I love celebrating with my kids – birthdays, holidays, vacations, lost teeth, taking off training wheels. I also love to build the excitement to whatever we are celebrating. My favorite way to do this comes straight from sleep-away camp. We would start 10 days from visiting day, when our parents would come visits for the day. We hadn’t seen our parents for 4 weeks. They were bringing with them comfort in the form of hugs, bagels and clean clothes. We were all always so excited about visiting day – we would have to make the time with our toilet paper countdown. This works great in our family.
Take 10 squares of toilet paper -still attached (when I told my husband to make one for the start of school we ended up with 10 separate squares on the floor of my son’s room)
Write one number in order from 1-10 on each square of toilet paper. 1 at the top and 10 at the bottom
Attach the #1 square to the wall
Each day rip off the highest number until you are just left with #1
Celebrate whatever you were counting down until
By the end of the school year, the kids are worn out and tired from homework, presentations, spots, music lessons and all the running around that goes with it. The secret is – so are the parents! I was so tired of the homework packets, swim lessons, and packing lunches. I had two whole days to relax until the kids are at camp. Every year I have to remind myself that while the kids are at camp for their summer vacation – I am not really on vacation! There is a ton of shopping, organizing, planning, laundry and lunch making that needs to be done for the kids to have their carefree days of summer! Here is my list and tips to keep the organizing and preparation of going to day camp under control.
- Read all material provided by the camp. Each camp will have their own supplies needed. See what you have and make a list of what you need to buy.
- Don’t buy expensive stuff! Camp (if it is done right) is dirty, buggy and sandy. A lunchbox, backpack, swimsuit or towel – only needs to make it through 4-8 weeks of summer, not a whole school year. My favorite is the 5 Below Store. I bought each of my kids a backpack for $5 and two thin towels for $5. I actually like the thin towels better. They take up less space in their backpack, but still dries them just the same.
- Label everything! I have three favorite tools in my label arsenal. A black sharpie marker, a silver sharpie marker and personalized sticker labels from Mabel Labels. The stickers work great on water bottles, and labels on clothes or towels. When there are no labels I use either a black or silver sharpie depending on the color of the clothing.
- Sort, sort, sort. The night before camp, I have as much packed in each backpack as I can. I have their suntan lotion labeled and pack in the front pocket. In the main pocket I put extra change of clothes labeled in gallon ziplock bags, extra shoes (new sandals can give blisters) and socks, and their towel. In the morning I will just have to add their lunch box and we are off to camp!