I am sending my boys (age 6) to day camp for the first time this summer. Here is our checklist to help keep track of all of the essentials and make our camp mornings easy and stress-free. Print your own copy and tuck into your child’s bag so they can check off everything they should bring home. Add your own suggestions in the comments below.
This list of items for day camp should fit into your child’s backpack.
___ Sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 45 (I think the roll-on kind is easier for younger kids to re-apply it themselves.)
___ Bathing suit and towel (I recommend the cheap, super thin ones–less bulk in the backpack.)
___ Water bottle filled with ice-cold water
___ Comfortable running shoes or closed-toe sports sandals WITH socks
___ Extra set of clothes (especially a pair of socks and shirt if they get wet from the rain)
___ Rain poncho (rolls up small)
___ Medication: All camps should have your child’s medical information on file. Having an extra note with details in their backpack and attached to their Prescription medication and/or Epi-Pen is helpful.
___ Food: Most day camps will provide lunch and snacks. If you pack a lunch it should be easy to eat on the ground. A sandwich (avoid peanut butter since most camps are nut-free), fruit and a juice box or water makes for a healthy lunch. Granola bars make an excellent snack. Some camps may have snack bars — find out the rules and cost of items ahead of time so you can plan if and how much money you want your child to have everyday. I recommend putting money in a zippered change purse or Ziploc baggy. Notify the camp of any food allergies your child may have.
___ Change purse with $1-$2 for snacks
___ Benadryl cream for itchy mosquito bites
Photo Credit: Children’s Critter Pack from LLBean