I can’t even come close to Jenny’s gorgeous post last week. Jenny thank you for sharing you eloquent writing about a wonderful place in time. I am not quite there yet. I am trying to enjoy every moment of where my family is right now and am looking forward to the Sweet Spot.
My big kids and I experienced an AWESOME week last week that I thought I would share.
It all started about three months ago on the playground. We had been meeting up often with a group of families that have boys my sons age and girls the age of my oldest daughter. Two other moms and I were chatting about summer plans. Someone had read an article about moms running a camp. Oh how much fun we all thought out loud!! So all my organizational juices started flowing and rounded up several families with kids around the same ages as mine.
So last week we did it! Six families participate, 13 kids total. We met from 9:30 – 11:30 Monday – Friday. A different family hosted every morning with the host in charge and two other moms there to help out (leaving the other moms 2 or 3 mornings off). Here is what we came up with after brainstorming with one another, searching the internet, borrowing books, tapping into the teacher within, and remembering past camp counseling tricks. It was so wonderful to collaborate with other fun, smart, savvy moms. Thank you for a great week! Many of these projects can be done with one kid or for a group.
Monday was over here with a hike around the lake across the street and then back in the yard building gnome / fairy houses. Here is a file of the bingo (hike bingo) game that we played as we walked around the lake.
Tuesday’s focus was on animals. The host family has two dogs, two cats, a parrot, a rabbit, a tortoise, a fish, and a hamster. The song “Who Let the Dogs Out” was the theme for the morning. Highlights were adopting a puppy with full certificate, tags, and vet check up; visiting with the animals; making dog biscuits; and picking up poop (water balloons) from the yard. Here is the recipe for the dog biscuits: ¼ cup all natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1 cup water, 2 ¼ cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup oatmeal – Preheat oven to 375. Combine peanut butter, oil and water in a large bowl. Stir in the flour and oatmeal until just combined. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out cookies with a cookie cutter. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 to 35 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Let cool.
Wednesday was all about water. Slip ‘n’ slide, more water balloons, and small pools. The mom had made koosh / pompoms out of sponges. She cut colorful sponges (making sure to purchase sponges without the ruff scrubby side) into strips the long way. Her husband held about 10 strips of various color and lengths with two hands, one at either end. Then she tied the center very tightly with dental floss. The boys could not stop playing with them – getting them wet and throwing them at one another.
Thursday was super hero day! The costumes that were created were so simple and so amazing. Eye masks were decorated; a cape constructed out of trash bags; and shields that protecting them from their friend’s pool noodle sabers! Super hero personalities were formed and silly string fun was had! The capes were cut from trash bags that have drawstrings. Velcro kept the cape on, it was attached to the two corners on the drawstring end of the bag.
Friday it rained, not only did it rain it poured. There was no way that the outdoor plan A was going to happen. I give the most credit to the host who changed gears very quickly. She had crafts, games with cups, games with toilet paper, a movie, and ice cream! The kids loved painting the picture frames and photo is such a great memento from the week.
Here are couple other things that made the camp feel more “real” to the kids and the moms:
– We got each kid a draw string back pack.
– At the end of each morning each host handed out badges to the kids to put on their bags.