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 www.sarahscience.com Berkeley Campers
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 (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. 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: http://www.monkeybusinesscamp.com/ 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. 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: www.keystonemontessori.org 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 www.albanypreschool.com anon
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 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: http://glitterandrazz.com/happeningnow.html
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 kidsndance.com. 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 (http://www.ebinternacional.org/). 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 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 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 www.contracostapreschools.com/summercamp.html. 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
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. 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: 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 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 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.
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
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 www.mcpckids.org. Good luck! tiffany
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 www.albanyca.org, 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.