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So yesterday I sent this little one off to camp a couple hours north. We sure will miss her and I’m not sure if it gets easier or harder year after year sending them away… but it’s just a week so we are sure to survive. And she will be staying with her grandparents for the week and she’s so excited because that most likely means special gifts and treats and lots and lots of candy. So making sure we have the camp essentials is super important!
But since she’s only 7, Mom aka ME is still in charge of packing… At least all the things other than toys and stuffed animals that will make the trip with her. So after doing the packing for a camp where they are only there 5 days, but must wear pants 3 of them and may or may not get wet and muddy, I resorted to plopping my 2 year old on top so I could get it zipped.
But I wanted to share some of our Camp Essentials that work really well for the little’s to handle on their own!
Lunch Box:: Amerson Kids Lunch Box via Amazon
We grabbed one of these for the summer. With three camps where they will not have refrigerated areas, I love that this one is insulated as well as all the compartments it offers. And with a lifetime guarantee for $13-16 depending on which you choose, how can you pass that up? Plus it easily attached to a bag with a clip on the handle!
Water Shoes:: ALEADER Quick Drying Kids Water Shoes
We are giving these a go this year. I feel like we end up purchasing new water shoes every year one, because they outgrow them, but two, because they never stay on! I like that these are quick-dry, slip-on, AND have a tightening mechanism. Typically I wouldn’t spend $25 and would prefer to spend somewhere around $15, but with all the issues in the past, I’m upgrading. Plus, they come in all kinds of fun colors too.
Bug Repellent Bands:: Bugger Off Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
I really enjoy these for the entire summer. I usually have a couple tucked in my purse for those times we randomly stop at a park after it’s been raining a bunch or for when we end up at a movie in the park after dark. They are really great. The kids forget they are wearing them because they are a lot like a bracelet and pretty comfy too. I like to put one on their wrist and one on their ankle. Oh! And they last for 7 days each!
Luggage:: Olympia Rolling Duffel Bag
Now, our luggage pictured above is Matilda Jane and unfortunately, it’s sold out. But this one is a little bigger and would probably not require a two-year-old to sit on it to zip it up. This would be perfect for a little head to his or her grandparent’s house for the week. And it comes in a variety of colors too.
Now, if your child is headed to sleep away camp where they need something a little more sturdy, I’ve seen quite a few people using these trunks! AND they decorate them which is super cute! I think I’d love one of these with stickers from wherever all over them! It’s like an old piece of luggage!
Tennis Shoes:: Gimbo Kids Athletic Tennis Shoes
Now, now. I know what you are thinking… new shoes for camp?! No way! But this year we were in a pickle. Ella’s only tennis shoes she currently has are the smelliest shoes on the planet and I would challenge anyone to say they aren’t. So I felt kind of bad sending her to the grandparents with stinky shoes that would create stinky feet every single day. So, I bought a cheapie pair of shoes for her to ruin for the week.
Rain Coat / Poncho:: Columbia Girls Switchback Rain Jacket
With rain expected 3 of her 5 days at camp, I always like to send a rain jacket just in case. This is very similar to the one we have. Lightweight and colorful! It works for every day, but it isn’t so expensive you don’t like to send it somewhere it might get muddy. Plus, after camp, you can use it over and over again! And available in quite a few different color options too!
A Suprise:: Journal / Notebook
And lastly, I like to send a fun surprise in her bag. This time I just included a journal that she found once she got settled and opened her bag. With a little post-it note saying we will miss her and we love her and to write down her favorite memories from each day! Something small, but something she can keep. It might be fun to keep it for all the camps this summer and start doing each year. Then tuck them away for when she’s bigger.
So there you have it… That’s our packing essentials. As the years go by, this is sure to become WAY more intense, but for now this is about all we need. There are some other small items we include too like sunscreen, bathing suits, nicer outfits, and a water bottle. But honestly, that’s it for now. Since she’s not going away on her own, it’s easier.
Hope this helps with all those sending their kids to day camp! The backpacks will be full and the fun will be had! We can’t wait to hear how it all goes!