Summer Fun – Day Camps

Excited about his first day at summer camp.

 Do you remember attending summer camps as a child? I never went to one, so I can’t speak from my own memory, but I have heard they can be fun for kids. As a child, I often wondered why parents would send their kids to a camp when the kids were free from school and had time to spend with their parents. Now that I am a parent myself, I can understand their value. Parents aren’t free just because it is summer; they still have to work. And even if a mother is home with her kids, there is only so much she can do before their fights and demands for attention and activities get to her.

Enter summer day camps. While older children might benefit from camps where they actually stay at them for a few weeks, day camps are great for the little ones. You drop them off, spend a few hours doing what you need to do, and pick them up in time for lunch and naps – at least, that is how it is working for me. Logan’s school offers day camps for children from 3 to 12 years, so we signed both Logan and Lila up for the 3 to 5 group. They have 3 hours of activities every weekday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They started last week and the camp will last for one more week, ending on Lila’s birthday.

She was a little more hesitant.

Some of the activities they have been enjoying are dance, science projects, cooking, art projects, tae kwan do, French, and one day was a field trip to the railway museum. I like having them go because for 3 hours a day, they are completely occupied in a safe location, freeing me to catch up on housework, go shopping, relax, or whatever … at least, that was the hope. I have discovered that Scarlett has become more clingy since she lost her morning playmate and she follows me around like she is tied to me. She also wants to nurse more and insists on going outside after the others leave. Needless to say, I don’t get much done around the house as she has not yet learned to entertain herself.

Thankfully those are three hours in which I don’t have to listen to fights over who needs which toy, whose turn it is to pick the video, “mommy, I want to do this with you”, “mommy, he bit me/she hit me”, screaming, and so on. These are hours of peace that help me get through the rest of the day with them easier. Another benefit is that Lila is getting used to being with someone other than me, and since she will be attending this school come June, she will already be used to it and will hopefully settle in more quickly.

Have you ever, or do you, send your kids to day camps? What has your experience been and how has it made the summer more enjoyable for your whole family?

Summer Camps and More

For one week now, Logan and Lila have been going to a summer camp that Logan’s school has running. I was hesitant at first, but not for long as I saw the beauty of having them busy elsewhere for 3 hours, 5 mornings a week. While I haven’t been any freer (Scarlett has become my new appendage), I haven’t had to listen to fights and arguments and all those stressful things. It’s been nice.

Ready for their first day of summer camp.

The first day Lila only lasted about an hour, even after they came late, but every day since then she has been there the whole time. They are doing art projects, cooking, dancing, tai quan do, French, science activities, and more. Friday was a field trip to the railway museum. Now, Lila has never been with anyone she didn’t know before, so I wasn’t sure how she would handle it, but she has done well. Having Logan in the same group probably made it easier for her, and knowing daddy was in the building was comforting too.

They love the backpacks daddy brought them from his last visit to nana. Logan’s has a cow (what else) and Lila’s has a tiger.

Glad told me that he almost didn’t send her for the field trip as she was getting teary-eyed while getting on the bus, but the teachers were confident that she would be ok, and she came back all excited about having gone on a bus and train ride. She survived her first field trip, and I am confident that she will settle in comfortably once school starts mid-June.

While I thought I might be able to get more done with them being gone, I forgot that Scarlett would no longer have a playmate. She has been fussy and clingy, and cries to go out every time they go out the door. Poor baby, and poor me too. She won’t let me do anything. I am doing good to get the dishes done and lunch ready in the 3 hours that they are gone.

I thought it might help to get her a toy to cuddle, so she now has a new rabbit. As you can see, she loves it. She cuddles it and says “awww” over and over, but she still stays close to me and follows me where ever I go. Oh well. I tried.

The kids have one week of camp left, ending on Lila’s birthday. That’s right. Next friday, Lila will be 3!!! Well, actually she is 3 going on 13. The rascal has become a drama queen overnight. She ignores me to my face, then screams when things don’t go her way, and cries over nothing. I don’t want to imagine what she will actually be like as a teen.

So this week I have party prep to do. I never do anything big for their birthdays. Truth be told, I hate hosting parties, and the only reason she had a big party on her first birthday was because someone else did the main planning. We usually settle for something simple at home like on her last birthday. Logan is the only one who has had people over for his birthday and it was always because someone else planned most of it and I didn’t have to play hostess.

She has requested two things: a pink cake and pink dolly present, to put it in her own words. So this week I have to figure out a shape for the cake, where to find pink food coloring, and find a shop with a doll. So far all the dolls I’ve seen were just not “the one”. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

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