100 At-Home Activities for Kids this Summer
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Camp At Home
Summer memories typically include camp weeks, family get-togethers, and neighborhood cookouts. But right now things are very different. Kids have just finished their odd distance learning routine and have welcomed summer but so many activities are still canceled and many of us are looking for things to do to help our kids have a fun summer break. To help, Susan Alexander Yates put together the booklet, Camp at Home, which was adapted from her book Cousin Camp. Camp at Home contains 100 ideas and activities to keep your kids busy. No matter their ages—toddlers, middle years, or teens—you’ll find specific summer survival activities for the whole family. Plus ideas for grandparents to stay connected with grandkids during this time.
To start, Susan says you need to: Plan the camp with your spouse or a friend with kids of similar ages; set a start and end date; plan a daily schedule; ensure the kids “buy-in” to the camp; keep a healthy perspective by being flexible.
Activities are divided by age. Some ideas for the little years include: collecting rocks, using chalk to cover sidewalks, finger painting, etc. Middle years activities include: Making a journal, becoming a tree expert, making postcard notes to give to others, having a cooking competition. Ideas for teens include: Building a weight room, designing a new workout regime, sleeping out under the stars, organizing a car parade for someone’s birthday, and playing hide and seek.
Susan explains, “The big concept here can be summarized in a single word: together.” The overall goal of the camp is to strengthen family bonds. The most important elements when planning a camp is to meet the spiritual, emotional, social, and physical needs of each kid. The program is designed around these needs. In addition, Susan includes charts to help you organize accordingly.
Today, families are more scattered than ever. It’s hard to find true and lasting family connections and even harder to maintain them. Susan says that those connections don’t happen by accident.
Her latest book, Cousin Camp outlines how grandparents can plan and host a camp at their home for several days. Grandmother to 21 grandchildren, Susan has been creating cousin camps and family camps for over a decade. Now, she passes on what she’s learned so you can help your children and grandchildren develop meaningful, lasting connections with each other–and with you.
To plan your cousin camp you can focus on the major components, like:
- Preparation—Figure out who will attend and write down their age and needs.
- Communication—Be sure to send an invitation and communicate with each family member before camp begins.
- The buddy system—Pair older children with younger children.
- Goodie bags—Each bag contains snacks, flashlights, water bottles, and a small toy.
- Journals & Bible study—The first year of camp, each child receives a journal to use during Bible study time.
- Bible study ideas—You will need to adapt each study by age.
- Free time and rest time—Kids need this to be creative.
- Camp shirts—Get special shirts made for each year of the camp.
- Competitions—Create competitions like a ping pong tournament or a hula hoop tournament.
- Berry picking and cooking class—Drive to an orchard for fruit picking and plan a cooking class.
- Craft time—Plan some fun crafting projects.
Susan provides sample schedules in the book.
Susan Alexander Yates is an author, speaker, mother to five children (including a set of twins), and grandmother to 21 (including a set of quadruplets!). She has been married to John for 50 years. They live in Falls Church, Virginia, a Washington D.C. suburb where John is the retired Senior Pastor of The Falls Church Anglican.
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