Thinking ahead: getting kids (and yourself!) ready for summer.

May 07, 2015

Spring has begun and life in NYC has been sunny. Most families here are already planning ahead, thinking of the next season. A popular question these days: What to do with the kids this summer?

Donna  + Erica wrote some amazing posts on local summer options. See them here

Most Motherburg readers have likely thought about what to do with their kids once school lets out in June. Although you may not have signed on the dotted line for anything specific yet, summer camp may be in your child’s future.

Summer camp can mean any number of things: day camp, sleep away camp or drama camp, to name a few. There are plenty of choices out there. Regardless of where you enroll your child, camp usually means a change of routine, new location, new morning commute and new kids/teachers/counselors/adults in your child’s daily life.

Often full of excitement and anticipation, summer camp should be approached like any big transition your child might encounter. For young kids, here are some suggestions for adjusting to this change:

1. Talk to your children about upcoming changes. Be as concrete as possible. Rather than saying “soon school will be over and then there’s camp  - yay!”, give your child some facts to hold onto such as: “in 5 more days, school will be finished. You will say a big goodbye to Room B, then two home days and camp will start.”

2. Give them something to look at: make a weekly calendar with them or show them a picture of the building where camp will be or pictures/names of their camp teachers if possible. If you know other children that will attend, share this with your child (“You’ll see Nick from dancing school there”).

3. Tell them what to expect and involve them in preparing: things like “at camp, you will put on your bathing suit + sunscreen and play in the sprinklers on the roof. Here’s your backpack. Look, we’re going to put your bathing suit and sunscreen in here. Let’s do it together.”

4. Remember to give your kids time and space to talk about how they feel. As parents you might think robot camp is the best thing ever, while your child might need time to adjust to this idea.

Helpful resources I recommend:

 Choosing a camp right for you and your kids

 Transitioning to summer camp

Great apps for summer


Eli Explorer: learn new words in a exploratory environment


Kapu Bloom Tunes includes creating music and painting,as well as the basics of how melodies and tunes are crafted in a fun and surprising way.


Sesame Street Family Play : A family co-play app offering parents fun ideas for games to explore  and learn in everyday situations.

Next month, I’ll share more summer resources for activities + preparation ideas for your kids. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time between now and that last day of school.

Thanks as always for reading.

Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. For more information about Vanessa, visit or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at


Top Photo : Jamal Shabazz, everyday I show: live journal

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