Don’t drive yourself nuts trying to plan each summer day with special something to do, take this summer to prepare your little tots with skills and knowledge through fun and diverse camps. While it can be tough to find camps geared specifically toward toddlers and pre-schoolers, we’ve rounded up some amazing camps that welcome wee ones and cater to every type of budding personality.
For the Precocious Pre-Schooler
If an educationally fun week is just what your little Einstein needs, look no further than Summer at Brentwood held at Brentwood School. The weekly lower division day camp keeps kiddos who will be entering Kindergarten entertained through a variety of activities from learning Spanish to jewelry making to yoga. There are five one-week sessions to choose from and each offers different courses. ($500 per week, Brentwood.)
For parents looking to get their toddlers ready for preschool, St. Matthew Parish School offers a Preschool Summer Program. The program is geared towards helping tots make the transition to preschool and encourages kids to explore everything from movement and music to math, cooking and science. (Morning or afternoon or full day sessions, prices vary. Pacific Palisades.)
For the Toddler that Needs Variety
Tocaloma Summer Day Camp, located at Berkley Hall School, is along the more traditional camp lines and offers sessions for kids ages 4-14. The preschool group features a ratio of 1 to 4 staff to campers during activities and is sure to keep your intrepid kiddo entertained. There are tons of fun events lined up from the basic (like music, arts, sports, movement) to special (like carnival days and Halloween in July). (Prices vary depending on session length and transportation needs, West LA.)
For Future Park Rangers
Camp Shi-ini is another option for kids from ages 4-13 with a great counselor to camper ratio of 6:1. Held at Arroyo Park, the sessions keep kids happily entertained with adventures like horseback riding, scavenger hunts, canoeing and plenty of plain fun and games. (The 5 week session varies in cost from $925 to $2,435, depending on number of days per week, Pasadena.)
For Pre-School Drama Queens
Imaginative tykes will dig the Young Peoples Camp at Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. Geared toward kids ages 4-7, this creative camp introduces kids to the theater. Budding thespians will get the chance to learn about Shakespeare, Elizabethan dances and songs and even some acting methods. ($435/week from 9 a.m.-noon, Topanga Canyon.)
For Little Tree-Huggers
Nature-minded parents will love sending their kids to the Arboretum Summer Nature Camp. Explorers from ages 5-11 will dig in the dirt, plant seedlings, test their cooking skills and play plenty of games. There are eight one-week sessions throughout the summer. (Morning, afternoon or full day sessions are available for $168-$335/week or $70/day, extended care available for additional fees and 10% sibling discount, Arcadia.)
For Thrill-Seeking Tots
Little ones can slip and slide with the best of them at the Jr. Camp at Camp Keystone located in the Santa Monica Mountains. Kids ages 3-5 in groups of 12 campers to with a minimum of 2 staff members will have the ultimate summer experience with a variety of activities to enhance their developmental skills and coordination. Door-to-door transportation is also available for an additional fee. (Tuition rates and camp dates vary so be sure to check the website, Agoura Hills.)
For the Budding Linguist
There is a great language immersion preschool in Los Angeles, Language Garden Preschool, that offers language immersion in French and Spanish for toddlers ages 2–5 yrs old. Teachers speak in the target language 95-100% of the time. Campers learn naturally through play, exploration and everyday activities on this two week adventure that starts in August. (Check website for prices, Mid-City.)
photo: Language Garden
For Little Rockstars
Your musical rockstars ages 5 & up will get the golden opportunity to immerse themselves into playing instruments, performing, and meeting great new like-minded buddies at the Summer Rock-N-Roll Camp at Burbank Music Academy. Kids will get exposed to all rockstar elements including: guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocal-instruction, on-stage movement & presentation. (Cost & sessions vary so check the website, Burbank.)
For Young Jocks
Super energized tots ages 4-6 can get their wiggles out at Junior Camp at Prime Time Sports Camp that offers one of the biggest varieties of activities & include dodgeball, handball, basketball, soccer, hockey, lacrosse and much more. Special events include fun water days and mini-Olympics as well. (Rates range depending on location and length of day, camps are in West LA, Santa Monica, Silverlake and Hancock Park.)
For the Pre-Schooler Who Loves Being All Over the Place (That’s All of Them!)
Campers ages 4 & up can experience fun beach days, field trips to amusement parks, and fun dress-up days (such as super hero day) at the Summer AdventureCamp at AdventurePlex. They get a full day of crafts, exercises such as yoga, obstacle courses, hands-on activities, and outdoor fun all in a day’s play. ($200/week or $50/day, Manhattan Beach).
If you’re still looking for more camp options, you clearly haven’t visited our Summer Camp Central, where you can find a camp for any kid, of any age, with any interest!
What are your summer plans? Got a favorite pint-sized camp we missed? Let us know!