Tips & Tricks

Summer Day Camp Packing List and Tips

Last year was a difficult one for all kids' camps as they struggled to navigate the best COVID procedures and keep everyone as safe as possible. This year more camp centers should be opening back up, and day camp will be a welcome treat for everyone in the family.

If you're looking forward to day camp, then you're no doubt pretty excited to start planning. We're here to help you do just that. We've created a packing list that prepares your little ones for a season of fun.

Remember, there might be a little anxiety after a year of quarantine and health precautions. If you include your child in the preparation and build some excitement for them, it can be a better experience for everyone and soothe the transition.

The Day Camp Backpack
Forest Sky Camp Labels from Name Bubbles. A well-stocked backpack can be all your child needs to get through day camp with ease. Make sure you find a durable backpack that will last the season and has well-functioning zippers and snaps. It's also a good idea to find one with separate compartments so they can keep snacks away from wet swimsuits or dirty shoes.

It's also important to label your child's backpack (we have camp labels for that), so they don't misplace it or get theirs confused with someone else's. We love letting little ones add waterproof stickers to their backpacks and other accessories to customize their stuff further. Then the bag is transformed into a work of art, and they'll take pride in it. This is a win/win situation because they're more likely to take better care of it.

What To Pack in a Day Camp Backpack
You've selected the perfect backpack, and it's all decorated and labeled. Now it's time to fill it. What supplies you need depends on your child, their age, and the type of camp they are going to. Remember, if you've signed your child up for a sport or activity-specific camp, there are going to be extras. Make sure you get a specific checklist from the camp, so you're not missing any of those supplies.

These are some typical supplies just about everyone needs.

  • Change of clothes.
  • Water bottle.
  • Snacks.
  • Sunscreen.
  • A hat.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Bug spray.
  • Mask.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Tissues.
  • Medications (with instructions).
  • Extra plastic bags.
  • Extra labels.

Labeling the backpack is step one, but don't forget to tag all of the items inside their bag! Our Camp Label Value Packs have all the labels you need for everything, from underwear to lunch containers. They're waterproof, and they hold on tight without irritating sensitive skin or wearing off.

Beyond that, they help your little ones keep track of their things. Labels can prevent fights, tears, and meltdowns. Having a few extra ones on hand is especially useful at day camp because then your child can label their arts and crafts creations, too. They'll love putting stickers on all of their stuff.

Add a Comfort Item from Home
Before you send your child out the door, there's one little extra we think everyone should include – a comfort item. A little token or trinket can help your child feel connected to you. This can comfort them and ease the shift from being home all the time to being somewhere without parental protection. It doesn't matter how old the child is or what that touchpoint is. It just needs to be a meaningful connection for your little one. Below are a few ideas, but maybe your child has a personal, creative way of staying connected.

  • A simple piece of jewelry, like a necklace or a friendship bracelet.
  • Small toy on a keychain.
  • Note that you include with lunch each day.
  • Family photo.
  • A small stuffed animal.
  • Book .
  • A recorded message from you.

Tips for Day Camp Drop-Off
Now that you've prepared them for day camp, you've purchased the perfect backpack, everything is labeled, and you've selected a comfort item to serve as their touchpoint to home, it's time to think about the drop-off. This can set the stage for the entire camp experience. The following tips are great ways to introduce the idea of being away from home and keep it fun and exciting.

    • Check it out. A quick visit to see the camp instantly turns an unknown into something relatable.
Custom Camp Labels from Name Bubbles.
  • Meet the teachers. Some camps offer a meet-and-greet. Make sure to attend if this is available to you and your child.
  • Bring a friend. If your child has a friend going to camp, this makes it a lot easier on them. If they don't, try to connect with other parents and arrange a playdate before camp.
  • Roleplay. Sit down and play with your child. Use their dolls or stuffed animals to role play what fun camp will be.
  • Books and videos. There are a lot of books, videos, movies, and TV shows that feature camp themes. This can make the idea seem much more exciting and less strange and unusual.
  • Mind your emotions. It's hard to let them go, and it can make you feel weepy but try not to let it show. It'll be harder on them if they see you crying. It can make them feel scared or anxious. Try to keep the goodbye short and positive and let them know you'll be excited to hear about their day when you pick them up.

Thank you again for joining us for another edition of The Weekly Bubble! We hope this blog post was informative for you and your children. If you have any questions about labeling or summer camp in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We’ll talk to you next week!

Michelle Brandriss

As the Founder and President of Name Bubbles, it’s difficult to believe that nearly 15-years ago, I began thinking of starting a kids’ name label business in my basement office. My son was a toddler, and I was learning and living the early stages ...

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