When schools are on a break, holiday camps offer the perfect opportunity for kids to gain independence, try new things, make friends, build confidence and, most of all, have fun while learning.
But with many different camps on offer, how do you know which one will be the best fit for your child?
Is your child ready for camp?
Many camps accept children from age 3 up to 12, but for younger children their level of independence is one of the key things in deciding if they’re ready for camp. Are they able to go to the toilet on their own, do they enjoy making new friends, and can they focus for at least 15-20 minutes on one activity
What should you look for in a camp?
Camps shouldn’t just be about learning, as children need a break from school. Good camps offer a balance of enrichment, games, and recreational activities with regular breaks for snacks and meals. The duration of the camp can also be important for younger kids – are they ready for a full day or would a half day suit them better? Reputable camps employ experienced teachers who can help your children to get the most from their time at camp. Make sure that camps are nut-free and, if meals are provided, check if dietary requirements (eg vegetarian, halal) can be catered for. And to make things as smooth as possible for you as a parent, consider camps that offer transportation as an option – and, if they do, make sure it’s with a reputable bus company. You can drop off your child from 8:30 am in all our camps.
What type of camp will your child enjoy most?
Kids should see holiday camps as a benefit, not a chore, and will thrive most if they have an interest in the key subjects and fun activities based around them. If your child is a massive fan of Harry Potter or obsessed about science or Space, see if you can find a camp that will cater for this interest. Some companies also offer themed camps that can satisfy your little one’s appetite for learning about Christmas, Chinese New Year, or Halloween, for example.
How much do camps cost?
Prices for camps range from 80 SGD to 126 SGD for camps per day. Consider whether camps include snacks and meals in their prices as these can add to the overall cost.
Should you force your child to join a camp?
Whilst it’s never recommended to force your child to join a camp, kids are often uncertain about new experiences and so may not be keen to try a camp for the first time. But after one or two days at camp this anxiety normally disappears, and children are too busy having fun to worry about anything else. What can unsettle kids is when their parents come to check on them, so giving them some space often speeds their transition.
How do camps deal with misbehaving children?
Established camps should have guidelines for acceptable behavior, including respect for others which children should sign up to. You can ask camps to provide details on their guidelines to be sure they have them. Experienced teachers should be able to minimize disruptive behaviour but, in situations where misbehaviour occurs, camps should have sufficient teachers to allow one-on-one discussions which help children to understand the impacts of their actions and suggest ways to make amends.
How do I prepare my child for camp?
If it’s your child’s first experience of camp, a little pre-camp anxiety is quite normal. Talking to them in advance about what the camp will entail – interesting topics, games, recreational activities, making new friends – can help to settle nerves. Most camps will expect children to bring a bag packed with a reusable water bottle; helping kids pack their bag, maybe even including a few small memories of home, can reassure them. Otherwise, the only thing you need to prepare them for is to have a lot of fun!