Sunday, February 22, 2009
Credit where credit is due on this one - my girlie came up with this fabulous idea on her own. Essentially the idea is to simulate a camp-out in your living room, complete with darkness, campfire, hot dogs, smores and ghost stories. Take it from a mom who absolutely dreads the nightly "witching hour," this is a great way to get from nap time to bed time with a happy kid, while still getting all those pesky nighttime tasks taken care of. This is also a perfect activity for rainy late afternoon when everybody's suffering from a little cabin fever. Here's what to do:
1. Turn off all the lights in the house (and shut the blinds if there are outside lights nearby).
2. Grab a flashlight for each member of the family.
3. Start a fire in the fireplace and/or turn on your favorite "crackling fire" DVD.
4. If you have a fireplace, you can avoid the kitchen entirely and cook your hot dogs right there. Otherwise, make dinner together in the kitchen by candlelight. For a preschooler, it's really the lack of overhead lights that makes this activity so amusing, not the fire itself.
5. Follow hot dogs with smores, either roasted over the fire or melted in the microwave (again, your kid won't care).
6. If a bath is part of your standard bedtime routine, pretend you're bathing in "the river," and use only flashlights to "light your path" to the tub.
7. Follow bath time with story and/or song time, with everybody sitting in a circle on the floor in front of your "fire."
8. When it's time for bed, send everybody off with their flashlights to find their "tents." If you have sleeping bags, this would be a great excuse to use them!
Voila! Your kids are fed, bathed, happy and in bed. Now, Mom and Dad, flip the lights back on and pour yourselves some well-deserved Cabernet.
Got a great family activity idea you'd like to share? Click on the "Contact Me" link at the top and shoot me an email. Planning to try this week's activity at home? Come back and leave a comment when you do - I'd love to hear how it goes!