It's always an exciting time for Preschoolers when they know they are going for camp! What more when it's an overnight camp right INSIDE KidZania Singapore!
Your child has their first overnight camp, and you are unsure of what to bring? Here's a small graphic of an overnight camping trip packing list that you can save on your phone!
The list of items is what should be packed as they prepare for their journey. As parents, you can take this as a teaching moment, especially in preparation for your children to be independent during camp. As teachers, you could take the opportunity to do this as a school activity before the actual camping trip. Do note that the packing list may change depending on the nature of the programme.
If you noticed, the clothing items are basically things that you should wear to KidZania Singapore for a comfortable role-play and camping experience.
As facilitators, we have noticed how simple and early preparation ensures that campers have the right items that they need to enjoy their camp experience. We also encourage parents and teachers to let children learn to pack right and tight as it is an important life skill! Throughout the camp, we will consistently remind campers to take care of their belongings so that they return home with everything they brought.
Here are some ways you could help to guide your child's packing and some precautions that need to be taken so that your child is aware of their belongings and surroundings.
1. Labels on All Belongings
Often when teachers or trainers pick up an item, the first thing we do is to find any tags on it. We would appreciate parents' help by labeling their child's belongings as some can be similar to other children's, such as uniforms, shorts and T-shirts. Full names are best as kids can also potentially share initials. Allowing kids to label their own items creates a sense ownership and care for their belongings.
At the High Achievers Academy in Kidzania, we have individually labeled storage racks where participants can place their bags according to their bunk number. This ensures that there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. While it is often a challenge for preschoolers, there are some quick learners whom, when explained, will understand and even teach their friends of the "trick" they learned.
2. Pre-Pack Clothes and Toiletries
It always lightens the load when kids can just grab their set of clothes in one packet instead of having to open up their bags and flip about their clothes. This might confuse the child later on and could be difficult for a preschooler. The best is to place clothes in packing cubes with handles so they can hang it on the hook behind the shower door.
3. Outdoor Essentials
There will be many outdoor programmes such as beach activities, nature walks and amazing races. We often hear complaints such as: 'It's too hot!" "I have mosquito bites!" "It's raining, how?" That is why we need to be prepared with sunblock, insect repellent, cap, poncho or raincoat and umbrella to ensure that they have a comfortable playing experience!
A camp booklet will especially be created and prepared by us for all participants to jot down observations and thoughts. Our booklets contain sections such as reflection, drawing and the itinerary. Hence, it is a functional space for kids to expand their creativity by designing and expressing their thoughts. To ensure kids are prepared to write and draw, kids should bring a small pencil case with a few colour pencils, pencils and coloured pens to further enhance their work in the booklet.
5. Medication & Emergency
Before any camps, we will take note of students who require regular medication or any allergy. During an emergency, we have first aid-certified staff and a sickbay in KidZania Singapore, right next to our Adventure Academy. However, if the injury cannot be handled by our staff, we will inform the campers' parents and send them to a clinic or hospital with the parents' acknowledgement.
6. Sleeping Bag or Blanket
Our High Achievers Adventure Academy is centrally air-conditioned, and we regulate the temperature at a cold 21- to 22-degree celsius. However, as the night progresses, it could get freezing for some children. We encourage kids to bring their own blankets or sleeping bag to keep them warm at night as it is hygienic and has a sense of familiarity. However, no thick duvets, please! It'll be difficult for kids to carry their bags from place to place later. Chilly toes? Pack an extra set of thick socks meant for sleeping.
7. Things to AVOID Bringing
A soft toy or comforting pillow "chou chou" might be fun things to bring to sleepaway camp. As facilitators, we understand how attached they can be to their "chou chou", but we do not recommend bringing them along. Reason being, it can get the kids too connected to the feel or smell of home, causing them to miss home more. Also, in the event they lose their "chou chou", they will not be able to sleep well. Let the sleeping bag or personal blanket be their source of comfort. Once they return home, reward them for being brave and letting go for just that night! :)
8. Backpack or Luggage?
We encourage students to bring a backpack instead of luggage because the students may be rolling it around, and it may cause danger to others. However, we recommend carrying 1 small day bag where they can put their daily essentials during activities. Another bigger backpack containing their other belongings will be stored in the Rest Area.
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