The entire time we were in Utah, I promised the kids that as soon as we got back to California, we'd do Camp Tonsofun.
We've done Camp Tonsofun for about 3 or 4 years now. . . every summer vacation. It's my way of doing my "Spring Cleaning" but involving the kids. I make it into a fun themed camp & by the end of the week we have a CLEAN house & have LOTS of fun memories that will last a lifetime.
Each day revolves around a different area that needs some deep down cleaning. I make up some fun theme out of it & we get to work. Then of course we add in some fun stuff, a craft, & a special spotlight dinner for each family member.
I always add a little "thank you" note with a surprise for the kids each day after they do a certain chore. For day 1, I made a note that said:
"Thank you for making your bed today. When you make your bed it's like "MUSIC" to my ears!"
Then I attached some harmonicas, kazoos, & clappers I found at Michaels for a dollar. After they made their beds, I snuck these onto their pillows for them to find.
For the camp, I always have them make camp necklaces throughout the week. On day 1, they get their twine for the necklace, & then throughout the week they get to add one bead/charm for every chore they do. By the end of the week they have full necklaces.
Camp Tonsofun Day 1's theme was:
Camp Tonsofun Summer Olympics
due to the upcoming Olympic games in London. I made the Olympic rings (well, 7 of them instead of 5) & wrote an "olympic event" on the back of each one. The kids got to take turns pulling the rings down to see which event we'd be doing next throughout the day.
Our Olympic torch for the day was a feather duster of course. The kids thought it was HILARIOUS to carry around a feather duster as we listened to John Williams' Olympic Fanfare & Theme.
Olympic Event #1: Garbage Roping
The kids had to remove the garbage from each garbage can in the house, tie it shut as fast as they could, open up the new garbage liner, put the new liner into the can, & then race the full garbage bag out to the large trash can outside as fast as they could. Still. . . . none of them could beat mommy's time. I'm the gold medalist on this one!
Those garbage bag liners are tricky to open up.
I had to run some errands in the morning so while the kids were getting their shoes on, I snuck upstairs & put their thank you notes/treats on their beds. I always like to see how long it takes them to notice them.
My friend offered to watch the kids while I ran to Costco & did my Visiting Teaching for a few hours. My kids are always begging Trek & I to get pets. I keep telling them that they are allergic to animals, but they never believe me. My friend had 2 cats. Let's just say my kids WON'T be asking for pets anytime soon.
Poor Lorien's eyes swelled shut & they had bags under them & watered for the rest of the day. And Cadence got one watery-red eye, but broke out into blisters all around her chin where she itched herself after touching the cat. Now they know what "allergic" feels like.
After lunch, Lorien ran upstairs to put her stuffed duck away on her bed & she came downstairs all excited. The excitement made all the other kids run upstairs to find out what was up. They found their harmonicas, kazoos, & clappers on their beds.
Olympic Event #2: Blindfolded Swish & Swipe
Basically they had to wipe the counters, sinks, & toilets BLINDFOLDED. They got a kick out of it.
Olympic Event #3: Curling
I showed them a video of Olympic Curling online & they said "What kind of dumb sport is that?"
ha ha ha
Cadence was smart though. She looked at me & said "Do we have to sweep the whole house?" She's the only one that is starting to catch on that Camp Tonsofun is just a bunch of housework in disguise. But she was great & kept a smile on her face while she & Lorien swept the downstairs & the bathroom floors. I had to take a picture of "traditional curling" for kicks. Lorien's face is priceless.
Olympic Event #4: Skating
This was the kids' favorite event of the day. You get kitchen towels & dip them in a bucket of soapy water. Then you put them on the ground & the kids "SKATE" around the floor. They have fun & you get a detailed mopped floor. That's a win/win in my book.
This afternoon the kids made our official
Camp Tonsofun 2012 Flag.
Then we did our Camp Craft for the day:
My kids love to paint anything they can get their hands on so they loved these.
Olympic Event #5: Carrying the Torch
Yup, I let the kids parade around the house with a feather duster in their hands. I made them dust along the way, but it was really funny. They thought it was hilarious.
Olympic Event #6: The Toilet Plunge
We had a race on who could plunge all the water out of the toilet first. They were really excited about this one. Then, once the water was gone, we washed the toilet bowl really well & used a pumice stone to erase the ring around the toilet. (If you didn't know, pumice stones are like magic erasers for porcelain. They don't scratch it & they literally erase those horrible brown rust stains you get in the toilet bowl with minimal scrubbing.)
Olympic Event #7: 5-Legged-Vacuum Race
For our final event of the day, we tied all the kids' feet together & they had to vacuum like this. They were laughing so hard because they could hardly take 2 steps without falling over. It's SO nice to hear children's laughter.
Tonight was Cadence's Spotlighted night. For her favorite dinner I made lasagna, hawaiian sweet rolls, & sliced crunchy pears. We each went around the table & told her what we loved most about her & she was the queen of the night. It was VERY sweet.
For our nightly activity we did a Camp Tonsofun Skit. Cadence wrote the script & the music & Lorien did costumes & directed the whole thing. It turned out ADORABLE. The skit is always my favorite part of Camp Tonsofun.
And that's it for Day 1. Tomorrow we move on to the GARAGE.