I never went to summer camp as a kid, but I did spend plenty of time camping with my family growing up. Living in Utah, we have a lot of mountains nearby to explore and it’s one of my favorite places to be. So when I saw our Kids Night In box’s theme for June was Camp, I knew my kids would be in for a fun group of activities. Included in our box was a book, supplies to make a harmonica and a pair of binoculars, as well as a fun size bag of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. They couldn’t wait to start!
First, we read the story Tiny Goes Camping about a boy and his dog gathering supplies to go camping, setting up camp and the activities they do together before going to sleep. My kids enjoyed the story and laughed at the things Tiny the dog did. Next, we put together our own little solar oven. We were able to use the same box everything was shipped in which I thought was a great way to repurpose it. The kids and I talked about the difference between a solar oven and the oven in our house, why solar ovens work and also about the sun.
While our oven sat outside to “preheat”, the kids and I made harmonicas out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands and straws. It took a few tries to help the kids understand that they didn’t need to make a sound when they blew on it, but instead that the vibrations of the rubber band were what made the noise. We experimented with moving the straws closer together and farther apart and how that effected the sound. I really like how the Kids Night In boxes incorporate learning new things into fun activities because it helps the kids remember what they learn.
After harmonicas, we put the paper plate, bottom graham cracker and a layer of marshmallows inside the solar oven and let it sit for about 60 minutes.
While the marshmallows were softening up, the kids and I built a pair of binoculars and decorated them with the foam stickers included in the kit. Then we went on a nature scavenger hunt in our backyard where the kids took turns looking through the binoculars for different items.
We checked on the marshmallows to see if they were soft and then put the chocolate bar and top graham cracker on and closed the oven again to let the chocolate melt. The kids were so excited to eat their s’mores when they were ready. The solar oven did a decent job of melting the chocolate, but the marshmallows didn’t seem much softer than they did when we first put them in.
All in all, it was a great activity. My daughter asked me the other day, “Mom, when is our next kid box coming?” Both of my kids have been enjoying the Kids Night In boxes we’ve received the last three months and I have to admit that I find myself getting excited for them when I see it in our mailbox. Having a box full of different activities and crafts each month (that I don’t have to put together myself) has been a great way to spend time together.