At the start of summer break, I was pretty pumped with my creative approach to making the summer fun by giving it a summer camp flavor. I christened it “Camp Explore.”
I posted our daily routine in camp lingo. For example, clean rooms became cabin inspection. There were a few new things I added to our routine like calisthenics and chores, but it was mainly a fresh perspective on our ordinary life. The biggest change was adding “theme time.” After some online pinterest-searching (because I’m not the only mom to come up with this idea), I decided on Make-It Mondays, Time-to-Read Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesdays, Take-a-Trip Thursdays, and Fun Food Fridays.
As a way to instill family unity and sibling teamwork, the kids and I would periodically put our hands together and chant our family cheer: “Love. Loyalty. Adventure. Snacks. Team Moody!” We even made a family flag, complete with our motto and hand prints.
We hiked 6 miles round trip to Warrior Rock Lighthouse on Sauvie Island where we saw a bald eagle.
On the long hike back, Stephen and I taught the kids all sorts of camp songs to keep them occupied. Now I understand why camp songs are so repetitive and annoying—they’re meant to keep kids from whining during long hikes!
Our fun foods so far have been sardines, homemade popsicles, s’mores, roasted hot dogs, and free slurpees from 7 Eleven on 7/11!
We made water bombs and marshmallow & toothpick structures for Make-it Monday and fired off a baking soda & vinegar rocket.
Our trips have included a visit to friends, OMSI, parks, and the pool.
I’ve been teaching the kids some new chores like vacuuming, dusting, wiping sinks, and cleaning mirrors. I’m hoping we can continue some of these housekeeping skills during the school year.
We celebrated Silas’s “graduation” (as he calls it) from 1st grade by taking the kids to see the 3D Incredibles 2 movie.
And our usual summer activities have made an appearance. Stephen’s re-siding the three outer walls of our garage, we held a mini garage/bake sale (the brownies were a hit!), planted a garden, and celebrated the 4th of July with our friends and community in the park behind our house.
Have we kept up with the camp activities all summer? No. Have we done our special activities on the right theme day? No. But it helped kick off our summer and gave me a chance to brainstorm fun ideas. I think using Camp Explore when it works and letting go of it when it doesn’t is a healthy approach.