Parenting: Camp Mom and Dad

Well, as most working parents are discovering this year, summer camp (or rather all the different summer camps) ain’t happening.  First the zoo canceled. Then the museum, then the art camp…and now it’s 100% camp mom and dad this summer. So, what’s a parent to do?

After a moment of panic, and a stiff drink, I sat down and just did a brain dump of all the fun things they like to do, put them in “themes” and tried to make sort of kind of educational in parts.  Then I gave them fun names to make them sound like the summer camps the kids are used to doing. And so it begins. Camp mom and dad will beholding a number of fun and educational-ish sessions, subject to change, all rules and regulations apply.  Here’s what we’ve come up with:

  • Minecraft Mania: The oldest one gets a raspberry pi and can program his own mods. The other two get to make things together, make games for each other, build out real life places (William plans on making the main island of Hawaii) and even do some MineCraft art.
  • Backyard Campout: TWO nights of sleeping in a tent out back. They get to build a firepit, roast marshmallows, stargaze, identify birds and bugs, cook over an open fire (hot dogs anyone?), making fairy houses and bird nesting boxes. They will be sleeping in the backyard twice – did I mention that already? I might be a little excited about that.
  • Better Living Through Science: Hooray for chemistry kits and petri dishes!  Also crystal growing kits. We’ll also do tie dye, make bath bombs, and a volcano. And learn how to balance the pool chemicals. Because mom is practical 😉
  • Around the World: Every day we can visit a new country (they get to pick), including making 1 dish from that country, reading about it/watching a film from there (My Neighbor Totoro is already a front runner here) and doing art from that country.
  • Movie Madness: Every day a new movie, activity, and snack. They will write a short script, make costumes/monster masks, film their movie, make a poster for the movie and hold a preview. Given the stories these kids come up with I’m both excited and a little worried about this one.
  • Home Sweet Home: They get to redecorate their rooms. They need to plan it out (do you want some new curtains? Paint a wall? Add a shelf?) then choose materials while staying in a budget. And of course they’ll need to do the decorating! Zoe has a plan already to turn a bird cage into a lamp, so should be interesting.

We have some more, but they’re not as fleshed out. I expect that we’ll end up iterating on how we do future camps as we learn from each one. And maybe we’ll want to do some of them more than once.

Welcome to Camp Mom and Dad!

There are Monsters On the Doorknob: Parenting Story

Parenting Story

We had a bout of illness in the house, so I needed to get all the door knobs and cabinet handles wiped down. Being incredibly lazy, I decided this was a perfect job for the kids.  I handed each of them an antibacterial wipe and told them:

“We’ve been invaded by really tiny monsters!  They are hiding out on the door knobs and cabinet handles all over the house – some might even be on toilet handles and things like that.  I need your help to hunt them all down and kill them with these magic cloths.”

15 minutes later they reported a complete rout and slaughter of all door handle monsters and their allies.  Long live the alliance!