Written by S.M. Ford
The weather’s bad. The kids are tired of playing in the house. You’re tired of having them inside. You’ve run out of ideas to keep them happy and occupied. They’re fighting and fussing. You’re counting the hours until bedtime, but thinking they’ve had too much TV. Why not change everyone’s attitude by planning a Rainy Day Campout? First, decide where you’re going to go. Will you turn one room in your house into the forest, the lake, the mountains, the ocean, the desert? Things to consider when making your decision: * Nature or ethnic music you might have to help set the scene * Souvenirs from a real trip for added reality * Artwork by the children that could be used for scenery * Food in the house for an appropriate dinner menu * Real camping gear you could use: inner tubes, beach chairs, camping stools, picnic basket, cooler, etc. If it’s still quite early in the day, you might want to plan simple art projects in another room. Think of things the kids can draw or make that will fit the setting. Or make construction paper trees to hang on the walls. Are there props the kids can find in their rooms with toys or furniture? Perhaps you’ll want them to make signs for the campground: “Outhouse” or “Restrooms,” “Trail to Summit,” “Picnic Area,” “Swimming Area - No Boats,” etc. Next, get the kids involved. “How would you like to go on a Rainy Day Campout? I thought we’d go to the Redwood Forest. I’ll get the tent and the food ready. You kids need to pack for the trip.” Tell them they need: * pajamas for tonight * clean clothes for tomorrow * their toothbrush * their sleeping bag (or blankets if they don’t have one) * their pillow * appropriate clothing for the destination (i.e. swim suit and towel for the lake, hiking shoes for the mountains) Allow your children to pack their own backpack or suitcase. You can suggest items such as flashlights, hats, sweatshirts, sunglasses, a stuffed animal to sleep with, etc. Not only will this keep them busy while you prepare the room, but it will also give them practice in packing. If your child can read, you can make him a list. Decide on a meeting place when everyone is ready (Ellen’s bedroom, the kitchen, etc.).
Published on Nov 16, 2009
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