Depending on how old your babes are, you might be keeping them in their current daycare or caregiving situation through summer. Or, if you have pre-schoolers, you’ve got those seemingly endless few weeks between “school” and “camp” (even though they’re like…the same?). Or, if you’re anything like us, you may have been caught googling “sleepaway camp for toddlers” from time to time. (no judgies). What we’re trying to say is, there will come at a time in the near future where you’re left wondering, WTF ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS SUMMER? Fortunately, Lauren Nearpass, founder of Summer 365, a camp consultancy that connects families with summer camps, is helping her clients navigate this crazy, unscheduled time. “Even as parents of very small children, we can all borrow from what camp offers to create fun, meaningful experiences at home,” Lauren says.
We got the goods from Lauren on how to recreate camp at home. We even coined a sample schedule on how to achieve it. Peep it below and break out the megaphone and clipboard.
Your Camp At Home Schedule:
Morning Lineup: “This is a time to share announcements, so everyone knows what’s coming and what to expect in the day,” says Lauren. “In the younger age range, you can create visuals for the day.”
“Bunk” Inspection: “It’s just an important teaching moment for kids to be responsible for their items, like all their toys as well as to set up and clean up for whatever activities are happening that day.”
Daily Schedule: “This is a moment where you’re plotting the schedule for the day. It could be arts and crafts, like tie-dye, sports and activities, or swimming lessons. But don’t overdo it and over-program. Feel really good with two activities and set realistic goals in what to accomplish.”
Meal Time: You can plan some fun meals, like summer food or incorporating summer fruits. S’mores are appropriate at most meals for summer. This might be a good time to incorporate cooking into the daily schedule, think simple, easy recipes for toddler. Create snack time necklaces or schedule cooking as an activity.”
Rest Hour: “Super appropriate, obviously. This is one of the most beloved times at camp. It’s a time for kids and adults to rest. Young ones can take a nap or play quietly with an activity. Adults can take a mental break as well.
Canteen: This is basically snack time and your little ones will undoubtedly be raiding the pantry asking for treats and sweets.”
Choice Time: Depending on what is scheduled for the day, choice time is great for kids. Give them a few options and let them independently play with an activity of choice.”
Shower Hour: “This goes without saying. It’s time to bathe.”
Evening Activity: “It’s perhaps not realistic that you’ll have something every night of the week, but it might be fun to program an activity for the family. Give each person in the family a night to choose an activity. It could be movie night. It could be a fire and S’mores. It could be stories around the fire, or even a talent show.
Bedtime Stories: “Make sure you’re still reading books. Reading and literacy is always important, no matter the season.”
Lights Out: “As soon as possible!”