Camps for Preschoolers

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi Everyone, 

    My 3.5 year old will be on Spring break from preschool next week and I can't see to find any camps, programs, or educational activities that cater to her age. All the camps I've come across start at age 4. I was hoping to find something fun for her to do while she home all week and I'm working. 

    Any tips or recommendations would be appreciated!


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  • Winter Camp for Preschoolers

    (3 replies)

    My son is 4.5, and like many, his school is closed the last two weeks of the year. He's a very active kiddo, so I'd love to enroll him in a camp, even if just for a few hours a day. I am having a lot of trouble finding anything for this age other than Head over Heels (which I am also open to, just looking for options). 

    Fullish day or part day is fine with me! Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, Berkeley, etc. all great. 


    Hi look into la plazita. My daughters prek does school aged after school and ousd closer days. There is a a capoeira place near my home called Axe that advertises to me camp days that revolve around ousd but I’ve never used them. 

    Swings and Wings in Alameda!

    We had a good experience with kidz to pros in emeryville over the thanksgiving break for our 4 year old. We have signed up for a thingamajigs camp in berkeley this winter break, but I haven't directly experienced that one yet, they may take 4 year olds too but my daughter will be 5. 

    I'd love to hear if others liked a winter or summer camp for young kids!

    This website is a good resource:

  • Hi!

    We are looking for a Summer Spanish immersion camp for our 4 1/2 year old. We are currently only doing outdoor activities and are wondering if anyone knows of anything that is outdoor or SUPER covid safe (our daughter is still too young to be vaccinated and we have a baby at home). We are looking for something in August because she has Summer preschool until then. 

    Our daughter has no prior Spanish experience but has shown A LOT of interest in learning. My husband and I have some limited Spanish conversational skills but not enough to teach her more than a few things here and there. We are considering sending her to an immersion school after one more year of preschool and would love to see how she does with a program before then. 



    I would highly recommend the Spanish Immersion Camp at Escuela Bilingue Internacional (EBI). It's all Spanish, play-based, experiential, outdoors with very strict COVID policies. Plus, if you are considering immersion for Kindergarten, it's a great way to check out the school. Each week is a different theme. My kids go to school there and have done camps, which are fabulous. Happy to answers any questions you might have - just DM me! Here is the link to the camp info:

    I would highly recommend EBI. I have a son at EBI and the school has been incredibly vigilant and responsible during the entire pandemic. My son has attended summer camp each summer since he enrolled and has really enjoyed it. Most of the activities are outdoors, the teachers are incredibly loving and there is a great mixture of kids with and without spanish. A great camp option! 

  • Looking for preschool spot just for summer

    (4 replies)

    Does anyone know of a preschool in Berkeley or Berkeley/Oakland border that will take a 4 year old just for the summer months? Especially anything you would recommend as a good program.


    EBI has a summer camp called Aventura - and you can just pay for the weeks you need.

    There are a handful of camps that take 4-year-olds. Cal has a bunch of camps: Our son went to Explorers last year and is loved it so he's going again this summer - they start at 4.5 - and they have some other camps, like gymnastics, that start at 4. We are also trying Galileo this year and I know they have a pre-k group. EBI has a pre-k group too, we did their camp a few years ago when our son was 3. Steve & Kate's starts at 4, we haven't tried it but have friends whose kids love it. This is a good place to look for other options, not exhaustive but lets you filter by age:

    Hi! In Oakland, I highly recommend the preschool at Temple Sinai! They do four week "camp" sessions, that are full day, at the preschool, but I don't think you have to go to the preschool during the year to attend. Here's the info:

    We had a great experience at Sunshine, which allows part-time and part year, if they have space. Sunshine is on Grayson in Southwest Berkeley. They share a campus with CEID, which is a preschool for deaf/HH kids. The teachers were so nice! Our boys loved the large center playyard with a playstructure in the middle bicycle track around the edge.

    When I started working at UC Berkeley, we moved over to the Early Childhood Education Centers run by the university. We also had a great experience there - especially with teacher Cheryl Kagawa. She was amazing - did all kids of fun art and science activities with the kids. They drew 100 rockets for C.Johnson when she had her 100th birthday and built a whole Mission Control in the classroom. Anyway, they often have more space in the summer, so you might be able to get a short-term summer only place.

  • Summer camp program for 4 year-old

    (1 reply)

    Hi all, 

    We're looking for a quality summer camp program and/or activity for our 4 year-old boy, preferably in Berkeley though open to Albany/Oakland. 

    Any recommendations?  I've been homeschooling him for the past 7 months along with two other children. We're only now starting to extend - or, hoping to extend our bubble.  Also wondering if adding a dozen other kids all of a sudden will potentially overwhelm him?  

    Thanks for your suggestions!



    You didn't get any replies to your question so I thought I'd let you know that there are few summer programs for preschoolers  because a childcare license is required if there are children are under 5 on the site. For this reason, virtually none of the local summer camps accept children younger than kindergarten age.  A few preschools offer summer camps if their spots are not filled by students who attend the school. But there has been a scarcity during Covid because of the restrictions on enrollment, and a number of preschools and daycares have also closed permanently.  Your best bet might be to organize a share with other parents. You can post to Parent Connections on the BPN website.

  • Summer camp for 4-year-olds

    (2 replies)

    I'm trying to find a summer camp for August for my twins who are 4. Has anyone had experience with Camp EDMO at Redwood Day School or Lawrence Hall of Science summer camp with preschoolers? Thanks!

    My child did do Edmo in 2017 (as an 8 year old) and I found it disorganized and not good value for money. As a parent of two tweens, I have learned that the typical summer day camps around here tend to be too much change and chaos for little kids. 4 definitely seems too young to get accustomed to a new set of rules, new kids, new counselors, etc. each week. I would suggest trying to find a babysitter instead, less upheaval for your twins. if you do end up doing a "camp" type experience, my strong recommendation would be to do it through an organization that specializes in little kids, such as Habitot or a local preschool. My kids also did camps at Habitot when they were young and it was a good experience. Albany Preschool also (in normal times, anyway) does summer camp by the week, and we loooooove Albany Preschool.

    It really depends on your particular kids where they will thrive but our kids both did really well at Trackers at that age. Also, Monkey Business has a special camp for preschool age kids. It's a separate location and staff from their 'big kid' camp and our son loved it when he went at age 3. I don't know if they are running it this summer or not, so many things have changed due to covid.

    Lastly, my son's preschool, MCPC in Oakland, runs a summer camp for 3-5yo each summer. They run two 3-week sessions. I think it's usually in June and July though, not August. Though dates haven't been firmly set yet for this summer, also because of covid and cohort restrictions, etc. Good luck!

  • Need summer childcare for 3 year old

    (1 reply)

    Hi BPN,

    My current daycare situation for my almost 3 year old is ending in June, and we are most interested in a preschool that doesn't start until mid-August. So we're in a bind for the two months of mid-June to mid-August. Our kid is actually very good with transitions and new people, so putting him in a new situation for those two months is very feasible. Does anyone have any ideas about a daycare that would take a kid for that time period, or a nanny share that would be open to that? We're hoping to avoid paying for a nanny all by ourselves.  And he's very social so would be much happier with other kids. We are in South Berkeley, and willing to travel a bit to make it work. Full time would be ideal, but we could manage with M,W, F. Thanks!

    Albany cooperative preschool usually has a stand alone summer program. You don't have to do work hrs. Covid makes everything crazy, but it's a nice school. Try emailing.

  • Hi! My son will be starting preschool in August - he will be almost three. He's been in a nanny share so far, and I want to transition him out of it and into more structured activities over the summer - I am a teacher and am therefore lucky enough to have the summer off, and can therefore attend things with him. Any recommendations for summer programs or camps that toddlers and parents can attend together? 


    My son is also starting preschool in August and will be 3 at the time. I'm a LMFT in private practice so have been able to be with him during the day and work in the evening. Room to Bloom is the most amazing program (2.5 hours) in Oakland and Feather River Camp was also wonderful as an overnight camp. We go camping a few times a year with extended family and friends but Feather River is a family camp so they do cooking and have lots of activities preplanned...great to meet other families there too. Hope you share what you find as well. 


    Habitot in Berkeley has lots of programs/classes for parents/caregivers and children.  Lots of hands-on fun activities and it is a great space.

    Hi - I've attended this family summer camp for the past three years, it's in the Santa Cruz mountains. It's for families to attend together -- and has very diverse family structures and people from all walks of life. It also has a real social-emotional/attachment focus for kids and parents, so may be a good fit with your education work.

  • I need to find a camp for my 3.25 year old for President's Day week (Feb 18 - 22, as many of those days as possible). I've spent quite a bit of time googling but it seems like there are very few camps in this time frame and they're all for 4 years or older. I'm looking for suggestions. I live and work in Berkeley, so as close to here as possible would be ideal. Half-day or full-day camps are ok. Thank you!

    Monkey Business Camp @ Berkwood Hedge 


    I have the same problem with my 3,5y old. Monkey Business offers a February week camp, but from the ages 4,5 and up. Kids Gym Berkeley has a camp in the same week and offers this for kids 3 and up. 

    Head over Heels Athletic Arts in Emeryville. At that age it’s only half day though. They will actually do a single day camp any day if there are enough interested people. Other parents at my preschool have successfully recruited for those camps on oddball days off.

  • Camp for 3 year old

    (3 replies)

    I need to find some great activities and maybe some day camps to fill a few weeks in August. I haven’t had much luck finding camps for a 3 year old. Any suggestions for camps, events, activities, etc would be much appreciated. Thanks!!

    At that age both of my kids loved the camp put on at Habitot. 

    The Berkeley Rec has a day camp for 3-5 year olds the week of August 6th.

    There will also be some free Tinkergarten trial classes in several locations throughout the area during the month of August before the fall season starts up. These can be a fun one time thing even if you're not interested in taking a full session in September.

    The Berkeley School's Early Childhood Center is great, takes 3 year olds (even if not otherwise enrolled in the school), as long as they're potty trained.  Good luck!

  • Summer School/Camps for 3-year-old

    (5 replies)

    Hi, my 3-year old daughter is in her first year of preschool and for once we are tasked with finding out what to do during the summer months when her school closes. Her school ends on June 15th and the next school year doesn't start until September 4th. The school offers a camp until July 20th but we need to figure something out for the end of July and August. We hope to take a 2 week vacation then to take care of some of those gaps but what do other parents do for summercare?

    [Moderator note] See previous suggestions for preschooler summer camps here:

    Check out Creative Play Center in Albany. My son attends during the year and also for summer camps. We absolutely love everything they do there!

    Habitot is expanding their summer program (for ages 2.9-5) to be full-time this summer, which we are super excited about! EBI also offers full-time camp for preschoolers. Our kids have done both programs and enjoyed both. There unfortunately aren't too many options for three-year-olds, particularly if you need full-time care, but we were happy with these two. Monkey Business Camp is also great and full-time, but their preschool program only runs for three weeks (although it includes some of the weeks you need!)

    We were in your position last year and learned very quickly that options for 3 years old are few and far between, especially during August.  My best guess is it is on account of state licensing and adult-to-child ratio requirements, making hosting 3 year olds a price endeavor. I strongly suggest you take vacation at the end of August, if possible, since camp options for all ages dry up around August 15th.  

    I'm not sure where you live, but some ideas for 3 year olds include: Ecole Bilingue French immersion camp, EBI Spanish immersion camp. I also researched local parks and rec programs.  I don't think I found anything really compelling through Oakland last summer (their online registration system/catalogue is impossible to navigate) but we did try a nature camp at Sulphur Creek in Hayward through HARD and another week or two of sports and art through Alameda.  Since the parks & rec programs are generally 1/2 days, we tried to fill out the afternoon with a swim lesson (also through parks & rec), but it definitely required some help shuttling. 

    Everyone says it gets better easier when they turn 5.      

    I already submitted a response but one more to add...Monkey Business Camp.  Includes late August options and full day options.  

    Planning summer childcare for 3 year olds is really hard due to lack of options and 3 year olds are so young.

    It was a lot of work but we reached out to the preschool community and teachers and put together our own "camps" at our and other parents' houses. We got babysitters (some were preschool teachers others were former teachers), who were willing to engage with multiple kids, lined up for a few week and a group of 2 - 4 kids, depending on the kids. The cost is slightly more than a day camp but the quality of care is great and you can design your own enrichment activities and field trips. Parents brought in snacks and arts/crafts materials or other supplies. We offered our enclosed backyard and kids played with water, paint, chalk, went on nature walk, walked to the park, etc. They made pizza together, made a giant collaborative wall poster. It was fantastic!

    And then we filled in the gap with vacations and flew in grandparent for 1 week. It was a jigsaw puzzle but kids had a great time together, we knew the kids were safe and had fun and weren't overrun by big kids or inexperienced camp counselors. 

  • I'm trying to find a summer day camp for my 3-year old daughter as she will not have school from early June through the entire month of August. So far this has been a challenge. It seems she is either too young for a lot of the summer day camps in the area, or they only offer sessions of 3 weeks to a month.

    She is currently enrolled at East Bay Waldorf in El Sobrante, so finding a play-based day camp where she gets to spend a lot of time outside would be ideal. However it's really going to come down to what's actually available, especially if they are located anywhere between Richmond and Berkeley.

     I would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

    Albany Preschool offers a non-coop half-day (9-1) option by the week over the summer! My daughter loved it there.

    I think our preschool (Pine Crest) in El Cerrito might have summer openings. It’s beautiful- not quite EBWS, but lots of nature time. 

    I can HIGHLY recommend the Creative Play Center in Albany. It is a preschool during the regular year and they run camps during the summer. Each week is a different theme (transportation, beach, the wild west). My son attends their preschool program and did many weeks of camp last summer. The teachers are amazing, the space is inspiring, and the kids love it!

    Vonnie (happy CPC parent)

  • We're looking for a full-day (or at least 9-3) camp for our three-year-old for a week in early August and wondering what experiences people have had with Doodle's Primo camp for this age. Also wondering about weeklong stints at EB or EBI--is this worthwhile or will a child joining for just a week mid-summer struggle to understand what's going on?

    What other full-day Berkeley/Oakland camps exist for three-year-olds? I know about Monkey Business (did that last year but drive from Oakland was just too long). Habitot, Albany Preschool, and University Village are all too short for our needs. Are there others I've missed in my search? Thanks!

    We sent our daughter to Doodle last year. She seemed to enjoy it (she was 4 turning 5). But she didn't seem to be crazy excited by it. I never really saw the spaces the littler kids were in, since you drop off in the collective room and pick up (with aftercare) in the same space. She did some interesting art, though. I don't feel like she got enough physical activity, which I think at this age is in some ways more critical right now. The counselors were loving, though, and I felt like she was in a safe space and well-cared for. I'm not sure we'll send her back, though she has asked, but I think that's because she likes particular counselors, and I have no way of knowing if they'll be there.

  • Hi there! We are moving to Oakland in a few weeks and my son's preschool doesn't start until September. We had assumed we could just sign him up for a day-camp of some sort but we haven't found any that accept 3-year olds (he is potty trained). 

    I've posted to BPN to see if we can join a nanny-share for 5 weeks but I'm curious if anyone has other suggestions. Is there a camp we overlooked? Another creative solution? 

    Thanks so much for your help! 


    Consider Rising Star Montesori in Alameda. They allow weekly attendance if they have space...might be a bit far, but we put my then three year old in this school for a few weeks in summer when he was 3

    Hi, you can contact Ms. Lan Ding at 510-375-9428. She has a daycare in Albany and can take the short term care for kids. Also she can teach Chinese Mandarine there. Weina

    We are in Albany, and have been sending our 3 year old son to Creative Play Center here. It's a preschool during the year, but they offer summer camps. It is fantastic!

    Also, I just saw Urban Adamah takes 3 year olds for their farm/garden camp in Berkeley.

    You might check-in with some other local preschools...or I would be happy to take your son with our kiddos some days. I'm sure there are also nanny shares close by that might take him for the chunk of weeks.


    Monkey Business  and Habitot both take three year olds.

    Try Habitot Children's Museum. Part of the summer their camp only runs half-day, but part of the summer it runs full day, so check your dates. Also, check out I just checked and found at least 5 options for kids that age (there are more, I just stopped counting). Good luck!

  • Summer camp, daycare for our two-yr-old

    (2 replies)

    Hello everyone! 

    My wife and I are moving to Oakland from the East Coast and we arrive in a few weeks. We are so excited to join this community.  

    We are still looking for summer camp or daycare options for our two-year-old son, for the months of June-August. A full-day program is our goal. We are in Temescal but open to commuting somewhere else in the East Bay to drop him off. Thank you so much for any recommendations! 


    Hi Mark,

    In my experience it's quite difficult to find day-long summer camps for younger kids in this area. The wonderful family-based daycare where my kids go (near Ashby BART) may consider taking a child for only 3 months.  Feel free to email me directly if interested.

    Good luck and welcome to the East Bay!


    There are very few (if any) summer camps for 2-year-olds because licensing requirements are very strict in California for children under 5, so nearly all summer camps focus on kindergarten and older. You should instead be looking for a childcare center or home-based daycare that has openings for the summer. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Camp for preschoolers week of Aug 29th?

March 2016

Wondering about camps for preschoolers the week of August 29. Many schools have started back by then, so this seems to be a difficult week to cover. Prefer Berkeley/Oakland, but perhaps beggars can't be choosers… Crickets

This is unfortunately a really tough week to cover precisely because public schools have started back already. (Our preschool is actually moving its summer break earlier in the summer in part due to so much parent frustration over this!) Check Habitot --I believe they sometimes offer camp that week. Otherwise, you may be out of luck, since all of the other preschool camps I know of end before that. We took the week off in the end last year. Good luck with the hunt!

Summer program for 3yo girl for the week of June15

May 2015

Dear all! I am looking for a summer camp or summer program for my wonderful 3.5 yo girl, only for the week of June 15 (it is teacher's week in her pre-school)! I will be very happy for suggestions that fit her age in the area of Albany/Berkeley. It can also be a house based program for a small group! I look forward to hearing from you!!! Thank you so much!!!!

There's very little in the way of preschool camps that week for some reason! I had to schedule that week off of work, but then I later found there's camp at We Rock the Spectrum kids' gym in Berkeley. As the name might imply, they encourage participation of kids on the autism spectrum, but they're very inclusive so they have plenty of neurotypical kids too. If you've never been there, it's really fun- check out their open play sometime. We haven't done their camps before, but we like to play there, and it looks like you can flexibly sign up for whatever days you want. Just an idea! Good Luck

1/2 or Full Day Summer Camps for 3.5 year old

April 2015

I have a 3.5 year old girl and trying to find a summer camp for her has been hard. We are looking for June and all of July. We would be open to bi-lingual (Chinese/Spanish) or montesorri but open to anything. It feels like there is not much open for this age group and things broaden for true Pre K. Ideally would like full day and open to Berkeley, Oakland, Kensington, El Cerrito. Thank you! anon

Most 3.5 year olds don't go to camp and that's why you are having a hard time finding one. You need childcare and/or preschool for this age, so would you consider preschool? The Model School in south Berkeley sometimes accepts children for just the summer if there's room, so why not look into that? Your daughter could go full or part-time. Mom of 3

Albany Preschool offers summer enrollment by the week for ages 3-5. It will be 9am-1pm at the school in Albany on Masonic Ave (near Solano). Check it out at APS mom

Summer camps for four year olds

Dec 2013

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. Thank you!

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 Berkeley Campers

Summer Camp/Program for 4 year old

June 2013

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. Thanks

I highly recommend Aventuras ( 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

Preschools with flexible summer programs

March 2013

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

August Camps for 3 AND 4 year olds together?

May 2012

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. Thanks! parent of 3 and 4 year old

Try Habitot . 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.

Monkey Business has a camp for 3 & 4-year-olds in August in Berkeley. See their website: Might be a good option

Summer preschool for entering kindergartener

April 2010

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. Any suggestions?

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: and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Good luck! Kelly

Albany Preschool 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 anon

Short-term summer camp for 4-year-old

Jan 2009

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 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 wesley

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. Nellie

I am not sure what your 4 year old likes to do, but my daughter loves dance camp at Kids N Dance in Oakland, Lafayette, or Orinda (not Berkeley). They have 1-week sessions all summer. I think their website is Another place (not in Berkeley) is the Orinda Community Center , which offers science, carpentry, art, and dance camps for pre-school age kids. My daughter did a Mad Science camp for one week that she also enjoyed. Also check out Escuela Bilingue Internacional ( My daughter is in pre-school there and they offered 2-week summer camps last summer. I am not sure of their specific plan for this summer. The teachers are wonderful as is the school administration. Miranda

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 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.

Summer camp for 4 1/2 year old?

April 2008

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 include:
* 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 The site focuses specifically on preschoolers and the listing of summercamps is mostly geared towards that age as well. JJ

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. good luck

Summer camp Options for a 3 year old

March 2008

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 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. Kathryn

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. Here's the link to the website which has the summer brochure:
Kinder Parent

Trying to find a summer camp for 4-year-old

May 2007

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 would greatly appreciate it. Needs Camp

Try Kids 'N Dance in the Laurel District, Oakland, and Orinda. They specialize in camps and classes for younger kids. Their website is
impressed friend

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.

Morning or afternoon camp for 3.5 yr old

May 2006

Hi- 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 Jill

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! patricia

Desperate for a Summer Preschool Program

May 2006

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 in September. Jenny

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 anon

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. Thanks, Lisa

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 Good luck! tiffany

Day Camp for 4-year-old

Oct 2003

Hello, 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. Cheryl

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, by phone 510-524- 9283, or in person. Our office hours are 8:30-5 M-F. Chelle

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! anon

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 prep days. Good Luck.