What is the Right Age to Send Your Child to Summer Camp?

by | Jun 15, 2024 | Blog

Your little one is off from school for the summer in Los Angeles, but you don’t want them to spend the nicest months of the year at home! No, you want to make sure they’re in safe hands and that they’re having a wonderful time with other kids learning, playing, and socializing. 

Why not send your kid to summer camp this year? They’ll have a ton of fun, and they’ll learn a thing or two as well, even though they’re not at school.

But how do you know if your child is ready for Los Angeles summer camps? What age is appropriate to start going to camp? Let’s talk about it.

Read on to learn the factors that go into your child being ready for an enjoyable camp experience. 

Maturity Level

One reason that there’s no specific age at which a child can go to summer camp is that not all children have the same maturity within the same age group. Some five-year-olds may, in some ways, be more mature than some pre-teens.

A question you may want to ask youyself is, can your child handle being away from home and family for a day? If they’re already in all-day school, the answer is likely yes, but remember that this will be a new environment.

Are they past the “stranger danger” phase? The answers to these questions are things helpful to know and can help you determine if your child is ready to attend a summer camp.

Social Skills

Social skills often go hand-in-hand with maturity. Can your child reasonably interact and make friends with peers and counselors? 

Again, if your child is already in conventional school, it’s likely that they’ll be able to adjust to the camp environment quickly. Even if they’re still shy, camp can be a wonderful experience that will help them become more confident and teach them more social skills

If your child simply isn’t in an emotional place to meet and interact with new people, you may want to wait a year.  

Physical Ability

An enjoyable camp experience comes along with plenty of active summer fun. You want your child to be able to participate as much as possible so they can get the most out of their summer. Are they ready?

Can they participate in camp activities, like games and sports? Are they at an age where they’re comfortable trying new physical activities even if they don’t do a good job?

Children of all abilities can enjoy summer camp, but it’s a good idea to make sure your child’s motor skills are in line with the camp activities.

Interest and Enthusiasm

Not all children want to attend a summer camp. Children who are quite young may not want the independence that comes from participating in summer camps. They may prefer to stay with their parents and siblings at home for another year. 

Young children who don’t want to go to camp may not be emotionally ready for it yet, and that’s okay. 

Camp Type and Philosophy

Is the camp tailored to your child’s needs, interests, and abilities at their current age? Many fantastic summer camps, like ours, focus on a wide range of activities for a variety of skill levels and ages. Because of that, there’s something for children of any age as long as they have the maturity to participate.

Children start developing unique interests and skills fairly early, often even during toddlerhood. If a local camp can accommodate your child’s needs and limitations, as well as cater to their interests, your child may be ready. 

Some summer camps for kids, like ours, offer different activities for different age groups. 

Preschool-age camps (for children from four to five years old) often focus on play-based learning, arts, and socialization. They’ll likely feature simple physical activities and games as well as simple crafts. 

Elementary-age camps (for children from around six to ten years old) tend to offer a range of activities, like sports, arts, and STEM projects. This is when children start really developing interests and when their fine motor skills are advanced enough to do a wider range of activities. 

Pre-teen camps (for pre-teens) provide more specialized activities, like leadership development and team-building activities that are still disguised as games. Camps may also focus more on fun educational activities. 

Staff Qualifications and Supervision

Are the counselors experienced, trained, and able to provide appropriate support for children who are the same age as your child? Not everyone is qualified to handle all age groups. As a parent, it’s your job to make sure the staff of the camp is ready for your child. 

On that note, what level of supervision is involved at the summer day camp in question? 

Young children, and even pre-teens, need constant supervision so they can stay safe. The venue for the summer camp should be secure and there should never be a moment in which a counselor doesn’t have eyes on your child. 

The Camp Rules

Let’s talk about one of the most important factors when it comes to deciding whether or not your child is an appropriate age for summer day camp. What are the rules of the camp in question?

Some summer camps are specifically for certain age groups. Perhaps one camp is only for teenagers, and another is only for small children. If you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to reach out and ask if your child is able to attend. 

At our summer day camp, we have different programs for different age groups. We start accepting young children at age four and we accept children through age twelve. Young teenagers can even be CITs (or counselors in training). 

Is Your Child Ready for Summer Camp? 

So, what do you think? Is summer camp a viable option for your little one this year? 

If your child is mature enough for a camp environment, this could be the first year (of many) in which they can start enjoying summer fun and making new friends. 

At Got Game, we offer all different types of activities to suit any interest. Whether your child is a beginner or experienced, we want to make sure our campers get to try and experience as many new things as possible. 

We have different summer camp locations across Los Angeles, including Hancock Park Elementary, Third Street Elementary, Short Ave Elementary, and Hale Charter School today.

If your child is ready, register him or her today!