Friday, August 19, 2016

Camp Listenbee 2016: it's a wrap!

The last week of summer break is the last week of Camp Listenbee for us. I started the camp because, let's be honest, if you have any amount of kids with you during the summer, you are running a summer camp. Year 4th taught me some new lessons and I was reminded of other lessons I knew from summer's past. 
I asked my Facebook friends for questions about camp and here's what they wanted to know: 
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visiting a local children's museum
Q • How DO you do it!!? But seriously, do you have a schedule/plans? 
A • I learned that I need to be organized and that I needed a schedule. You can read my organization plan and see a sample schedule here. This is the first summer that I have two readers at camp. This has made things super exciting. They read quite a bit (even won a trophy, which they proceeded to break) and they read to their younger sister.
When I started camp I had a newborn. She was a toddler during the second year. When we had music time she'd walk around grabbing everyone's instruments ;) The key was to just try to engage her while respecting her little limits. The fact that she's child number three guaranteed that she'd roll with the punches and rolling she did. When everyone was little the camp schedule revolved around nap times and eating times, which was just fine with us.
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craft of the day. they were busy for 15 minutes with this one 
Q • How do you do activities for the youngest?
A • In my opinion, the most important activity for the youngest is eating and sleeping. Everything revolves around this. I also make sure to know what I'm good at. I'm good at music and I'm good at looking at Pinterest and finding some easy crafts. With the youngest ones, the simpler the better. If you can find one of those developmental sheets telling you what they are able to do at a certain age, you can go from there as far as crafts and activities.

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Cow Appreciation Day is a must!
Q • How did you adapt when something changed your plans? 
A • I honestly tried to be flexible but it was after I kicked and screamed on the inside. Then I remembered it was summer and I had plenty time at hand. By the end of the summer it got much easier to deal with change. This year we had a schedule but my understanding was that we were going to be flexible.

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Art. They love it!
Q • How did you balance between free/cheap things and things that cost a bit?
A • God blessed me with a job as a preschool teacher last year, so I was able to pay ahead for the costly things. Costly for me is different than costly for others but the key was to know what we could afford and pay for it ahead of time. During this season of life, I don't get invited to do a lot of expensive things so I don't have to deal with peer pressure. I try to stick with free of less expensive things. We swim at our gym and our membership covers that. It's not the coolest pool in the area but it is a pool and we are so very grateful for that. We love parks and they are always free. We also found a free indoor park in our area. Our family tries not to extend ourselves as far as entertainment. I'm also a believer that my kids don't worry about how much stuff costs, they just want to spend time with us as a family. As far as free resources, word of mouth is a good one and there are several blogs with free and cheap activities in every area.

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That one time we ate at the Mexican food truck in a construction site. Legit!
I'm so very thankful for my wonderful husband Zeke. Nothing we do would be possible without his love and support.
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My family, my treasure!
He's always excited about camp and he's always ready to enjoy all the activities with us. I love how we are experiencing so many different activities during the summer. The goal is not to keep everyone busy but to enjoy this wonderful life God gave us as a family. I still believe that today is the childhood memories my kids will remember. Our hope is that the kids will remember how loved and treasured they have always been. 

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