Sending kids away to summer camp can sometimes be more overwhelming for parents but Julie Cole shows us how care packages can be a fun activity to keep homesickness at bay and keep parents in touch with their kids even while they’re away.
Sending my kids to overnight camp last summer was harder on me than it was on them. I worried that they’d be homesick and that my house would be unbearably quiet. I know, I was still going to have the two, four and six-year-olds home, but everything is relative. I’m used to the pitter-patter (okay, stomping) of six pairs of feet. I was not excited at the thought of cutting that noise in half.
I’m not a particularly crafty mama and certainly not very creative when it comes to decorating, but I discovered a hidden talent when my kids went to camp. I was passionate about making them care packages. For some reason, creating care packages made me feel better about their absence. Filling pretty little boxes with treasures was like therapy for me. I imagined they would soothe a homesick child and provide them with fun things to share with their new camp friends. My care packages were like masterpieces and every little silly thing in them brought me more comfort.
I did quite a bit of research and thought into my care package creations and learned the dos and don’ts. Since my kids go to traditional camps, electronics and money were out. Food is always a care package no-no unless campers like having unwanted furry visitors in the night.
Prepping my girls’ boxes was pretty easy. It’s easy to find stickers, nail polish, colourful strings to make friendship bracelets, books, journals, markers and craft supplies.
The big 11-year-old boy was a bit more difficult. After much asking and poking around, I came up with some camp care package classics.
Top picks included:
- Comic books
- Graphic novels
- Whoopee cushion
- Magic tricks
- Jokes book
- Paper/wood airplanes to assemble
- Deck of cards
By the time you add up the cost of all those goodies, it’s quite a few bucks. Still, whatever the price, I know I certainly saved money in therapy bills.
* * * * *
Have you made care packages or something similar for your children while they’re away at camp? What are some of your other methods for dealing with homesickness? Share your tips in the Comments section below!