Disclosure: I received free product from Stickerkid in exchange for a review of their products. The opinions are mine. The links to StickerKid are affiliate links-I will earn a small commission for purchases made via the links. (Which will help me offset the camp costs, so if you are going to order some labels I sure would appreciate it if you would use my links!)
It's camp time! Whether you are sending your child off to science camp for school or getting ready for summer camps, we all know how stressful this time can be. The best way I handle stress is to get really organized. This is my first time sending my daughter off to camp, and here's a rundown of what I did to get her ready to go.
- Shop early! My daughter is going to science camp in May, but she's going to a place where there could still be snow. I didn't plan ahead and the stores are loaded with summer shorts and swimsuits, but no winter wear! I had to order online. I wish I had thought about the weather back in December when I had a larger selection to choose from!
- Start putting everything that needs to be packed in one place in your home, a week ahead of time. Every time we thought of something my daughter would need, it went on the camp pile. When it came time to pack, we had everything in one place and packing was much easier.
Label everything! I was approached by Stickerkid a few months ago to do a review of their labels. I jumped at the chance since I knew camp was coming up. Here's my experience with them:
- From the beginning, I was impressed by them. My daughter sat with me when I was ordering and she was really excited to pick the artwork, fonts, and colors for the labels. The choices were impressive-they really know what kids like!
- The labels were shipped REALLY quickly!
- The labels are high quality. These aren't cheap, paper labels. They have a nice coating on them that makes them durable and waterproof. (I'll update you on our experience with durability when my daughter returns from camp and tell you how they look after use!)
- The instructions for applying the labels (especially the iron-on) are easy to understand.
- We LOVE the shoe labels-the perfect shape for putting inside the heel of the shoes.
- I really liked the iron-on labels for the clothes. I was afraid they would be stiff and would rub on my daughter's sensitive skin when she wore the clothes but, after ironing them on, they are soft and flexible. I doubt she'll know they are there.
- Help your child cope with homesickness. My daughter and I made a few lists in the journal she's taking to camp, that will help her cope with some potential issues that might come up while she's away such as; homesickness, inability to fall asleep, etc. We brainstormed things she can try when she's feeling these things. For example, if she can't fall asleep, we listed a few ideas including meditating (something my daughter does nightly at home) and visualizing her day like a movie in her head. By "practicing" for potential uncomfortable situations, my daughters feels more in control of her emotions and is confident she can handle them.
- Watch Bug Juice. It's an old Disney show that shows the "real life adventures of kids at camp". We watched a few episodes on YouTube. My daughter liked getting a preview of what camp life is like and we discussed some of the issues that came up in the episodes and talked about how she would have handled them if she were the characters.
- Lists are your friend. You probably have a checklist for packing to go to camp, but do you have one for coming home? I typed-up a personalized list of the things that REALLY need to come home (like a favorite stuffed animal) and packed into my daughter's bag. I'm hoping she will use the list when she is packing to come home. Hope springs eternal right?
As a newbie to camping, this list probably isn't complete. Could you leave your camp tips in the comments? I would love to have this post become a resource for parent's getting ready to send their children to camp!