Now that school is almost over, it’s time for parents and children to start thinking about summer camp. There are many types of camps available—afternoon creative camp, an all-day sports camp, or a two-week adventure camp. One of the things to consider when deciding on a camp is whether your child will enjoy it. And, you might be wondering how to tell if your child is ready for sleepover camp.

Most sleepover camps last for a minimum of one week and up to all summer long. Being away from home and family for that long can be difficult for some children. It’s important to understand whether your child is ready for that type of separation. It’s always best to start with a shorter time frame for the first time.

The average age for first time sleepover camp is between 7 and 9 years old, but it really depends on the emotional age of your child. If you have a child that’s clingy and doesn’t want to be away from you for long periods of time, this may be a good indication that he or she is not ready for sleepover camp. It really does depend on the emotional maturity of your child.

If you’re not sure if your child is ready for sleepover camp, you can try allowing them to spend a few nights away at a relative’s home or a friend’s house. That way, they will be away from you but will still be with people they know. Overnight camp can be difficult for some children because they don’t know anyone at the camp and may feel uncomfortable reaching out to an adult if they are feeling homesick or upset.

It may help for your child to attend sleepover camp with a friend. See if one of their friends might be interested in attending the same sleepover camp. That will give your child someone they know to spend time with even if you aren’t there.

When making your decision about whether or not your child is old enough to attend sleepover camp, it’s important to involve them in the decision. Make sure they understand that they won’t be able to see you for the whole time that they are there. Check with the camp and find out whether there is a parent’s day part way through the camp. And, see if your child would be allowed to call home if they are truly homesick.

Ultimately, you’ll need to make this decision based on the maturity level of your child. It’s possible that a very mature 5 year old could handle sleepover camp while an immature 10 year old could not.