Summer Camp Vs. Staying Home: What’s Right For Your Preschooler?
Although spring has just arrived, summer will be here before you know it. And if you have a toddler at home, you’ll soon need to make a choice: should you start looking at summer programs for preschoolers or will you opt to keep your child home this summer? Let’s take a closer look at the considerations of each scenario — and why choosing a summer camp for at least a small portion of the season may provide more advantages than you might realize.
Benefits of Choosing a Summer Camp For Your Preschooler
- Socialization: Although playdates are prevalent throughout the year, parents who keep their kids home during the summer often take on the responsibility of ensuring their children have plenty of opportunity to interact with their peers. Socialization can play a prominent role in personal development, of course. But summer camps for young children come with built-in chances to socialize with other children and adults — many of whom they might not already know. Your child will be able to connect with their peers, develop new skills, and learn how to negotiate social situations in a whole new way. What’s more, the pressure is taken off parents to do all the leg work.
- Structure: Another obvious benefit of choosing a summer camp is the structure that comes along with it. Although having the opportunity to relax and play is needed, preschool children do benefit from having a specific routine. Maintaining this at home can be tough, especially when parents need to work during the day. The programming provided at summer camp can allow your child to explore new areas in a way that’s both educational and fun. Rather than taking on this responsibility yourself, you can entrust in camp staff members to create a curriculum that boosts summertime learning.
- Supervision: Opting for a summer camp program will also make certain that your child benefits from consistent supervision throughout the day. Since fewer than one in three children has a full-time, stay-at-home parent, it can be difficult to devote as much time and attention to your child as they need in order to keep them stimulated, safe, and happy at home. At a qualified summer camp, you can rest assured that the experienced staff members will create a healthy environment that includes proper care and guidance for all campers.
Why Some Parents Keep Their Preschool Children Home During Summer
- Family Time: Parents may be reluctant to sign their child up for a summer camp program if they’re worried that doing so could cause them to miss out on an opportunity to create precious family memories. That’s completely understandable, especially because the summer season provides so many opportunities for family fun. But keep in mind that you can typically choose the summer camp arrangement that works best for you. That may mean signing your child up for one or two weeks at day camp or opting for a program that offers half-day sessions. Enrolling your child in a program like this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your family time together.
- Cost Concerns: At first, it might seem like keeping your child home all summer will be a good way to save money. However, you’ll need to factor in all associated costs. If both parents work, you’ll need to come up with an alternative form of child care, which can be an added expense. What’s more, summer camp programs don’t have to be expensive to be effective. For all the activities and experiences offered to your child, choosing a summer camp can often be more cost-effective than trying to provide similar offerings to your child on your own. Don’t get too hung up on costs, particularly when there are so many great camps that are perfect for budget-conscious families.
Ultimately, choosing a summer camp or keeping your child home all summer will be a totally personal decision. However, given all the benefits that reputable camps can offer, it may be within the best interests of your entire family to explore available summer camp options. To learn more about our summer camp programs, please contact us today.