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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DIY Day Camp - Boys

I was recently tweeting with another mom who was dreading the summer break (hi Jenny!) and it made me remember something I did with my niece and nephew one summer.  I did a weeklong "day camp" (called it Camp Campbell).  This is a great idea to get together with other moms who can also take another week to host their own "day camp."  It's a bit fun to be a camp/activity director for 5 days, but you have to be prepared.  When I did it with my niece and nephew, I had to plan the days out ahead of time (there's nothing worse than a bunch of kids with nothing to do).  Here are some ideas of "camp" activities for boys (I'll do girls tomorrow):

1.  Swimming.  This is especially great if you have them all bring a water weapon and let the water wars begin.  Marco Polo anyone?
2. Bike rides. 'Nuf said
3. Hikes. Take the boys to your favorite wooded areas or trail and set them loose.  Maybe you could do a scavenger hunt?
4. Make homemade pizza - fun and gets them through lunch!
5. Make paper airplanes.  Have contests for whose flies the best or looks the best.
6. Wiffleball game.  This is great for a backyard or park where you don't have to worry about losing a ball.
7. Video game tournament.  This can go over several days.
8. Movie afternoon in your home (or better yet, outside if you can).  Break out the popcorn and movie candy.
9. Make a movie!  If you have one or more video cameras, this will entertain them for more than a day. They come up with their own plots, dialogue, costumes etc.  At the end of the week, have a film festival!
10. Play poker.  Now I know some may object to this, but boys will be fascinated for hours.  You can play for cookies, small change or just a prize in a "tournament".

Those are just a few ideas and you could probably think of more. You can also purchase "The Dangerous Book for Boys" which may give you even more ideas.  You can also get "The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys - Things to Do".  Don't forget - plan, plan, plan.  The best camps are ones with activities planned in advance.  You can always schedule time everyday for free play with TOYS (you remember those, right?)  The important thing is that the boys understand it's "camp" not a democracy.  They need to know they are coming to do whatever the "activity director" has planned.
Best of all, you get to have some organized fun AND if you get other moms to play along, you get a couple of weeks to yourself!

Tomorrow I'll get into the day camp for girls!

cindy