Bring Camp Home for the Holidays with Activities for Your Kids
Associate Director, Quality Assessment & Due Diligence
Are you frantically looking activities to entertain your kids for their 9-day break? Or just hoping to shake up your routine? Incorporating camp into your home life is a great way to connect with your kids (or someone else’s kids, because the more the merrier).
After all, camp is a state of mind and can happen wherever there is love, respect, and acceptance. Below are a few ideas for bringing camp activities home for the holidays.
Sing it Out
At camp, singing and dancing flow like hot cocoa on a winter’s night. So, this December, why not have both? Infuse an evening of karaoke or caroling with camp. Your kids will probably have lots of songs (and their corresponding dance moves) to share with you. If they need a memory jog, try reminding them of classics like “Ice Cream and Cake”. Or encourage the youngsters to climb on “stage” and teach you their favorite way to boogie down.
Does outside feel more like a frozen tundra than a winter wonderland? Nature is still all around, and a very important part of camp! If you’re feeling adventurous, try a winter scavenger hunt. Otherwise a round of window sill “I Spy” may be just the ticket. Even watching specials on nature may remind you and your loved ones of warmer summers at camp; plus, you’ll enjoy some fun learning too.
Yes, fishing! Our motto is “Catch, Kiss, and Release!” Many of our campers fish for the first time at camp, with the added bonus of a nice fishy smooch. If cutting a hole in the ice at a local lake isn’t quite your speed, try adapting fishing for indoors. Using magnets, string, and paper fish, you can simulate catching that big one right in your living room. To make the game more complex add matching elements, simple math, or language lessons.
When all else fails, arts and crafts are a crowd-pleaser that’ll leave you with something to display afterwards. Cut fun holiday shapes out of grocery store sponges and dip in paint for fun prints (DIY holiday cards, anyone?). Popsicle stick frames also make personal gifts for family and friends, especially when featuring a photograph of your little ones. Beads are mess free and just as beautiful. Add some string and you’ll have jewelry to rival Tiffany’s gems. If you’re feeling ambitious, extend your beading to make holiday garland.
Though cooking can seem daunting, think of it as edible arts and crafts. As long as you’re willing to get a little bit messy, holiday memories are yours for the making. If this is new territory, start with something simple (but no less delicious) like a mug cake. For even less fuss, try these marshmallow dreidels (hint: use peppermint kisses and add some eyes for a Santa pop).
At the end of a long day, children need time to decompress and process their day and their feelings. At all 30 SeriousFun camps and programs, Cabin Chat is a safe space for them to do so. Recreate this at home for added insight into your little one’s day (it might even become a staple of their bedtime routine).
Once everyone is ready for bed—in their pajamas, teeth brushed—sit in a circle and ask your kids to share their thoughts. It’s a good rule of thumb that more guided questions work better for younger children, while more open-ended discussions resonate well with older kids. Remember that Cabin Chat is always a safe space where all feelings are acknowledged and validated without ridicule. For extra ambiance, try adding a candle or fun nightlight to your space.
Samantha’s favorite thing in the world is smiling kiddos. A close second is probably sloths . . . or chocolate. Teach her something new, the more esoteric the better, and she’ll be your best friend. Her work ensures there are quality medical, safety, and program standards in place at all SeriousFun camps and programs.
We hope these kids’ activities make for fun afternoons and spark more ideas for exploring camp at home. How do you sprinkle in camp magic to the other 51 weeks of year? Email us at email@example.com.