Is your kid ready for summer camp? This week I packed up and sent off three (lucky!) kids to Catalina Island Camps for two weeks. For my son, it was his first summer camp experience and I wanted to pay extra attention to his gear, packing plenty of activities, stationary and clothes he'd love.
Packing three bags was a bit of a scramble, but it was also a fun trip down memory lane. Many of the items I chose for their bags were the same items I packed in my own camp trunk many years ago.
But there were a few new ones!
Seeking some cool ideas for what to pack? I've collected some of my best ideas and some recommendations, including a couple of inexpensive DIY projects.
Here are the top 9 things every kid needs before heading to summer camp:
Related: 6 reasons why my toddler does chores
Your kid will be accompanied by new friends this summer. Entertain them with a simple games like Cuponk so they can play with their new bunk buddies.
Buy it from Amazon, $16.95
Camp Classic: Lanyard
Remember these? If you've forgotten how it works, perhaps your kid's fellow camper will remind you how to make lanyard creations. It's a great way to preoccupy your kids and calm down while they make lanyard keychains or bracelets!
Buy it from Hobby Lobby, $5.99
Related: 25 things every kid should experience
Better than a game truth or dare...Coke or Pepsi books are packed with fun questions to help them to get to know their bunkmates better! There are silly questions and great general questions that will have the kids laughing.
Buy it from Coke or Pepsi, $7.99
Got sun and sand? You'll want to pick up a few essentials like sunscreen to protect skin and baby powder which makes the sand slide right off! And if there are no sandy beaches at the camp, it's still an important item to pack for skin protection.
Buy it from your local drugstore, about $3.00
Related: 20 places your kids need to see before they grow up
Back in my day it was cool to read comic books, but nowadays graphic novels like the Wimpy Kid series rule. My son couldn't wait to get his hands on this book. And I'm sure your kids will enjoy this at camp or at home!
Buy it from WimpyKid.com, $13.95
Loads of Labels
Label it or lose it! Our favorite labels for camp come from Mabel's Labels. Stick this on every one of your kid's belongings and I guarantee you will thank yourself that you did! I remember mixing up my things with others' and a silly argument would always abrupt. Label, label, label!
Buy it from Mabel's Labels, $39.95
Related: 12 unexpected ways life changes after kids
Friendship Bracelets? Cat's Cradle? Chinese Jumprope? Jacks? There's a Klutz kit book for ALL of that. Gear and directions are ready to go for these classic pastimes and more. This is great at home or at camp, check them out either way!
Buy it from Klutz, $12.95
DIY Camp Stationary
Don't spend a fortune on stationary when you can make DIY Camp Stationary at home. Get them ready for your kids to take with them to camp -- you're going to want an update letter every week! Don't forget to tell them to stamp and address the envelopes!
Learn how here
A Familiar Friend
It's nice to see a familiar face at camp so be sure to pack a favorite like this Webkinz Wooly Mammoth small stuffed toy -- my son's fuzzy friend. Your kid might be uneasy with an unfamiliar setting and faces they don't know yet. Even after adjustment period, they're going to want to sleep with this in arm.
Buy it from Amazon, $15.95
- By Ciaran Blumenfeld
Follow Ciaran at Babble
For 7 more things every kid needs at camp, visit Babble!
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