Summer Programs for Preschoolers
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Summer Programs for Preschoolers
Our b/g twins will be four in June 2014. They love their preschool but we are
thinking about doing one or two camps just to give them a more varied
experience. We want a camp that supports socio-emotional growth as well as
fun summer activities. That said, our children love music, the arts,
swimming, animals, and most outdoor activities and we want them to have the
option to be outdoors during the day.
We live in North Berkeley.
We welcome any suggestions, particularly from parents whose children on the
younger end of their fourth year have recently attended local camps.
I highly recommend Sarah's Science
and their summer camp ''This Land is Your
Land'' (TLIYL). While the literature says ages 5+, my kids started when they were
4 along with a few of their preschool friends. They all had a great time and
we've been coming back every year since then (and they still love it!) The
counselors are warm and nurturing and there are usually several groups with 4 and
5 year-olds (one counselor per group of 10 kids). TLIYL reminds me of the
traditional summer camps I attended on the East Coast in the 60's. The kids get
to spend the entire day outside, playing in the parks, singing, going on hikes,
playing sports and games, and doing arts and crafts. However, TLIYL has a very
unique focus on science and nature. Each week has a specific theme and the kids
make and take home great little science projects each day. Last summer, two of
the kids' favorite weeks were Rockets and Nature Detectives -- there's usually
something for everyone. We'll definitely be back for at least a few weeks this
summer. If you'd like to get a feel for the staff and curriculum, they offer
indoor camps over Winter break. You can enroll in a single day just to check it
out. Their website is www.sarahscience.com
Hi, I am looking for a full day or half day AM camp/program my 4 year old daughter can
attend in the month of August (either Oakland or Berkeley - would consider Alameda).
I am also curious to know if you know of any afternoon summer programs for June and July
starting after 1pm.
I highly recommend
(www.aventurasprogram.com) to which my 3-year old
daughter has the privilege of being a part of. It is a bilingual (Spanish-English)
outdoor day camp that offers children a unique hands-on experience of their
environment that further enhance their natural curiosity and vivid imagination whilst
building self-confidence, camaraderie and sportsmanship. My daughter has been in the
program since April 2013 (once a week) and in this short period of time, I see her
blossom with such confidence, joy and enthusiasm. From day 1, she took home with her
some Spanish words like pato and gracias, and as she becomes familiar with the
language, I observe that she is more receptive to learning it and other languages
too. Most of all, I love that she is simply having fun and enjoying the freedom of
exploring and learning about the world around her at her own pace with the
appropriate educational input. She loves every single day camp and always look
forward to the next one. Every week there is a different venue for the day camp
(which they get to vote on on the day itself) and this brings about further
excitement and motivation for the kids. I previously enrolled my daughter to a
conventional pre-school for a summer program and in comparison to AVENTURAS, I can
absolutely see the better advantages of this program - children in general are
happier, inspired and adapted. Although I actually think that an amalgam of AVENTURAS
and pre-school is also worth considering esp. at a later time nearing school age.
Having said that, the AVENTURAS program is very flexible with choices between 1 to 5
days of day camps with extended hours plus the bonus option of being a chaperon
parent which allows you to get involve with your child's adventure whilst learning
Spanish too!!! As a chaperon parent myself, I can only say that this is truly a
unique and rewarding experience for me and my daughter as we form lifetime of
wonderful memories together which I know we will never cease to cherish. I appreciate
that chaperoning may not be feasible to all parents but not to fret as AVENTURAS would
welcome your participation at any time. Tia Kimba, the founder and administrator of
the program, is a mother herself and always helpful and accommodating with the
children's welfare first in mind. It is definitely worth looking into this
unconventional type of pre-school program if you wish for your children to be more
well-rounded, confident and candidly delightful about the simple pleasures of life
that we tend to forget. CHF
I am a public school teacher who doesn't have a lot of extra money and usually
travels in the summer. My daughter will be 3 in Sept. I am looking for a good
preschool where this can be accommodated. Summers off accepted or at least reduced
summer tuition for non-attendants? Any recommendations would be appreciated.
My kids went to Cedar Creek Montessori (in north Berkeley) several years ago and their
summer schedule was very flexible. You could pay by the week, so it was easy to take a
week off, or even the whole summer. Cedar Creek is an excellent preschool and our
family was happy to be there for three years.
Cedar Creek alum family
I am looking for a summer camp that my 3 year old son and 4 year old daughter
can go to together for the last two weeks in August.
We live in Oakland, I would be willing to take them to Lafayette or Orinda if
anyone knows of a fun camp that would take kids those ages together.
parent of 3 and 4 year old
Most of their camps are half-day, but it seems that they have
full-day sessions the weeks of Aug 20 and Aug 27. Perfect for 3-4 year olds.
has a camp for 3 & 4-year-olds in August in Berkeley. See their
Might be a good option
My daughter is 4.5 years old and will be entering
Kindergarten this fall. Due to financial reasons, she has
been in daycare rather than pre-school. I would like to
have her attend pre-school this summer to help her prepare
for Kindergarten in the fall. I would prefer a co-op
preschool and appreciate a more structured setting. I
have looked into several and keep having problems with the
fact that we are only looking to enroll in the summer.
I suggest that you check out Keystone Montessori. We have
been an active family in the school for the last 5 years.
They are a preschool but are doing something unique and
fun over the summer called Camp Keystone. While still
using the Montessori method and maintaining the structure
that has made them a fantastic preschool, they have
planned weekly themes to keep the kids engaged and
excited. Each week will include hands on activities,
field trips and an opportunity to learn interesting things
about a particular topic. Keystone also will continue its
tradition of walking the kids to swim lessons at El
Cerrito Pool and to the library for stories and to check
out books each week throughout the summer. My older son,
now a 1st grader, has fond memories of these outings and
my younger son, a very happy 4.5 year old in the Snowy
Egrets classroom, asks daily whether camp starts tomorrow
and when he'll get to start walking to swim class and the
library. Check out their website:
www.keystonemontessori.org and feel free to contact me if
you have any questions or concerns. Good luck!
has a preschool summer program. It is a
cooperative preschool but I'm not sure if there is parent
participation in the summer. More info at
Where can I find a short term (1-4 week) summer camp or classes for a 4 year old?
East Bay location- especially in Berkeley. ME
I had the same challenge last yr with my newly turned 4 yr old
daughter. There are very few options for 4 yrs but the one option
that I do know of, is fabulous - Glitter and Razz's Itty Bitty
Summer Camp. It has been one the best experiences thus far for my
daughter. It's a week long camp and according to their website
www.glitterandrazz.com this yr it is aug 10 -28. my daughter was
transformed by the experience - she still talks about and does
many of the exercises from the camp - silencing herself and
remaining that way for extended periods of time. the two women
who run the camp, allison and lynn rock, so talented. we are def
signing up again. contact me for more info
Glitter & Razz
in Oakland has fabulous camps. My 7 year old
has attended multiple camps and my husband and I agree that
they are the best. The leave tons of room for creativity, and
their performances are so fun.
I have a 2.5 year old also who is unfortulately too young for
the camps. However, Glitter & Razz also did my older
daughter's birthday at our home and my preschooler LOVED it.
They have something called an Itty Bitty Arts Camp, and I think
they are a week long.
Here is the website:
Good luck with your search.
I am not sure what your 4 year old likes to do, but my daughter loves dance
Kids N Dance
in Oakland, Lafayette, or Orinda (not Berkeley). They have
sessions all summer. I think their website is kidsndance.com. Another place
Berkeley) is the Orinda Community Center, which offers science, carpentry,
dance camps for pre-school age kids. My daughter did a Mad Science camp for
week that she also enjoyed. Also check out Escuela Bilingue Internacional
(http://www.ebinternacional.org/). My daughter is in pre-school there and
offered 2-week summer camps last summer. I am not sure of their specific plan
this summer. The teachers are wonderful as is the school administration.
Not sure if you're looking for half-day or full-day programs,
but our 4-year old loved two in particular.
Glitter & Razz, a
drama, arts & crafts, and all-around fun camp does one-week
programs for 4-5 year olds. Their website is
www.glitterandrazz.com. Also, the Oakland Zoo has wonderful
half-day programs (3-hours in either morning or afternoon) for
kids in this age group. At the zoo, your child can do 1 or 2
weeks. I believe Glitter & Razz has 3-weeks of classes for
this age group. H.
I'm looking for 1 or 2 summer camps for my 4.5 y.o. son this
summer. It will be his first experience with summer camp as he
normally goes to school year round. However, a lot of the camps
seemed to be geared toward older kids. Some areas of interest
* outdoorsy ideas (fishing, camping, learning about different
outdoor environments - beach, woods, etc.),
* animals (ocean, farm, or any other type of animals),
* gymnastics or circus camps,
* music, drama, theatre (my ideas)
Thanks for any suggestions!
Camp for a First Time Summer Camper
You might want to check out
www.contracostapreschools.com/summercamp.html. The site focuses
specifically on preschoolers and the listing of summercamps is
mostly geared towards that age as well.
Last year our 4 year old daughter went to several camps at
Kids 'N Dance in Oakland.
She did a musical theater camp (Lion King) and two dance camps (Happy Feet and
Diego). She had an absolute BLAST! The teachers were great, crafts were creative and
fun for the kids to do, and the shows at the end of each were adorable and impressive
considering the age of the kids. In each class there always seemed to be at least a
couple of boys. This might be exactly what you are looking for.
The two best options that I found were Sarah's Science (pain to
drive to) and the Emeryville gymnastics
Head over Heels. HOH
has a 4 year old (half-day, I think camp). Sarah is just
flexible and will leave it to you to decide if your kid's
ready. It's an outdoor camp. We were looking for somehting for
my son to do because he hated his pre-school. We recruited some
friends to go with him and he loved camp -- complained that we
hadn't signed up for enough weeks. I picked him up daily at 3pm
and he was asleep at 3:01 in the car.
Our preschool has cancelled their summer program, so we are
scrambling to find care for our daughters, who will turn 4 this
November. Does anyone know of any summer camps for this age
group, or a preschool which might have space available for the
summer months? We would really appreciate some help!
-worried about summer
Check out El Cerrito's summer program. They have a ''Pee Wee
Fun Camp'' for ages 3.5 - 5 that can be for half a day or all
day. The website is http://www.el-cerrito.org/recreation/summercamp.html. Registration for non-
residents opened on Feb 25th, so sign up ASAP if you are
interested (they will likely fill up soon). I have no personal
experience with any of El Cerrito's camps, but my family is
trying them out this summer because they take preschoolers.
You've gotta check out the Albany Y's Kinder Cubs camp. It's specifically
for entering &
exiting kindergartners. You said you prefer Berkeley, but Albany's close.
link to the website which has the summer brochure: www.baymca.org
My daughter who is turning 4 in early August will have three weeks
during the summer
off from her normal school schedule. The dates are approx. Aug.
13-31st. We have
been trying to find available summer camp options for her during part
of this time. It
seems like most of the camps are for older kids. If anyone has any
ideas for us for
something fun and not too far of a drive away from North Oakland I
Try Kids 'N Dance in the Laurel District, Oakland, and Orinda. They
specialize in camps
and classes for younger kids. Their website is kidsndance.com.
I can't remember the original post, but keep in mind that many of
the camps for 5 year olds are also ok for 4 yr olds. Usually they
are for ''entering kindergartners'' and the main requirements are
that they be potty trained and that they can sit in a group and
follow directions, and are ok being away from a parent for the
duration of the camp. Also, city recreation departments (eg
Oakland, Berkeley) have various programs, although these are
mostly 1/2 day or so. For the individual camp programs, you can
call the program directly to find out their requirements.
I've been looking for a great little morning camp (something
from say 8:30-1 or so) for my son who is 3.5. He is in preschool
and will have a one week vacation coming up in July. Everything
I see in the Oakland / Berkeley area seems to be for 4 yrs
minimum (which he'll be in August).
Has anyone seen a program for his age??? Thanks!
Try Habitot, they have a great summer program that runs week by week
Both the Berkeley YMCA and the Albany Recreation Department
have some 1/2 day camps for preschoolers 3 1/2 and up, 9 or
9:30 to noon. I don't know if there's still space available,
but it's worth a call!
My daughter is currently enrolled in a home-based family
preschool which we love. Unfortunately the school shuts down
for 2 months during the summer and we don't know what to do! We
need the childcare; but more than that my daughter has made
such strides socially and intellectually there so far, I dread
taking her out of such a fantastic environment. Are there any
camps or summer programs or even year-round preschools that
might be able to take us? My daughter will be 2 years 9 months
Step One is a fabulous year-round preschool in Berkeley hills, I
don't know if they would have any openings, but occasionally they
have families that want to take a break during the summer. It
might be worth a phone call, you never know
Inch By Inch has just opened up a new summer preschool slot from
12 to 3PM on Tuesday and Thursday's only. Our camp begins the
last 2 weeks of June and all of July (6 weeks). We also have a
few parent/toddler spaces open from 9:30-11:30 Tues/Thursday.
For more info. about our programs you can leave your address or
email and I will mail you a brochure or send you one via email.
MCPC (Montclair Community Play Center) on Thornhill in Oakland
offers an excellent morning summer camp program for that age
group that runs for about 6 weeks, broken into two sessions.
My daughter attended for the last three summers, but now she
will no longer be eligible as she is moving on to first grade.
She keeps asking me if she can go again!
The camp gives priority to incoming or continuing students, but
they usually have some open spots for those just interested in
summer camp. Unlike their regular preschool co-op program,
there is no obligation for you to work It's just drop off.
For more information, go to www.mcpckids.org.
I guess you can say I'm planning ahead. My daughter will be 4
years old next summer and her preschool only has two week summer
sessions and I haven't decided if I want to send her (would like
to give her a break from her school during the summer).
Does anyone know of any day camps for toddlers that I can send
her to? Are there preschools out there that take children for
the summer only? I'm a single parent that needs to work. Any
recommendations are greatly appreciated.
The City of Albany Recreation Dept. offers a Summer Camp called
the Friendship Camp. It runs from June through August. There are
theme weeks, field trips, arts & crafts, outdoor games, etc.
Contact the Friendship Club Supervisor (Brad) at 510-559-7220.
You can register online at www.albanyca.org, by phone 510-524-
9283, or in person. Our office hours are 8:30-5 M-F.
Try New SChool in Berkeley on Bonita at Cedar. Usually many
kids leave for summer or at least part of it and they may have
openings. The kids have a great time!
4 is a tough age to find a camp for. Strawberry Canyon used to
do it, but i think they don't anymore. LHS has a few camps that
are half day, etc. Best bet is probably to hook up with a family
day care provider. They can also be a lot of help for other
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