Summer camp is more than just a fun and enriching experience for young children. It also marks an important step in their development as they get to test out their independence and, in the case of commuter camps, travel outside the city to enjoy outdoor activities in nature.
As exciting as that first-time camp experience is, it can also be scary (perhaps more so for parents than kids) since it's outside everyone's comfort zone. Even if you find a program that offers a safe and stimulating environment for younger kids, parents may worry than their preschoolers aren't yet ready for full days or weeks of camp.
Every summer, readers email us asking if we know about summer programs that offer short days or sessions where tots can try out day camp and see how they like it. We asked our friends at the American Camp Association of New York and New Jersey to recommend some camps that fit the bill. If you need more information, the ACA of NY and NJ also offers free camp consultations with their experts.
You can find out about other awesome summer programs in our Camp Guide.