Showing posts with label camping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label camping. Show all posts

Friday, July 10


During week five of the never-ending adventures of Fairmont Summer Programs, campers had a blast under water, examined shark teeth, and had fun with our wonderful camp counselors!

Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools

Monday, July 6

FAIRMONT FIVE introducing young children to the wonders of nature

Summer break offers excellent opportunities to be outdoors, whether it’s visiting the beach, mountains, deserts, or even your backyard. Breathing fresh air, getting exercise, satisfying curiosity, and feeling a warm breeze on your face are a few of the many joys of exploring the wonders of nature.

Under the caring guidance of parents, young children can gain an amazing perspective of the world around them, from engaging in a backyard safari to spending a week at a national park. We live on a beautiful planet, and it’s worth exploring!

Here are five simple steps for parents to expand their children’s appreciation for nature:

Ecosystem outside your back door— A patch of weeds, flower garden, a green belt, and community park yield an abundance of tiny discoveries for young explorers. Children can record their observations by drawing pictures. Here’s an opportunity to teach the importance of examining and appreciating plants and bugs only with their eyes and not with their hands.

Digging in the dirt – For a small child, a small hole in the back yard is a portal to an amazing journey where imagination and science intertwine. Pick out a spot where your child can use a kid-appropriate shovel and bucket to find worms, bugs, rocks, plant roots, and more. To enhance the experience, plant some plastic dinosaurs to recreate a paleontological dig!

Exploring with your ears – Encourage your child to sit quietly on a bench. After a few minutes, your little one will easily pick up bird songs and the sound of wind blowing through the trees. The child can pretend to be a creature silently hiding.  This will engage their imagination while experiencing the simplistic beauty of the natural world.  This activity definitely fosters the value of patience and reinforces the discipline of learning to sit quietly and listen attentively.

Nature scavenger hunt – This is a fun way for children to pay attention to their surroundings, as well as seasons of the year. While in the yard or on a short hike, children can pick-up leaves, seashells, and small rocks as a reminder of the places they explored. Each item can be linked to a story in pictures about the outdoor experience. (Please note public park rules in regards to collecting items.)

Let’s talk about it – Discuss the experience of being outdoors with your child. Parents can follow-up with questions and observations to determine the child’s favorite part of being outdoors and what they would like to do on their next adventure in nature.

Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools
Image by Extension

Wednesday, April 29

FAIRMONT FIVE: planning a kid-friendly vacation

One of the rites of spring is figuring out this summer’s family vacation. Planning can be as simple as loading up the car for a fun road trip, or as complicated as making airline and hotel arrangements around busy schedules for a trip across the country or overseas. Either way, we have provided some tips to make your next vacation extra-memorable for your children.

1.       Avoid over-planning and focus a little more on being flexible—Arranging a tight travel schedule might squeeze out unexpected pleasures such as visiting a country fair, shopping at a farmers market, or attending a concert in the park. Block out a couple of days to be spontaneous and experience life as a local.

2.       Involve your child in the vacation planning process—While mapping out the itinerary, discuss possible places of interest with your child. Encourage them to practice geography skills and test their knowledge of history as they research potential sites to visit. Math skills can be exercised while determining the distance and the time it will take to drive to a particular destination.

3.       Follow the 15-minute rule—For every one hour on the road, plan 15 minutes to stop and get out of the car. If pulling over every hour is not practical, drive three hours and take a driving break for half an hour. This offers opportunities to stretch the legs and fully appreciate scenic spots along the journey.

4.       Take a break from the screen—Provide alternative traveling activities for children to prevent them from being completely glued to their smartphones and iPads. Encourage them to pay close attention to points of interests during the drive. Have them create a photographic journal of the different sights along the trip. Bring books, puzzles, and word games to occupy their minds while on the road. When visiting relatives, ask your child to put on a reporter’s cap and interview grandparents, aunts, and uncles. This will open the door to some great storytelling and provide the child with fascinating insights related to their family’s heritage.

5.       Don’t leave healthy habits home alone—Be sure to bring a bag of snacks for the road that includes nuts, carrots, string cheese, fruit, and crackers. Sometimes vacations bring out the desire to indulge in junk food that is not common fare in the home. Keeping candy consumption to a minimum will prevent kids from getting too “sugared up” in the back seat.

By the end of vacation,  your child will have a detailed journal of wonderful memories, stories, and discoveries.

Please note If you are planning for your child to join the adventure at Fairmont's Summer Programs, enroll by April 30th to save 10% on summer camp and school. 

Contributed by Doug Fleischli, Fairmont Private Schools

Image credit: fueld

Wednesday, July 31

HOW TO camping with kids

For a lot of families, including mine, summer is the time for at least one camping trip. I am definitely not a pro but I like unplugging from the world and getting closer to nature. And these days that means bringing my kids. When I told friends of mine that I would be camping for a week with my kids, including my 18 month old, they looked at me like, "Good luck!" But as long as you go prepared, camping with children can be very rewarding. Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way:

When it comes to camping gear, if you have room for it, bring it! It's much better to have more than you need than not enough, in my book. If you want to have a comfortable night's sleep, make sure you bring an air mattress (and don't forget the pump). A large tent can also be a luxury with kids, especially if you are bringing a baby who needs room to crawl around. Our tent is large enough that we can set up our travel crib so the baby can sleep comfortably (which means I sleep comfortably). If you plan on hiking with a baby, bring a baby backpack. I even bring a portable high chair. It keeps baby contained so she will eat and keeps her from wandering so that you can prepare meals. 

There are plenty of complicated recipes for cooking while camping, but with kids, it's best to go with what you know they will eat. Hot dogs on skewers can be cooked over the fire and kids love cooking their food themselves. Many campgrounds have grills that go over the fire pits where you can cook ears of corn and kabobs. Bring along a cast iron frying pan and/or dutch oven and it opens up your options even more. What's important to remember is to keep it easy. This is your vacation too and you don't want to spend it slaving over a fire. 

If you've never gone camping with your kids then choose a campground close to home. If it starts to rain, and you weren't prepared, home isn't too far away. There's safety in numbers!  Invite family or friends for a group camp-out, and the kids will keep themselves entertained by playing with each other. 

Finally, remember to make a checklist of what to pack. It's always good to visit camping websites to get ideas and reminders of things to bring. Here are a few links I would recommend:

Being prepared is extremely important--but also remember to have fun!

Contributed by Darcy, Fairmont Private Schools