In my thirteen years counseling Manhattan and Brooklyn families, I’ve been struck again and again by how much preschool-aged children mature after a summer at suburban day camp.  At day camp, kids learn critical skills that enable them to be ready to succeed in the competitive fall NYC private school kindergarten admissions process.

Specifically, at suburban day camp NYC nursery school children play sports and climb all summer, improving their physical and gross motor skills.  They have room to roam, unlike in their usual tight Manhattan quarters.

At day camp, NYC children learn to socialize with a new group of kids outside of nursery school, and adapt to following the directions of a new group of teachers and counselors.  By the end of their four, six or eight week day camp session, campers have stronger skills and have gained great confidence in themselves and their abilities.  This can translate to an easier time separating from parents at private school interviews and ERB testing.

While many Manhattan families send their preschoolers to city day camps, some run by their own nursery school, I believe that pre-kindergarteners in particular are better off riding the bus to a suburban camp.  Some parents worry that this is too big a step for a small child, but in my experience four-year-olds adapt easily, especially if they have a friend on the bus.  Learning separation from parents, and being able to ride the bus gives four years olds a big boost in confidence.

Over the years, I have looked at a number of day camps and discussed them with many of my kindergarten educational consulting clients.  For the summer of 2012 I am delighted to have partnered with the one that impresses me most.

This Westchester day camp

  • is close to Manhattan
  • offers a special mini-day option, allowing nursery schoolers to go home at 2:30pm rather than the more typical 4pm
  • has a long history and puts safety first
  • has many trained teachers as counselors
  • stretches kids physically, intellectually, and creatively
  • offers ice skating (!) as well as many other incredible activities

To learn more, email me, and I will connect you to the camp’s lovely director for more information and if you’d like, a special tour of camp.  Note nursery school grades at this Westchester day camp fill quickly, so act ASAP.