Today I’ve teamed up with Stonyfield® Organic Kids® to share five tips for hosting a Cousin Camp.
Every six months I host all the littles in my family for Cousin Camp. Not gonna lie, entertaining a group of kids ranging in age from 13 all the way down to six months for three days can be a bit of a challenge. After numerous overnights, I’ve figured a few things out…One of the biggest surprises? Children, even those raised by your closest of siblings, have diverse likes and dislikes.
After a number of Camp sessions, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to handle the variety of issues that come up in a group like this and today I am sharing five tips for hosting a Cousin Camp.
Five Tips for Hosting a Cousin Camp with Stonyfield® Organic Kids®
- Create a set itinerary. I’ve tested a number of different time frames and schedules. Two days and three nights seems to be the best for such a diverse age group and provides a real “away from home experience.” Create a set schedule of events and activities that will be accomplished each day.
- Build downtime into your schedule. In addition to baby/toddler naps, be sure to plan downtime for the older kids. I typically add in an hour after breakfast (in case we have some stragglers getting dressed) and an hour around baby nap time. During that time the kids can watch cartoons, play with toys or run around in the yard.
- Create a kid-friendly menu and plan for LOTS of snacks. Kids come with diverse palettes. In addition to healthy planned meals (protein waffles, salads, veggies and grilled chicken), I keep a ton of snacks on hand. Go into the day assuming that there will be a few who don’t eat at each meal and some who need little meals through out the day. I store all the snacks in a special drawer that’s easily accessible to all of the kids. They know exactly where to go for yummy snacks throughout the day.
I am not going to lie. During Cousin Camp, my house is filled with sweet treats of every sort so when it comes to meals and snacks I am a bit of a stickler for something with lower sugar and no artificial flavors or colors. I stock up on a ton of fruit, cheese sticks andStonyfield® Organic Kids® products (my favorite is the Stonyfield Organic Kids Pouches).
Stonyfield Organic Kids Pouches are USDA Organic, Non-GMO project verified, and contain 25% less sugar than other leading kid’s yogurt. It contains no artificial flavors, as well as, colors or artificial growth hormones – which satisfies my all-organic baby brother (and my conscience). It also has a resealable cap, which makes it a perfect on the go snack (sometimes we even breakfast out on the lawn!)
My favorite though? It just tastes so good. Don’t tell anyone, but I keep it on hand even when I don’t have nieces and nephews running around the house.
- Plan a variety of activities and crafts for kids. Cell phones and video games are off limits during Cousin Camp, though we like late night movies so we’re not entirely screen free. I’ve found the best activities for kids of all ages are outdoors, whether it’s splashing around at the pool, playing with the bubble machine or throwing snowballs. Most of our time is spent engaging in activity, but I plan one larger craft project each day.
- Make bedtime fun. We close out the day with movies and popcorn, stories and pj time. The babies and toddlers are kept to schedule while the older kids are allowed to stay up later.
Cousin Camp is one of my favorite events all year long. Thanks to Stonyfield® Organic Kids® for making this summer’s event a success!