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How To Soak Up The Last of Summer With Your Little Ones

With summer officially dwindling down, we’ve been thinking about how to soak up these last remaining weeks before it’s back-to-school time for our little ones - even if that “school” is technically our kitchen table and we’re the ones doing the teaching. However, as many of us are on month five of entertaining the kids at home, coming up with new ideas can feel like scraping the bottom of the barrel. That’s why we turned to our friends at The Sitter Club for advice.

Founded by Nic Gordon and Sydney Spellacy, The Sitters Club is a babysitter referral service designed to take the stress out of finding sitters in NYC. Plus, as former nannies themselves, Nic and Syd are a wealth of information when it comes to keeping kids entertained.

This summer, as parents found themselves transitioning from teacher to camp counselor, Nic and Syd decided to create Camp Sitter Club, a comprehensive guide to creating a DIY sleepaway camp at home that will keep your kids entertained, active and enlightened. We’re sharing some of our top picks from their guide to help you soak up these last moments of summer while tapping into the minds of some of our favorite Trailblazing women.

Potion Lab

Let your little one step into the shoes of trailblazing chemist Marie Curie with this fun kitchen experiment

Materials: bowls, plates, teaspoons, pipettes, baking soda, water, vinegar, oil, citrus fruit or juice, dish soap, salt, flour, oil, food coloring, or any other ingredients kiddos might want to mix together.

“Set up your kitchen ingredients with empty plates, bowls, and dishes around. Allow kiddos to choose two ingredients at a time to combine and watch for any reactions. Does it fizz, smell, or react in another way? Pro-Tip: Create a simple chart where you can list the different ingredients you combine, and write down your observations. What do you see? What do you smell?”

Nature Hunt

You might not find any chimpanzees to observe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace your inner Jane Goodall with this fun outdoor activity.

Materials: Magnifying glass and/or binoculars optional!

“Explore your backyard or a park and check out all of the living things and creatures. It could be fun to do a little research before and figure out what animals, insects, and plants are common in your area. Get out the binoculars, write down your findings, turn it into a scavenger hunt, etc. Next cool off from your mini hike with a game that is both silly and refreshing. We recommend following this one up with a dip in the pool or run through the sprinklers to cool down even more.”

Chalk Mural

Get inspired by Frida Kahlo with this fun act of artistic expression.

“Find a famous piece of art that your Family loves. Work together to recreate the masterpiece on the sidewalk or driveway. Be sure to have a plan! Discuss who is in charge of each section. You could also use painter’s tape and create a “stained glass” mural. Take long pieces of tape and create different geometric shapes. Fill in every shape, remove the tape, and Voila!”

Journal Prompts

The Camp Sitter guide also comes with a long list of creative journal prompts to inspire your little ones to become the next Maya Angelou.

Materials: Paper, scissors, a journal and preferred writing instrument

“Print out these journal prompts, cut them out individually, and put them into a fishbowl. Each day, have a kiddo select the journal prompt! Be sure to designate a comfy spot for journaling with stickers and coloring supplies readily available. Let your kiddo know that their journal is a creative space to express themselves. Whether it's through writing or drawing pictures, there is no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to journaling.”

Glow Stick Balloon Dance Party

The only thing to tap into for this one is your dancing shoes - the perfect, celebratory ending to your DIY “camp” at home.

Materials: Glow sticks, balloons

“Blow up balloons, crack the glow sticks, and put them inside the balloons. Fill up a room with them, put on a fab playlist, and hit the lights! This one is a real crowd-pleaser.”

Have you come up with any fun summer camp-at-home activities? Share them in the comments below or if you try any of these, share with us on social at @piccolina_kids and @thesitterclub!

For the full Camp Sitter guide, inquire at info@thesitterclubny.com.

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