|Egg carton painting|
Every year families across the United States scramble to find
Last year my friend Emma and I searched around for a few friends to do a week of Mom Camp, asking each parent to put in one day of watching kids for the other four days off. It was originally to save money, but Mom Camp forces you to think out of the box. It can get all too easy to take your kids to the park or the same old places every single week. We kept the Mom Camp structure simple: Hours were from about 9-4, each parent had to watch the kids one day that week and siblings were not included, unless you were the host parent and then you could have both of your kids at your day of camp. This rule was bent on Friday when the younger siblings had a separate camp at Emma's house (Never again. Right, Emma?). Besides sibling camp, I thought the whole thing went really well and I am eager to do it again next year.
This year the dad's got involved and proved to be as much fun as the mom's. This should not come as an surprise to any of our friends, both dad's involved this year should have 'Fun Dad' stamped on their foreheads.
Dad Camp - Monday, July 2nd
|Dad Camp was fueled by strawberries and hot chocolate|
My husband drove three seven-year-olds and our two-year-old daughter down to Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport for strawberry picking. For $28, the kids had a blast picking and eating berries along the coast, eventually walking away with 10 overflowing baskets of organic strawberries. After they ate their packed lunches at the farm's picnic benches, they drove to Año Nuevo State Park and walked around the trails, ending their adventure on the beach, digging for sand crabs and running in the waves. My husband commented that this was probably the best day he's ever had with so many kids all at once. He came home happy and the kids were thrilled with the strawberries as well as the copious amounts of hot chocolate he gave to them to keep them warm (hey, this is Coastal California after all, folks!). With sand in their hair and shoes and strawberries to share with their families, these kids were happy campers.
Mom Camp - Tuesday, July 3
|The Butterfly Hunters of San Francisco|
My friend Emma hosted camp at her house and being the crafty one that she is, had art projects ready to go for the kids. They created plastic water bottle bumblebees and Fourth of July luminaries, hunted for caterpillars and butterflies in her backyard, baked Peanut Butter Cup Brownies in her kitchen, and went on a geo-caching treasure hunt at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Whew! I am exhausted just reading the list of stuff they did. My son came home with his arms filled with art projects and stories that dominated our dinner hour. It was a great day of camp!
No Camp - Wednesday, July 4
Dad Camp - Thursday, July 5
|Breakneck speed required on the cement slides in San Francisco|
Mom Camp - Friday, July 6
|Tin can stilt races|
|Looking for sea otters at Mori Point|
|One child claimed this hill to be 380 stories high.|
If the kids did not sleep well that night after this hike, then I did not do my job! It was quite a hike and they were exhauted when we got to the top. Afterwards, we went to the Pacifica Pier to watch the fisherman and then headed home to eat our popsicles. It was a great day for everyone.
All in all, this was an incredibly successful Mom & Dad Camp. I would love to do it again next year and I hope our friends are up for the challenge. If you put it in dollars, the three families saved nearly $900 dollars for three kids in our camp and each day probably only cost about $20 for each parent to host. Definitely worth trying if you can find friends to do it with and have the time to put into it.