Quirky Kid Camp

DrSeuss 015I was pretty bummed out when Bug started Kindergarten. As much as I enjoy my time without the kids, I enjoy being able to do activities with them and take them fun places. So, when summer vacation came this year I made sure to sign them up for a few days of camp in town, but was thrilled to know we’d have a few days a week for adventure. Of course, it’s the end of June and we have barely had a moment together! Still, I’ve got a plan. The kids are finally old enough to enjoy some of the crafts and activities that I really like. I put together a list of fun things to do, picked up supplies (Ok, I did go overboard with supplies), and am ready to get started.

I know I’m not the only one who struggles in the moment to find ways to keep the kids occupied. I’ll share some of our activities on here with supplies and tips to help you along. You’ll probably find plenty of old favorites in the mix. I always find that I forget about the really fun, but basic stuff when the kids start clamoring for something to do!

In each post, I’ll try to include materials, instructions, pictures, and tips. I’ll also try to include the final outcome because sometimes things don’t go as planned! To start, though, I have a few overall tips for the series, especially when it comes to crafting and art projects:

  • Back off. This is leisure time and it’s supposed to be fun. If you’re obsessing about matching colors, perfect spelling, and an overall balanced project, you’re going to suck the life out of it. Likewise, if the kids just aren’t into it, it’s OK to change the plan or let it go entirely.
  • Join in. Don’t be afraid to join in a game, craft or art project. It’s great role modeling, and it allows you to get all of your perfectionism out without taking it out on the kids.
  • Watch your budget. There is no need to spend large amounts of money on your projects. Substitute where you can, recycle, and dig through those junk draws. I’ll try to include money-saving options where I can.
  • Create a crafting/project ritual, especially with younger kids. Consider getting an inexpensive plastic tablecloth to use whenever you’re doing a project that has a potential for mess. Smocks can’t hurt either. This is a nice way to help younger kids understand that the art materials are for use during “Art time” only.
  • Be nimble. As I alluded to earlier, be open to whatever outcome crops up. Whether it’s a trip to the zoo, a family cookout, a math lesson, or an art project, kids don’t always take from it what you’d expect. Camp is about the experience over the outcome, so try to make sure the experience is fun, even if you end up changing your plans or focusing on something new or different.

Stay tuned… And please share links to your Kid Camp ideas (non-commercial posts only, please)! Let’s all share. You can follow our progress here, or via our Quirky Kid Camp Pinterest board.

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