Send your kids to summer camp with the right kids’ activewear Parents and kids can agree on these cool, comfortable clothes. We’ve included outfit ideas that work for almost any camp activity. You’ll also find tips for choosing footwear and accessories. First, let’s talk about packing.
You can maximize the space inside your child’s duffle bag or suitcase with a few simple strategies. Organizing expert Marie Kondo recommends rolling clothes into cylindrical shapes rather than folding them traditionally. You can fit more outfits and other items by rolling and stacking undergarments, socks, shorts and shirts. Exactly what you should pack depends on the summer camp location, length, and your child’s age. Some camps may provide parents with packing guidelines, so you’re sure to include the recommended apparel.
You can’t go wrong with sun-protective clothing for kids—and adults, for that matter. These pieces come in many styles and sizes to fit every body. They deliver UPF 50+ protection for covered areas. So, while they don’t eliminate the need for sunscreen, they add extra protection. There’s sun-protective swimwear for all ages with the same UPF protection. Many summer camps include swimming or other water activities, so the right swimwear is a must. There are boys’ swim trunks and girls’ swimwear with sun protection, which kids can top with a rash-guard cover-up.
As mentioned, most summer camps require kids’ swimsuits for water activities. Whether your child is swimming in a pool or lake, they need a comfortable swimsuit that withstands water, sunscreen chemicals, and UV rays. Look for boys’ and girls’ swimsuits made from chlorine-resistant fabric. Typically, that’s a blend of polyester or nylon with Lycra® XtraLife™. This innovative spandex wears 10 times longer than regular spandex, which makes it perfect for kids’, men’s and women’s swimsuits.
Different swimwear styles work well for summer camp. Boys’ board shorts are sportier than traditional volley trunks for water sports. If you want a classic look and length, knee-length volley boys’ swim trunks with an elastic waist and drawcord check all the boxes. Then for girls, there are one- and two-piece options. Our favorite is the girls’ tankini, which provides one-piece coverage with mix-and-match versatility.
When it comes to summer outfits for athletic activities, Supima cotton is always a winner. It’s lightweight, breathable and keeps its shape through repeated wear and washing. The long-staple fiber makes Supima cotton T-shirts, shorts, and other pieces so durable. It’s twice as strong as regular cotton and grown in the USA. Supima cotton also has excellent color retention properties to keep camp outfits vibrant all summer.
Girls’ and boys’ shorts are a camp must-have. Chino khaki shorts are rugged and durable; they match any color T-shirt. While you can pack a few of your child’s favorite tees, they’ll likely be given one or more camp T-shirts to wear. Toss in a lightweight button-down or a polo shirt to provide more summer outfit options.
Cotton elastic-waist shorts are another super-comfy option for camp. You’ll want to provide kids’ pajamas made for summer, so look for boys’ or girls’ pajamas with a lightweight cotton knit. You may also want to pack a pair of slides or slippers that kids can wear indoors. A long robe can be layered over PJs for added warmth and coverage.
You'll need to provide a few footwear essentials for summer camp. Water shoes are an absolute must. They protect feet against fungus in shared locker rooms and safeguard against sharp rocks when walking along the shore. Your child will also need rugged hiking boots with a slip-resistant outsole and a pair of athletic shoes with a perforated upper. The tiny holes allow optimum airflow, a definite plus for summertime activities. Boat shoes and sandals are two more summer shoe styles that kids may need for camp.
Sunblock is the first accessory you’ll want to pack to protect your child against UV rays. From there, fill their tote bag with beach towels, a favorite book or two, and even a beloved plush or pillow from home. A cap or wide-brim hat helps protect against the sun. Like with kids’ tees, your child’s camp may provide them with a cap to wear featuring the camp logo.
These are just some ideas for kids’ summer camp outfits. You can use them as inspiration when prepping for your child’s camp adventure. Always refer to the camp literature for any clothing requirements or recommendations. And make sure to plan—giving yourself extra time to prepare helps reduce the stress of sending your kids to summer camp. Proper planning and a well-packed suitcase help make the experience better for you and your child.