The Obvious Summer Camp Option Parents Most Don’t Think About

Summer will be here before you know it and if you’re like most parents, you’re probably thinking about the best summer camp for your children. While you still have some time, you shouldn’t wait too long because many camps are already full.

I know what you’re going to say:

“But it’s only April?!” Yes, true. That doesn’t change the fact that a lot of camps fill up very early. Now, before you start freaking out (something that us parents occasionally do when it comes to our kids), let me reassure you: you’ll be fine, you still have time.

If you haven’t yet found a summer camp, you’re not alone. It’s a challenge that countless parents face every year. You want your kids to be safe, have fun, but also be stimulated during the summer months.

So, what are your options for Summer camp?

Plenty, actually. According to the American Camp Association, there are over 12,000 camps in the US that offer countless programs.

Summer camp options range from traditional outdoor summer camps that include canoeing, cabin-style bunking, and campfires to those that focus on technology, the arts, sports, and just about any other activity that you and your kids may be fond of.

Now, I know that the number of summer camps available can be overwhelming, even to the most organized parents! Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Here are some tips to help with your summer camp search:

  1. Start early. OK, it might be too late for this one (but hey, you’ll know for next year ;)) Seriously though, camp slots fill up fast, so you should start thinking about your family’s summer plan in the winter, obtain information on camps and dates so you can start narrowing down options. Ideally, you should try to register your child by early spring (yep, that’s now!)
  2. Keep your kids’ interests in mind. A summer camp that’s close to home or work is convenient, of course. But if your daughter is really into computers and technology, and you sign her up for ballet classes, she won’t be happy. I know, sometimes you just don’t have a choice or you just need the convenient option. I get it, we’ve all been there. However, just remember that it won’t be all that easy if you end up with a battle every morning your child has to go to camp…
  3. Consider a camp that stimulates your child mentally.Many studies have shown the negative impact of extended breaks from school, such as summer vacation. Experts say that during a 10 to 12-week summer break, students may lose two to three months’ worth of math skills learned the previous school year! So depending on your child’s age, it might be a good idea to select a summer camp that will have at least a little bit of academic instruction.
  4. Choose something fun.For many kids, summer is not what it used to be, unfortunately. Parents have a busy work schedule, which often means that their children’s schedules will also have to be well-organized. So while we just suggested a camp that keeps your child engaged mentally during the summer, make sure that your kids will also have some summertime fun and the ability to just relax and meet new friends!

By now, you’re probably wondering:

“So what is that obvious summer camp option most parents don’t think about?!” Okay, okay, sorry to have kept you waiting. Well, at CareLuLu, we’ve helped thousands of parents find the best child care and preschool program for their child.

Of course, that means that we work with many child care centers and it turns out that many parents don’t realize that year-round child care facilities often offer great summer camp options! Yes, it seems obvious, but unless their child attends a child care center that offers such a program, a lot of parents don’t even think about a “child care center summer camp”.

What’s so great about summer camps run by child care centers?

One of the best things about a child care summer camp is that many daycare centers and preschools actually offer summer camp programs which feature a mix of outdoor experiences (like a traditional summer camp), paired with quality academic instruction.

For instance, Kiddie Academy of DC hosts a summer camp program called Camp Adventure, which includes a variety of academic activities like Arts, Math and Science. However, the center is located near a large park and playground, which also allows for daily outdoor activities such as flying kites in the park, building a camp, having a picnic lunch at the park, or painting outside.

Another advantage of camps run by child care programs is that unlike camps that focus on a single topic, child care summer camps typically allow children to experience various enrichment activities. This can be a HUGE time-saver for busy parents who are not able to coordinate the perfect line-up of camps throughout the summer.

For example, the summer camp at Kiddie Academy of DC offers a bilingual Spanish program (for children in the Pre-K classes), and campers can also participate in a music and movement program powered by Kindermusik. The summer camp is organized in two-week themes, where each theme contains a variety of activities including Arts, Creative Dramatics/Music/Movement, Languages, Math, Science and Character Education.

Last but not least, most of the summer programs run by year-round child care centers will offer extended hours, which are very important for working parents!

Hopefully, these tips will help you find a great summer camp for your little one! If you haven’t done it yet, contact local child care and preschool programs to see if they offer a summer camp. If you have other tips to help parents find a great summer camp, please comment on this post!


Sponsored by our friends at Kiddie Academy of DC West End (thank you!) If you’re in the Washington DC area, check out their child care summer camp program. They offer both full-time and part-time options for children 2 years old and up. Tell them you’re coming from CareLuLu, and they’ll give you a 10% discount on your first week of Summer Camp :)


CareLuLu is the easiest way to find safe and affordable child care that fits your family’s specific needs. No need to spend hours on Google or calling daycares, you can now find all the information in one place: CareLuLu lists over 200,000 licensed daycare and preschool programs with verified parent reviews, photos, daycare cost, etc. Best of all, it’s free!

Created by parents for parents.

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