This week we have all 5 of our "big kid" summer campers. Four of them are "tweens" now and it's interesting to have watched the dynamics change between them. I have had them almost every summer since they were 5 or so. Now they are turning 10 and 12 this year and everything is changing. They aren't as in to crafts, but seem more in to "school work". They can go to classes alone while I walk around and shop or choose books at the library. They want, above all else, to be on their electronic devices, whether it be a Kindle Fire, an Ipod, an Iphone or a video game. The have images to protect...and that image is far different for each one.
Dakota, my son, is the cool dude. He is cautious about things that might make him look "stupid". He feels the need to complain even when he doesn't really mean it. Wyatt, he's the one to stir the pot. He likes to test the others to see if they are on their toes. Mariah, she's the little mommy. She wants most to be able to help with the babies we watch and when she is with the others, she oversees them all and helps whomever needs it. Lindsey....I've watched her since she was 9 months old. She is turning 12 this year and she has become much less bubbly and outgoing, choosing rather to look sullen and withdrawn. She is quiet, but always listening and never a behavior problem. She is having fun...but doesn't want anyone to know. Then there is my little Hailee. She is almost 7 and since the other two kids her age aren't here yet, she has to choose whether to be a "big kid" or a "little kid". She is doing a good job balancing between the two and tries really hard when she is being a big kid.
So this week we started off with a craft class at Michael's. They worked on aviation crafts and were all in a good mood when I picked them up. We had ten kids that day, my daughter and I, between the age of nine months eleven years, yet it went very smoothly. We fed the younger kids quickly when I got the older home and put the little ones in for a nap, then took the older kids outside and fired up the grill. We had burgers, hot dogs and chips and since the weather was glorious, we stayed outside and they had the first meeting of their Narnia series book club. They worked together, discussing things, reading two chapters and doing some worksheets and a crossword puzzle. No one seemed miserable and with this group, for that you can be thankful!! By the time we were finished there, the littles were waking up and everyone did their own thing until parents picked them up.
Tuesday all of the children except for the two babies and one preschooler who can't sit still went with me to the $1 summer movie to see Turbo. We took snacks and drinks that I handed out before the movie and even though it was the first time at a movie for my 4 year old cousin and my 2 1/2 year old daycare baby, they all did fantastic. I didn't even have to take any of them to the bathroom! They all sat perfectly quiet and still and watched that whole darned movie! I was impressed.
When we got home, my daughter made grilled cheese or pb&j for the masses and then they did their book club again. It was too hot to go outside, but we managed just fine with everyone indoors.
Today we went to the library first thing for a Science, Books and Movement storytime for the preschoolers. The babies were in a stroller and the big kids worked together on a library scavenger hunt that took them into different sections of the library and taught them about looking up materials based on a topic or a genre. They did a great job and I think they all learned something. We came home from there and it was a bit of a disaster, with my 3 year old granddaughter having a meltdown that wore on everyone. I sent them all into rooms to play until I got three boxes of macaroni and cheese whipped up, then called them all in and fed them. Afterward, they played Uno for almost and hour and then my daughter took over and did Chapter 4 of the book club with them and they did a project. At 3:45, I took the older ones to a Lego Club at the Lansdowne library and my daughter worked on name and number recognition here at the house. It ended up being a bit of an early day, with everyone gone by 5:15. That doesn't happen much anymore!