As an adult, your experiences with summer camp and art activities most likely involve tye-dying T-shirts, gluing dried macaroni to paper to create fun designs or making sponge art outside in the intense summer heat. Now that you’re a parent and you’re researching summer camps for your own child, you might be surprised how much times have changed.
Art camp these days encompasses a much broader range of activities that help spur your child’s creative voice and explore and expand the limits of their imaginations. If you’re interested in sending your child to art camp and this is your first time doing it, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the ever-growing options available.
That’s why we’ve put this list together of the most frequently asked questions by parents.
1. What kinds of art camps are there?
Art camps involve more than just drawing and painting. In fact, the arts offer plenty of creative endeavors such as sculpture, pottery, ceramics, printmaking, video and filmmaking, dance, theater, woodworking, creative writing, cooking, music, and even magic. There are even camps geared toward architecture. While there are some camps that are devoted specifically to one kind of art, such as dance camp or theater camp, there are plenty of camps that include a rich variety of art classes among other activities such as swimming, hiking, soccer, and other sports. Regardless of which kind of art camp experience you choose for your child, rest assured that many camps offer multiple options so they can express creativity with state-of-the-art equipment you wouldn’t have dreamed of finding at summer camp when you were a kid.
2. How long do art camps typically last?
This question goes back to the first one we just covered. It really depends on which camp you send your child to. While overnight camps that offer a more generalized summer camp experience can last anywhere from two to four weeks, day camps generally offer weeklong, full-day and half-day sessions. It all comes down to age, price and the kind of art camp experience you’re looking for. The best way to find out is to research art camps in your area.
3. How do I choose the best art camp for my child?
There are a few criteria to think about when choosing the right art camp for your child. A lot of the decision relies on:
- You child’s age. While there is no tried-and-true way to decide which summer art camp will be best for your child, if they are in Kindergarten or first grade, it might be best to start off researching camps that are the most age-appropriate for that grade level. Most likely, any camp you send your younger child to will include plenty of fun art activities.
- Which camps are located in your area. From full-day camps to half-day drop ins, there are no shortage of art camp options for your family. If overnight camps are among your options, make sure your child is aware that these camps involve spending weeks away from home and gauge how comfortable they are with spending multiple nights away from you.
- How serious and proficient your child is about art. For parents with older elementary and middle-school-age children, they might have already found a passion for a particular art such as theater, painting, or music. If so, refine your summer art camp search for camps with a more specific focus.
- The kind of art your child wants to learn more about. Talk to your child about the available summer art camp options in their area of interest. Discuss what these camps offer and see which ones your child seems more interested in.
4. Will I need to provide my child’s art supplies for camp?
Most art camps provide the art supplies needed, which are paid for with the tuition or fee you’ll pay to enroll your child in camp. That being said, there may be a few supplies you’ll need to buy for your child to bring, though it really just depends on the camp. Make sure when signing your child up for art camp to look on the application or website to see any instructions offered about art supplies. If you don’t see any info about which, if any, art supplies are provided contact a camp administrator to find out. Or ask other parents who have enrolled their child in that particular camp before.
Ready to explore camp options? Whether you're searching for in-person or virtual camps, we've rounded up all the best options available for you and your family! And don't forget to discover art classes for kids! Our guide shows you some of our favorite online art classes for kids and you can explore more on Sawyer!
By the way, if you’re an educator looking for solutions that make running camps fun — Sawyer for camps can help you out!