Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer Camp at Home

Since this summer is actually Abby's first ever summer vacation, and since she is sad about leaving preschool, and since she wants to start Kindergarten right now, and since I will have to entertain all three kids all day, every day, I've decided to make this summer "Summer Camp at Home Summer".

I plan to make each day of the week a different type of camp day, for the entire summer. For instance, Mondays might be arts & crafts day. We'll make arts and crafts all day long, make playdough & play with it, etc. Tuesdays might be cooking day, on which the kids will make their own breakfast, lunch, and dinner (gee, they'd better be careful with the stove...), and some nice cookies or something. Wednesdays might be movie day, since the local theaters have 50 cent movie days every Wednesday. Thursdays could be outside the house days - which can include zoo trips, playing at the park, swimming, etc.

I'm still working on the fifth camp day. I'll post my final itinerary when I get it all figured out, in case anyone is interested in copying or suggesting ideas. Until then, I have a challenge for everyone reading this (yup, all two of you):

Give me your best free/ nearly free ideas for keeping kids under 5 entertained this summer. There are tons of ideas online and in magazines, books, etc. for school age kids. What on earth do you do if you have wee little kids? Preschoolers are one of the most under-recognized group of kids that really, really need to be entertained, in my opinion. So give me your best ideas! Local ideas are welcome as well, since they may give others ideas of places to search for in their own towns.

I will post ideas as I find them, as well as links to things like cheap movie days. Keep checking back all summer for ideas on what to do with those little rugrats of yours. Trust me, you'll thank me as the summer drags on.


Deb said...

Great idea! We're not doing summer camp either, because where we live it's too expensive. And with three kids under 4, pickup and dropoff would be a nightmare! I love the idea of designating activities for specific days - you wake up in the morning with a purpose other than cooking and cleaning all day! =)

Where I live, there are a few places that offer free admission to residents on a certain day of the week. Like the nature center on Weds - so we usually do that. Maybe I'll make one afternoon a library one.

Anonymous said...

Check out your local library. Our library has story time every Tuesday or Wednesday from 10-10:30 for kids under 4. I think they may do it both days, one day is lapsit story time for like kids under 2 and the other is preschool story time for 3-4 yr olds. Other than that in the childrens section our library has a computer with educational games(you have to have a card to use the comps) and little tables set up so you can read and they have puzzles and also building blocks to play with. I take Rori like every other week while Tyler is in karate and we play puzzles and read and then check out our books and movies. Also once a month during the summer they offer family movie day and a drop in arts and crafts hour, both free. Chrissie

Anonymous said...

Someone already posted the library idea - that was my big one. My son is only 6 months, so summer is just like spring for me. But I like to hang out with my friends with toddlers. We all have zoo memberships, which makes the zoo really cost effective and I think gets us a discount at the aquarium, too. I plan to spend some time at my in-laws backyard pool, but this would terrify me with 3 under 4. But I loved sprinklers, slip-n-slide, and the little kiddie pools as a kid. I also had a backyard sandbox under a shade tree and could spend hours in it.

One thing I remember doing with my parents which I think was brilliant was going to "special" playgrounds occasionally. I would beg my dad to take me to this cool, big wooden playground across town. It didn't matter that we were down the block from an elementary school with three different playgrounds. The occasional treat of going someplace unusual with different play equipment was cause for massive celebration. And completely free to boot.

Anonymous said...

This might be part "science" day, but a lot of regular places have given tours for our group of homeschooled preschoolers -- grocery stores (esp. Asian groceries, if you have 'em in your area), bakeries, post office, and the local rock quarry was the BEST! I don't know if they'd do it for just a couple kids, but you can always call and ask, or invite your mommy friends along.

You could also combine a couple of yours days and, say, bake brownies one day and take them to your local fire station the next. Firemen loooove getting treats, and often do a great "dog-n-pony" show for the kiddies.

If you're in a drought area (as I am) and can't run the sprinkler, a bucket of water and a bunch of squirty toys is almost as good. Or public fountains you can play in.

Check with your local symphony, too. Many do kids' concerts for a nominal ticket price and sometimes have "petting zoos" afterwards so kids can touch and play some intruments.

Blogger design by