The Quintessential Kids' Summer Camp Packing List
Camp Clothing Labels
Repeat after us: no more lost laundry. Custom name tags for your little campers' clothes means less time decoding whose shorts are whose and more time spent capturing the flag. One of our favorite sources, Namemaker, offers both iron-on labels that quickly put an ID to items, and high-quality woven-cotton ones, loomed in Europe, that can be secured with a couple of stitches.
Namemaker iron-on and woven-cotton labels, from $26 for 100,
Drawstring Bandanna Tote Bag
Sunblock, sunglasses, snacks: the grab-n-go essentials are never out of reach when they're tucked into a one of these carry-all totes -- not to mention they give off a serious "cool kid" vibe.
Binoculars and Navigation Devices
Equip them with the tools they need to go on their own mini expedition. While a compass will let them keep track of where they're going (and how to get back!) a trusty pair of binoculars will make exploring their surroundings all the more fascinating.
Uncle Milton National Geographic 4-in-1 Explorer Navigation Tool, $10, amazon.com
HABA Binoculars with Bag, $39,
A hat is a summer wardrobe essential that works double-time: it's a stylish accessory and a shield from the bright sun. These DIY bucket hats are no different -- plus, they're reversible! This means that they save a bit of space in your camper's bag, since it's basically like packing two diferent hats in the space of one.
Texts and phone calls are great -- until reception drops. Staying in touch is easy -- and fun! -- with a colorful kit like this one. Kids can create their own one-of-a-kind postcards before sending updates home.
Strathmore Watercolor Postcards, $3.56 for 15, dickblick.com
Crayola Pan Washable Watercolors, $3,
Summer Camp Scrapbook
Make sure that camp photos have a safe (and decorative) home with an easy DIY scrapbooking kit that practically functions as a camp photo album, camp journal, and fun project all in one.
Camp is the perfect place to make new friends, and friendship bracelets are the perfect way to celebrate those new ties (no pun intended). Send your camper off to camp with some string or yarn, as well as a few pattern skills up their sleeve, to make sure that they're all set to craft with their bunkmates.
Get your kid's threads camp-ready with colorful iron-on patches. They instantly upgrade plain T-shirts, shorts, or backpacks and keep them distinguished from everyone else's clothing articles.
$5 each, mokuyobi.com
Prevent any unfortunate bag mixups at camp by taking the time to tag each of your camper's bags before leaving home! These leather tags not only get the job done, but are super durable, meaning that they're sure to stand up to anything camp throws their way.
Between mornings at the lake and afternoons out in the woods, the sun will start to take its toll. Remember to pack essentials like sunscreen, sun-protecting lip balm, and insect repellant help make sure that your camper is always ready to face the elements -- because nobody has time to worry about a little bit of sun when there are adventures to be had!
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Lotion SPF 45, $17, amazon.com
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Stick SPF 70+, $8.49,
Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother, $10,
Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent, $8,
The end of camp means having to part ways with new friends, but a keepsake volleyball -- signed by friends, counselors, and cabinmates -- is the perfect way for your camper to remember everyone long after summer is over.
Wilson Soft Play Outdoor Volleyball ball, $12.99, Amazon
Sharpie Water-Based Paint Markers, Set of 5, $15.33,