Living Arts Wednesday: Summer Camp at Home

June 17, 2020

Some of the best memories are made in flip flops.
― Kellie Elmore

Here we are in the middle of June. The Summer Solstice is just ahead as is Father’s Day!  The children have been home for three months already and unless you are fortunate enough to have childcare there are many more weeks ahead of having children at home.

So, perhaps it’s time to think about creating a summer camp at home! I would suggest you start with one or two summer camp days a week that are completely different from the other days of the week. Yes, you are still home but everything from breakfast to dinner, and everything in between can be different. It would be an idea to ask your children what they would like to do (at home, or in the park, or in a safe water space).

Are there projects or crafts or adventure hikes they have been looking forward to? Write these down and see which favorites could be included at least once a week. Think about letting them make their own lunches for camp days, to bring along in a paper bag, or in an insulated container for their backpacks. Model for them how to clean up after themselves and put everything back to where it belongs in the kitchen!

Here are a few ideas in case you need them:

1. Nature fun – Flowers and bugs and birds…summer is the perfect season to explore nature with children. Bring a jar (with holes poked in the lid) to catch bugs and later release; gather small flowers, leaves and petals and place and press in a small flower press or in a book (use tissue between layers of flowers); plant a bean or sunflower garden in the sun…both are easy to grow! Hang a bird feeder and learn the names of the birds that come to dine. Make bark boats…you need chunks of bark in a variety of  sizes, sticks, and leaves. Have the children drill a small hole in the top of the bark boat for the stick mast, thread a leaf onto the stick and float in a stream!  If your children are old enough to stay up past dark, watch the stars come out in the night sky. And water… sitting in it, slipping, watering, swimming, mud and mud pie making…water is a summer essential!!

A great resource is Earthways by Carol Petrash.