Camp and youth programs won’t be in full swing this summer, so here are a few ideas for re-creating summer camp at home.
Nature hunt: Visit a park or explore right in your own yard. Bring a jar with holes poked in the lid to collect specimens like bugs and plants from your yard, or bring a notebook to make doodles, observations and records of nature observations when you are out and about. There are a lot of observational questions to ask. What kind of plants and animals did you see? What kind of colors did you notice? What was the weather like and how did that influence the nature around you?
Ice cream social: Camps often start off with a community activity to break the ice and make new friends, and nothing is better than making friends over ice cream. Have ice cream at home to commence your family’s summer activities and make it special by getting fun toppings or even making it yourself from scratch.
Tie-dye T-shirts: Get dye and T-shirts from your local craft store, or even buy a full tie-dye kit online. Here’s a pro- tip – this is a great way to repurpose stained white shirts instead of buying brand new ones. Make sure to do this activity outside and wear play clothes that can get messy as you may accidentally tie-dye just more than the T-shirt. Don’t forget the rubber bands.
Water game Olympics: Camp is always full of friendly competitions, usually involving water because it’s refreshing and a bunch of fun. Make different stations at a park or in a backyard and go from challenge to challenge. Keep scores and times if your kids fancy a bit of competition. Try creating games like sprinkler limbo, sponge dodgeball, water balloon games, obstacle courses with pool noodles, DIY slip-and-slides or anything else you can imagine.
Mess-free crafts: Not all crafts have to leave a tornado of destruction in your house. Try some crafts that can be done inside if your kids have already had a bunch of sun, or feel free to do them outside if they hate to part with the outdoors. Create friendship bracelets using thread and beads. You can find patterns online or at the craft store. Make simple woven potholders using kits that contain a loom, cotton loops, a hook and instructions. Try your hand at origami with paper and instructions for different designs.
Tabletop games: Not all games require screens. Enjoy board games with the family, or invest in some other tabletop games like table tennis or foosball. A dart board is also a great option – you can even find magnetic darts if you are worried about safety for younger children. You can find kid versions of pool tables and air hockey, usually in miniature versions that are a bit more affordable and portable.
Scrapbooking: Document summer adventures and get crafty by preserving your memories in a scrapbook. Kids can use mixed media and craft supplies to create pages and write captions or entries about their summer activities. Make sure to have lots of printed photos. Use an iInstax camera for instant printing, a disposable camera for a more inexpensive option, or print digital photos at a local store.
Test your knowledge with today’s trivia question
How many marshmallows are in a Jet-Puffed 10-ounce bag?
Tuesday’s answer: 182 million
Spruce up your s’mores
S’mores are a summer classic, but if you feel like mixing it up here are some tasty variations you can try out this season.
The Nutty Buddy: Graham cracker, peanut butter cup and marshmallow.
Salted Caramel: Graham cracker, milk chocolate, caramel square, sprinkle of sea salt and marshmallow.
Mexican Hot Chocolate: Graham cracker, milk chocolate, marshmallow, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne (if you like a spicy kick).
The Samoa: Graham cracker, milk chocolate, caramel square, a sprinkling of toasted coconut and marshmallow.
The Grasshopper: Chocolate graham cracker, a peppermint patty and marshmallow.
Cookies and Cream: Graham cracker (chocolate or regular), cookies and cream chocolate bar or white chocolate sprinkled with chocolate wafer cookie crumbles and marshmallow.
Sweet and Salty: Ritz cracker, milk chocolate and marshmallow.
Strawberries and Cream – Graham cracker, milk chocolate, sliced strawberry and marshmallow.
Chocolate Hazelnut: Graham cracker, chocolate hazelnut spread, a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts and marshmallow.
Banana and Peanut Butter: Graham cracker, milk chocolate, banana slices, peanut butter spread and marshmallow.
Mallow Monster: Rice crispy sliced in half for two thinner pieces, milk chocolate and more marshmallow if you like.
Dark Chocolate Decadence: Graham cracker, dark chocolate, a sprinkle of chopped or sliced almonds, an optional sprinkle of salt and marshmallow.
Chocolate Covered Cherry: Graham cracker, chocolate, maraschino cherries (halved for ease) and marshmallow.
Oreo Lovers: Oreos substitute the graham cracker (either whole or taken apart) and marshmallow.
Blackberry Cobbler: Waffle cookies, blackberry jam and marshmallows.
Cookie Lovers: Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate hazelnut spread or milk chocolate, marshmallow.
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