Summer camps for preschoolers are catching on — check it out! Or, if you’re looking for something really different, join forces with friends to create a summer co-op camp for your kids — it’s fun and trés affordable!
Big Shots TrainingCenter
Preschoolers can enjoy 90 minutes of basketball, soccer and free play as they explore sports and have fun with friends. Multiple three-day sessions are available in June and July.
Children ages 4 – 8 can attend a week-long Kids Dance Camp (dates TBA), for three hours of movement day. Kids will build up motor skills, enjoy crafts and get to participate in a final performance!
Cincinnati Country Day School
Children 18 months and older can explore learning centers, an outdoor classroom environment, music and movement and even meet special guests.
Cincinnati Nature Center
Camps for ages 3 and older, with themes like Stories and Trails, Natural Discoveries, Little Acorns and Growing Outside.
Encourage your preschoolers’ natural curiosity with Preschool Discovery Mornings in the Parks. The fun includes hikes, games, puppet shows, live animal encounters, storytelling and more.
Great Parks of Hamilton County
Ages 2 – 4 and a grown-up can partake in summer camps at Parky’s Farm where they’ll meet farm animals, sample farm chores, make crafts and play games. Camps fill up fast, so register early.
My Nose Turns Red
Offers 10 weeks’ worth of summer camps for ages 4 – 7 at various locations throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Learn about the offerings by signing up for the newsletter.
Safety Town at Tri-County Mall
Ages 4 – 6 can learn the basic fundamentals of street and bicycle safety over a five-day course in a program presented by the Springdale Police Department, Springdale Fire Department, Princeton City Schools and the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. First session begins in July.
Summit Country Day School
Week-long day programs are open to ages 3 and older with themes like sports, cooking and arts.
YMCA of Greater Cincinnati
Summer preschool is available in both full- and half-day options for ages 3 – 5.
CAMP CO-OPS! Create one for Your Child
One of my son’s favorite camps was one I created with friends for our little ones the summer before they started kindergarten. Each mom took a day to have all of the kids and on the other four days got free time for herself — a success for all! Here’s how to create a memorable (and affordable) co-op camp for little kids:
- RECRUIT 4 PARENTS of kids your child enjoys playing with and invite them to participate. Choose dependable, fun parents whom you know. Get their contact info and important details about each child (allergy info, for instance). Put all of the info for each child/parent on one sheet and distribute to everyone.
- CREATE A SCHEDULE, deciding which parent hosts on each day, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (or determine your own days and times). Remember, you will only be the host for ONE of these days; other days you will deliver your child to another child’s home.
- THINK “STRUCTURE” and “THEME” Plan the day you host with fun in mind, and plan it out in 30-minute increments. For instance, do clay creations for 20 minutes, then have a snack. As for theme, make it easy on yourself. If you choose “Art,” pick up supplies from a dollar store or borrow supplies. Get ideas from teacherplanet.com, lessonplanspage.com or other sites appropriate to your theme.
- PREPARE TO DITCH THE PLAN Lots of times kids have plans of their own — they can get really involved in something that takes more time than you thought it would or they only take two minutes to do something you thought would take 20. Be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow. As long as the kids are engaged in what they’re doing and having fun, it’s all good!
- KEEP YOUR BONUS IN MIND Four free days for you, you, you!
- BONUS TIP: Have each child bring his own lunch each day … you only provide the snack.
— susan day