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Summer camp packing list and must-have gear for kids 2013

Send kids off to camp in style with super-cute accessories, including flip flops, sleeping bags and goggles, from our summer camp packing list.


Click to the next image to see all of our camp gear products for kids.

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Glow worm
Campers wear a bright smile wherever they go with this cheerful lantern; it emits a soft light while remaining cool to the touch. $11; at spoonsisters.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Light bright
No batteries needed for these animal-themed flashlights; simply squeeze the side buttons to recharge. $9 each; at Space Kiddets, 26 E 22nd St between Broadway and Park Ave South (212-420-9878)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Sleep tight
This plush “wood” pillow from Kikkerland is sure to be a hit in your child’s bunk. $19; at spoonsisters.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

All tucked in
Packing up these mummy-shaped (and water-resistant) sleeping bags is a cinch thanks to the attached stuff sack. $60; at REI, 303 Lafayette St at E Houston St (212-680-1938, rei.com)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Custom creations
Purchase a batik camp-themed shirt or tank, or make your own using bright waxes and dyes. $33–$36; at Hiho Batik, 184 Fifth Ave between Berkeley and Lincoln Pls, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-622-4446, hihobatik.com)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Buddy bands
Friendship bracelets never go out of style—this kit includes everything little ones need to accessorize (and bond) with new pals. $15; at Babesta, 66 West Broadway between Murray and Warren Sts (212-608-4522, babesta.com)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

On the go
Camping essentials are easily packed away in this roomy but sensible canvas backpack with multiple compartments. $28; at Claire’s. Go to claires.com for store locations.

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Eye candy
Goggles with interchangeable frames let kids match their underwater eyewear to their swimsuit or mood. $15 each; at speedousa.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Pool party
Classic swimwear styles in trendsetting prints are perfect for active (and fashionable) kids. Monkey swim trunks, $18; at the Children’s Place. Go to childrensplace.com for store locations. Pineapple-print suit, $32; at bodenusa.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Safety first
Natural sunscreen from Alba Botanica, $11, and insect repellent from Jason Natural, $8, protect young skin without harmful chemicals. Available at Whole Foods. Go to wholefoods.com for store locations.

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Keep in touch
Letters home from camp are easy to compose with fill-in-the-blank notepad-and-envelope sets by Evy Jacob. $12.50 each; at E.A.T. Gift Shop, 1062 Madison Ave between 80th and 81st Sts (212-861-2544)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Goodbye tears
Candy-inspired bandages tend to scrapes in style and act as bright body art. $5 per tin; at ouchiesonline.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Little explorers
L.L. Bean's Trailblazer Junior headlamps make it easy to see when the sun goes down. $20; at llbean.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Magic ball
The transforming disc-to-ball makes for an ultimate game of catch. Throw it as a flat disc and watch it expand in the air to catch as a ball. $21; at The Children's General Store, 168 E 91st St between Lexington and Third Aves (212-426-4479)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Personalize me
Customize labels with your child's name to attach to their clothing, shoes, bags and other camps supplies. $21; at mabelslabels.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Hat head
Hair stays dry and tangle-free with these monster-printed swim caps from Speedo, made for underwater adventures. $12 each; at speedousa.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Drink up
These flat, roll-up water bottles from Shark Skinzz are fit for little super heroes. $12; at E.A.T. Gifts, 1062 Madison Ave between 80th and 81st Sts (212-861-2544)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Dear diary
Campers can keep an account of daily activities, adventures and new friendships with these fun journals. $11 each; at galison.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Safe keeping
Bags with a waterproof lining keep wet swimsuits and towels away from dry clothes. $25–$30; upa-lala.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Eye covers
Brightly colored sunglasses keep kids smiling, and not squinting, during camp photos. $22; at bodenusa.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Feet first
No need to worry about mud stains, These lightweight slip-on sneakers from Native Shoes are washable. $30; at nativeshoes.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Mini lights
The flexible legs on this bug-shaped flashlight are made for clinging to surfaces such as backpacks, collars and bed bunks. $14; at spoonsisters.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Snack time
Skip the Ziploc bags: These reusable small sacks from Lunchskins are ideal for carrying animal crackers or pretzels to camp. $8–$10; at Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store, 365 State St at Bond St, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (718-522-9848, blueribbongeneralstore.com)

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Fashion frenzy
Shorts for girls from Cherokee are simply adorable in neon colors ($10) or dainty prints ($13). Available at Target; visit target.com for locations.

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Water sports
Perfect for playing in the pool, this foam football sprays a spiral of water when thrown. $14; at spoonsisters.com

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Colorful flip-flops are convenient at the beach and in camp showers. $3.50 each; at the Children’s Place. Go to childrensplace.com for store locations.

Whether your children are heading off to sleepaway camp for a summer full of outdoor adventures or spending their school break at a day camp, they'll have to load up on gear. Our summer camp packing list has everything you need to get kids ready for their summer experience—water toys, swim caps, bathing suits, suntan lotion, flip flops and more. We've even included an adorable fill-in-the-blank notepad-and-envelope set to make it extra easy for kids to write letters home from camp. Scroll through our favorite items and then add your favorites to your child's summer camp packing list.

RECOMMENDED: Summer camps for kids 2013