Monday, June 2, 2008

I am summer camp....

Yes, I am saying this to myself a la the Lightning McQueen mantra and hoping that it gives me strength, patience, courage, and overflowing creativity, craftiness, and imagination. If that sounds like a tall order, read on....

Since the kids aren't in camps this summer, I'm trying to provide them with at least a taste of the activities they enjoyed in preschool - art, music, and of course, playtime. Well, the playtime is easy enough - playdates, the backyard swingset, and our outdoor toys provide plenty of play and exercise (for Mommy, too!). We also have a jog stroller, tricycle, and bubble mower - so we are set for many forms of outdoor fun. The music is also not a stretch for me. We have lots of kids' music, several music instruments that the kids can use to play along, and of course if we clean up enough we have a dance floor in the den. It's the art that leaves me anxious. When it comes to crayons and stickers, I'm ok. When it comes to projects - with stuff like markers, glue, or paint - that's where I get a little nervous. I am afraid of getting messy and staining things. I am most anxious about setting my kids loose with paint and brushes, but I still bought them some paint yesterday. In the best case, we will paint outdoors on a nice day, and I will try to find old t-shirts for the kids to wear. I bought washable paint, so how bad can it really be? That's what I am afraid of. I need a little courage. I need some craftiness (well, more than I have). And I need a little more imagination - to help me imagine how much fun it can be so I can get excited!

I am glad to say that I survived our first attempt at craft hour this morning! I found some cute foam sunglasses and foam stickers during our craft supply adventure. They turned out really cute (check out the before-and-after-and-afters below)! J had to do his twice (he's a bit of a perfectionist) and M lost interest in about 12.5 seconds, so she played with the foam stickers while I decorated her glasses with a little help from J. As you can see, she didn't want to wear them for an "official" portrait, so J took the picture with me wearing her glasses. Don't I look like the coolest mom around?

I am curious about what I will learn from the kids and this experience over the summer. I have already learned that J, not surprisingly, is good at sorting. He will gladly sort things and package them up in the process. Yep, he helped me clean up the art project! I just didn't call it "cleaning up" - lesson 1 of Project Summer Camp. I'll keep you posted on what else I learn - including if J is as good (read: neat) a painter as his preschool teacher said!


Georgia said...

How fun! These are things I feel like I am going to need to do since I'll be home more! We have a great babysitter who has done sponge painting with Ellie a few times- so, she uses the washable paint (which she left for me) and sponges and they don't make much of a mess at all- Ellie loved the shapes, etc! Try that! Love the glasses!

by the way- the bbq recipe: 4-6 boston butt, Scott's bbq sauce- combine in crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8- then pull! So easy! The email I check the most is

I'm also worried about getting creative with dinner fixing- that will be on my plate once I'm home too- no more, what shoudl we have at 5:30pm when we walk in the door- any suggestions?

RLR said...

Thanks for the recipe! Sounds like a great meal for a busy day - set it and forget it!
Most of our family sit-down meals are from Dream Dinners - there's a good variety, they are quick, and I know what's in them so I feel good about feeding them to the family. We buy fruits and veggies from Costco, so we always have something fresh on hand to round out the meal.
I usually save creative for lunch time, and I'm still figuring that out. The kids really like "ham and cheese rolled up" - sometimes I use turkey. It's easy, and it's not messy since they aren't taking a whole sandwich apart to get to the "good stuff." Then, I can put the carbs in their meal somewhere else (whole grain chips, for example). I am sure I'll be blogging about this during the summer, so I'll keep you posted!