Camp Label pack from Mabel’s Labels. The Limited Edition Camp Label Pack is designed for everything that goes to summer camp to help avoid mix-ups and lost items. They’re adorable, and the labels are so durable – completely dishwasher and laundry safe. We can use them on everything!

Preparing Kids for Summer Camp #ICCAMPMABEL

I created a set for Molly to see how the labels would turn out, and will now be creating a pack for each of the kids to use to label their goggles, bags, clothes, and other camp items.

Creating them was a snap, too. Simply head over to their website and choose from the cute designs for boys and girls. My kids love that two dog tags for their backpacks and duffel bags come in the pack.

Preparing Kids for Summer Camp #ICCAMPMABEL

If you want some of these fun labels to personalize your own kids’ gear, head to  the Mabelhood community on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up to receive newsletters – a fun and reliable source for all things mom-related! And Mabel’s Labels is offering a chance to receive one of 15 – 50% or free item coupons between now and June 22, 2015. Click below to sign up for their newsletter, then head to their site to see which discount code you won!

 

Mabels Labels Camp Combo
 

 

Celebrate Follow Through and Small Successes

For some kids, heading to a summer camp can be an overwhelming and nerve-wracking experience. Especially if your kids suffer from twice exceptionalities or anxiety. I’m so proud of my son already that he wants to attend all four summer camps, as just last year it was a challenge to get him to enjoy one sports camp.

Courage is worthy of celebration in any child. When you’re raising intense children, it’s crucial to celebrate small successes. We’ll be doing something special each day after camp this summer – even if it’s just for a hike or to play on the rocks at the park.

Preparing Kids for Summer Camp #ICCAMPMABEL

Family celebrations don’t have to be huge or expensive. Popsicles in the yard, a walk to the ice cream stand, a board game past bedtime, or stargazing in the bed of the truck… little things matter and seem big to kids. And camps – day or overnight – can seem huge to some.

What are some of the ways you help your kids get ready for new experiences like camp?