If you're looking for a way to make your little ones—or anyone in your life—feel extra-special on their birthday, skip store-bought cards and make them a personalized poster instead.
It doesn't have to be fancy just be sure to include all the reasons why that person is special. It's a gift they'll treasure.
My kids have been bugging me since early winter to go camping this summer and even though I have great childhood memories of camping, I had no interest in taking them—because I am 43 years old and like to sleep in a bed.
This is something I know about me.
When the opportunity arose to take part in #YMCGoRVing I jumped at it! But here’s where it got interesting. Go RVing Canada offered me a Park Model at Sherkston Shores Resorts and Campground for my RVing adventure. For the record, Sherkston is way more than just a campground, but we'll get to that.
If you don't know what a Park Model is, don't feel badly. I didn't know either. There are many different types of RVs: Towables, Motorized, and then there are the Specialty RVs. A Park Model falls under the Specialty RV category. Essentially it's on wheels but it’s not meant to be moved from place to place to place like a towable or motorized RV. In fact, you need a special tow vehicle and permit to move it. You can see a picture of one here.
My impression was the Park Model is more like a cottage alternative than an RV. A cottage you can move. Cool, right?
And what's even cooler was that it's bigger than you would think. The kids both had their own rooms with bunk beds, my husband and I had a room at the other end of the trailer—with a comfortable bed—and in between was a large living space complete with stove, full-sized fridge, sink, kitchen table, couch, lots of storage space, and a bathroom with a shower.
Oh, and did I mention it also had air conditioning?
For us, going to Sherkston was an opportunity to have a vacation where nothing was scheduled. I don’t even consider us a particularly over-scheduled family but during the school year between hockey, speed skating, swimming, homework, projects, and errands, we are out and about six days a week. Our days are planned out with military precision.
So for this trip there would be no plans, no itineraries, and, errr, I may have lied to my children and told them the people who booked our getaway said they weren’t allowed to bring any tech.
Want to know what happens when you completely unschedule and get rid of tech for an entire week?
You go fishing at the Quarry.
And you proudly show off the fish you caught.
You have a campfire in the fire pit beside your trailer almost every night.
Your kids learn how easy it is to cook their own meals.
You go for a casual boat ride.
Or you rent a pedal boat.
Or a kayak.
You somehow find it in you to swim across a 300m quarry–there and back–twice in one week.
You build sandcastles.
And make up games.
You conquer the high ropes course.
You show off the prizes you won at the arcade (while your brother photo bombs you).
You go off site for a drive and find a few antique shops.
And you have a blast go-carting.
You stop at a local roadside chip wagon.
And eat ice cream.
What? That's not enough for you?
Here's the biggest thing I noticed. By the end of our seven-day stay, my boys—who usually fight like the dickens—were getting along. Plus, my husband and I learned a lot about what was going on in their lives during our campfire chats.
I was looking through an old photo album the other night and found this childhood picture from when our family went on yearly camping trips.
It got me wondering if when my boys get older they'll look back at our pictures and have the same good memories I do.
I really think they will.
Painting rocks is a perfect outdoor activity for days when it's too hot to be running around but you don't want to be stuck inside. Kids from toddler to tween can participate and the pieces of rock art can be proudly displayed in your garden.
Craft Level: Easy
Craft Clean Up: Easy
Age Level: Toddler To Tween
This project is best done in the shade and it's preferable to line the ground with newspaper because spills will happen.
Put paints onto palettes or into small paper cups, hand out paintbrushes, give each child three to four rocks and let his or her imagination take over.
And if you're feeling particularly brave, let them stir the paint around in the bowls and palettes and have a spatter party.
I guarantee your kids will remember it as a highlight of their day.