Children will soon be out of school for their Christmas/winter break. Parents must continue to go to work, so many of those children will have to be in some form of child care during the daytime. Parents will also need to find childcare while they do their Christmas shopping. If you are a homeschooling or stay-at-home mother, you may be able to help provide for the needs of these families, give the kids an awesome week, and make a little extra Christmas cash at the same time.
Christmas camp is the perfect solution. Gather your children and a few of their friends, and give them a fun and educational week that they will never forget.
Planning What You Will Charge
First, decide how many children you will be able to accommodate. Check with the childcare laws of your state to see what your requirements and limitations will be. It would be advisable, and maybe required by law, that you have another adult to help you. So much can happen when you have several children, and you may need the assistance.
Next, decide how much to charge parents. Sit down and add up what your expenses will be, and what kind of profit you would like to make.
Take into consideration how many children you will be able to keep. You might want to base your fees upon the number of children who sign up for camp. Plan your menu. Are you going to provide meals for the children, or should they pack their own lunches? Do any of the children have food allergies you will need to take into consideration? If they are packing their own lunches, do you need to warn parents of the food allergies of other children?
Make sure you get emergency information for each child.
Planning What You Will Do
Now plan the fun part. Make sure you keep the kids busy. You should probably plan for one or two active periods during the day. Plan, also, for one or two quiet, fun, and educational periods. Fill the rest of your time with other great activities, based upon the time you will have, and the needs of the children.
Active periods can be filled with outdoor play if you have a nice outdoor play area. If you don’t, or you would like to do something more, consider other entertainment in your community. Do you have a local skating rink or indoor swimming pool? What about a rock climbing center, children’s museum, or aquarium? Will there be any theater centers providing Christmas plays or musicals that you could take the children to see?
For quiet, indoor activities, allow the kids make cookies. Plan to make crafts or play games. Make Christmas ornaments or Christmas cards. Be sure they make presents for their parents and grandparents.
Christmas Party Games
Kaboose has over twenty Christmas party games. There is something for everyone on this page, and they require only basic supplies. Many of the games are relay games that can be played on teams. These will require a larger group of children. Others are individual games that can be played with any number of kids.
About.com has lots of games, as well.
End of the Week Party
If you are up to it, plan a end of the week party for the parents and grandparents to come and see what the kids have done during the week. Practice a Christmas play for the kids to perform for their families. Or gather the kids and parents together, and go Christmas caroling through the neighborhood. See links to articles below that will give you lots of great ideas.
My article about Christmas ornaments is a great online resource that gives you links to the best Christmas ornaments for kids to make. These are the kind of ornaments that can be stored away and brought out at Christmas for years to come.
My Christmas article is also a great resource that shows you where to find instructions on how to make “keeper” Christmas cards. These go beyond the basic card your child might make in school. They have great instructions, and most of them require minimal supplies.
Another article gives instructions for a great Christmas camp project. This is a picture frame, made from puzzle pieces. It would make a great gift for the kids to make for their parents and grandparents. They could put in a picture from their fun week at camp.
The Christmas Tree Craft would be a great group project for the kids to do at slow times during the week. It can serve as a great decoration for your end of the week party. If you make it big enough, you can take pictures of each family in front of the tree. Then have copies printed, and mail them out in a few days as a reminder of Christmas camp.
These No Bake Christmas Cookie Recipes would be perfect for your camp kids to do. They include just enough “messy stuff” for the kids to enjoy. And if you melt the chocolate , the campers will never have to get near the stove.
DLTK and Apples for the Teacher both have several Christmas Plays you could use.
These activities are great for large groups of children in a day camp setting. But they are also wonderful for you to do with your own children. It would make a great activity for a homeschool co op, or just a group of parents who want to spend time together with their children. Just have fun with it, and make lots of memories.