Just like that, there is no school for two weeks.
In my profession of making summer magic, nowhere does it say that two weeks at home with my children (with no game plan) will be a piece of cake. It turns out that faced with other people’s pride and joy I have almost superhuman amounts of flexibility, patience, and creativity. I would gladly stand on my head, bend over backward and do whatever song and dance to ensure their safety and entertainment. Please don’t panic if the thought of entertaining your own children for two weeks is a bit daunting. This is not a snow day with some staple activities in the lineup. I will call on my summer camp culture and experience to make the most of this time with my children and those selected few along the way.
Here are just a few thoughts on how I will conquer the feat of taking care of my own creatures during this time.
Just like camp, I will set the expectations of each day. This could include what activities outside or inside might be an option given the new normal, what and when we will eat and if there are any suggestions on potential movies or gaming times. Maybe bring back Pee Wee’s playhouse and have a word of the day? Who doesn’t love random screaming? Just me…okay.
Arts & Crafts
Kids like to use their hands. You don’t need anything fancy to let them create. Paper plates, tape, scissors, beans, food coloring. They can come up with the process themselves. Put the materials out (don’t freak about the mess) and let them go at it. This is also a good time to TALK in a relaxed atmosphere with their siblings or YOU.
I am sure your school has provided you with some academic activities for the children to complete while at home. Schedule a time to sit down and tackle some of it. No, I’m not suggesting you play homeschool parent, because if you are like me it’s not my strength. The most beneficial thing about this opportunity for you is to then find ways of incorporating academic dialogue into everyday activities. Make it applicable to your lives and watch those kiddos’ eyes light up when they make real-life connections!
Yes, sing and dance. Share a favorite song with your kids and vice versa. This is also a good time to cringe at what the heck they’re listening to and think “music was so much better in my day.” Congratulations you have officially turned into your parents.
Everyone can make a homemade lava lamp. Look it up.
Last time I checked, fresh air was still a go for the time being. Pull out that lawn chair and sit outside with the kiddos or better yet dust off that JV basketball skill set and PLAY. Play eye-spy on a walk, pick up trash in the neighborhood or ride bikes. Get all that crazy kid energy out several times a day. Do not fight the fact that these children need to get moving and grooving, you will just drive yourself crazy instead.
Yes, it’s completely fine to set a time where it’s a quiet time for everyone in the house. No electronics and just independent time. Read books, play with legos or take a nap. Don’t act like you don’t want a little time to zone out too!
Straighten Up (AKA cleaning)
After each activity at camp campers have to clean-up after themselves. They handle it completely fine and it ensures there is enough space to do something else super cool and fun. There is no reason this can’t be done at home. I will report back and let you know if I failed miserably in this area. This break doesn’t have to create more chaos in your home. Instead, let it provide some much-needed reflection for all the things you and your children do have. We are constantly reevaluating what we have at camp to see if it can be used in new and exciting ways.
Deep in my bones, I know more than anything else in the entire world it’s that summer camp is lifechanging because of the lifelong friendships that are made on all levels. It is a powerful community that has changed my life entirely. Take time to talk to one another. Share your hopes, dreams, fears and recognize how lucky we are to have one another.
Here we go in Maryland. At least two weeks off of school and only time will tell how much of our daily lives will go on in this manner. If you are safe and healthy that is all that matters, and now it’s up to you to make a little bit of that magic. Don’t worry it will be summer camp time before you know it!
Always STRIVE TO BMORE!