Today my son Julian is a football fanatic, memorizing player statistics, playing catch with his dad in the backyard, and dreaming of becoming the fastest sprinter in his school. But it wasn’t always this way. Last year Julian didn’t like sports, let alone want to play them himself, or care about catching such things as the touchdown pass. Last summer Heather’s son Holden went to sports camp, and I told Julian that there are camps where you do eight sports each day, knowing pretty well he’d hate that idea. He looked at me with amazement and disgust.
At that time, he spent his recesses sitting on the bench with his female best friend discussing the detailed characteristics of their Webkinz, a set of plush animals with online lives. They enjoyed this fun virtual world they were imagining together, and I had no problem with it. He attended science camp all summer and avoided kick ball games by hanging out with the counselors, making friendship bracelets.
I’m not really a sports person myself, but I worried that he was missing out on important social skills like the ability to join group games or play catch. I didn’t have to worry for long. Last fall, everything changed. Continue reading →
Summer is a great time to take the kids camping – but it takes special planning to make sure the little ones learn to love being outside. After all, sleeping under the stars is a big change from the safety and security of home. Here are 6 tips to ensure your camping trip is a success.
Make sure you have plenty of time to set-up your tent during daylight so the kids can get comfortable in the campground. If they feel familiar with their surroundings during the day, those shadows will look less scary at night. Build a warm, comfortable fire and give everyone their own flashlight. Bringing favorite stuffed animals and security blankets can do wonders to help with fear of the dark, which is well-worth the chore of washing off the dirt when you get back home.
Temperatures have a habit of shifting unexpectedly when you’re camping, and kids get hot and cold more quickly than adults. Make sure you pack plenty of layers. A fleece pullover (not a sweatshirt) and a warm hat are essentials for night, and you can never bring too many pairs of warm socks. During the day don’t forget sunglasses and baseball hats to keep the sun off their faces. Of course, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe vera, anti-itch cream and a first-aid kit are essentials. If you anticipate the sunburn and mosquito bites, you won’t be caught unprepared by itchy skin after 5 PM!