5 Year Blankets & 10 Year Jackets (At-Home Edition)

For long-time GAC campers and staff, receiving their Five Year Blanket is a BIG DEAL. Campers and staff look forward to being wrapped in their blanket at the final Appreciation Campfire of their 5th summer at GAC.

This year, due to the pandemic, we were not able to have in-person GAC sessions, but we did have a phenomenal group of 105 kids participate in GALA, our online leadership program.

During super secret road trips (coordinated with parents) this summer, the GAC crew drove throughout the state of California surprising our 5 & 10 year campers!

Congratulations to the amazing group of loyal GAC campers who celebrated their blanket & jacket years with us in 2020!

Photos

Learn more

5-Year Campers

Happy Campers at Home: 4 Ways to Boost Family Relationships

Audrey “Sunshine” Monke, GAC’s Chief Visionary Officer, researches, writes, and speaks about parenting, social skills, and strategies for raising thriving kids at Sunshine Parenting. In her book, Happy Campers: 9 Summer Camp Secrets for Raising Kids Who Become Thriving Adults, Sunshine shares simple ideas parents can use to create the fun, connection, growth, and happiness of GAC at home. Here are four of Sunshine’s favorite connection tips for families.

If you were to ask me the most important thing parents can provide their children, camp counselors can provide campers, and teachers can provide students, I can sum it up with one word: Connection.
-Audrey “Sunshine” Monke

Building a relationship and connecting with kids—while also helping them learn to connect with each other and form friendships—is the most important experience we can provide our kids to inoculate them against the inevitable setbacks they will face in life.

Here are some simple ideas from GAC for boosting family connections.

One-on-One Check Ins

On our counselor job description, one of their duties is to “check in with each camper, every day.” We call these check-in meetings “One-on-Ones.” Counselors ask campers specific, open-ended questions to elicit how campers are feeling. The counselors ask about their friendships, activities, how much they’re missing home, what’s going well, and if they need help with anything.

These are individual conversations, out of earshot of other kids, that last anywhere from two to five minutes. The campers get accustomed to the check-ins, so they’re not surprised when their counselor starts chatting with them.

As a simple way to deepen your connection with your kids, and know how you can best support them, try having at least one daily one-on-one chat with each of them, modeled after what camp counselors do:

Turn off or put away your phone (and have them put theirs away, too).
Stop doing everything else (cooking, looking at a magazine, etc.).
Give your child your full attention (eye contact, body turned toward them, not thinking about other things).
Ask them a few open-ended questions. “Tell me about the best part of your day” is an easy place to start.

Your one-on-one chats can be anytime. You can make it a daily ritual over an after-school snack, while sharing a hot drink, or while tucking them in at bedtime, but that small, concerted daily investment of time will lead to a closer connection between you and your kids.

If your kids are already teens, know that the best way to have one-on-one chats is to be open to whenever they initiate the talk with you rather than forcing them to be on your schedule. When they talk, drop everything else you’re doing, focus on them, and listen!

Daily Sharing

A highlight of each day at camp is our evening campfire. Gathered around the fire, counselors lead a daily sharing practice. Campers remember these conversations fondly and the evening campfires are many campers’ and staff members’ favorite camp memories.

Find a time each day – dinner or bedtime are often good times to set up a consistent sharing practice – to spend just a few minutes sharing with each other.

The only rules for your daily sharing are that one person speaks at a time and everyone else listens to the person speaking. Your kids may need a few reminders, as listening attentively is a skill most of us need to work on!

Your kids (especially if they are preteens or teenagers) may balk when you bring up the idea of daily sharing and do it for the first time. Stay strong. They will eventually learn to appreciate your daily sharing practice. Even if they continue balking, don’t stop. Even if they don’t show it on the outside, they will eventually come to appreciate a time each day when caring people listen to what they have to say.

Here are a few daily sharing ideas:

“Highs & Lows” or “Roses & Thorns”
This is a simple and well-known sharing practice where each family member shares something good that happened in their day (a high) and something bad (a low). Sharing often leads to stories and discussion about different events — the side track conversations are good, so let those happen! There are also additions you can add. At camp, we often do High, Low, and Hero, where each camper shares their high and low as well as someone who was kind to them or a “hero” that day. Another twist on this activity is called “Rose, Thorn and Leaf.” The rose is the high, the thorn is the low, and the leaf is something you’re looking forward to.

Three Good Things
Each person shares three good things that happened in their day or three things they are grateful for. This gratitude exercise (when journaled) has been proven to reduce depression symptoms. While your sharing conversation won’t be written down (unless you choose to do so), it can still bring a positive focus to your sharing. Ideally, because everyone anticipates the daily sharing, everyone will be more aware of and looking out for the positive things that happen every day.

Kindness
Sunshine loves the idea of sharing something each person did that was kind or something kind someone else did for you. Focusing on kindness is incredibly important in our increasingly unkind-seeming world.

Ask Questions

Questions are a great way to connect with each other and get conversations started.

Here are a few to get you started (from the Questions for Connection GAC counselors use):

Sticky Note Compliment

At GAC, we focus on campers’ strengths and encourage them to think about building upon their strengths. Often as parents we spend a lot of time managing our children or helping them with things they are not good at. A great way to connect and make your child feel great is to leave an encouraging note on your child’s bathroom mirror, on their pillow, or in their lunch box. Tell your child something you really appreciate about them and something that’s an inner quality or strength.

Download Family Connection Tips

Ep. 123: Connection Comes First

How to get Closer to your Kid in 5 Minutes a Day

How to Have a Closer Family in 5 Minutes a Day

Connection Through Questions

Ep.115: Giving Kids Meaningful Compliments

BE YOU: Positive Self Talk

BE YOU Week 6: Positive Self Talk

“The more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people.”
– Jamie Lee Curtis

The self-talk you do in your own head can help or hurt you. If you are talking negatively to yourself, it will hurt your confidence and your self-love. If you are talking yourself up and speaking positive things, you will in turn help yourself be more confident, and will hopefully love yourself all the more!

The way we think changes how we feel and our behaviors. To be more confident, you have to change the way you think about yourself. Sometimes we say mean things to ourselves when we should be speaking to ourselves the same way we would speak to a friend. Before saying something to yourself, think, “Would I say this out loud to a friend?” If not, erase it and move on. If so, say it and celebrate!

We know ourselves better than anyone else. We know our strengths and our weaknesses, and we know the areas we need to improve upon versus the areas where we are stronger. It’s often easier for us to notice the more “negative” areas in our lives and be more critical with ourselves. Instead of focusing on those negatives, let’s try to solely focus on the positive parts of our lives. Tell yourself you are proud when you accomplish something you have strived to complete. Tell yourself you are a good friend when you help someone in need. Tell yourself you can do it when you are facing something difficult. When you talk to yourself in a positive light, you will likely spread happiness and positivity to others. When you think of yourself with positive thoughts, you will be more confident in your own skin. Nothing looks better than confidence!

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

What are some positive things you regularly say to yourself? Write these things down and keep them handy. When you need a reminder of how awesome you are, look back at your list. Looking back at the nice things you have said about yourself will remind you of all of the positive attributes that you have noticed in yourself. Since we sometimes tend to focus on the negatives instead of the positives in ourselves, choosing to notice all of the great qualities about you will help you focus on those positive things.

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

Develop a mantra. A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated to help aid concentration in meditation. Come up with some pep talks for yourself for when you need a boost or a reminder of how awesome you are! Make some mantras for different situations that you may encounter. Write them down or memorize them and say them when needed. You can do it!

Resources

Be You!

The Power of Positive Words

Being Me

BE YOU: Build Others Up

BE YOU Week 5: Build Others Up

“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”
– Kid President

One way we can be our best selves is by bringing out the best traits in others. When we’re at our best, we feel confident in ourselves and don’t feel the need to put others down.

Building others up is a great way to boost the feelings of others while doing something nice for yourself. There are many ways to build others up. Think about things that make you feel more confident or happy, and pay it forward by treating or doing a similar thing for someone else. Here are a few ways you can build others up:

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

Your challenge this week is to find a way to build another person up and help them be their best self. So think about someone in your life – a family member or friend –  and give them a sincere compliment, tell them something positive you notice about them, and look for ways to make them feel loved and accepted.

Ask your friends about things they’re interested in. Find out what makes them feel good and try to remember what they like or what they’re good at. You will help them feel good about themselves, and in turn, you will feel good about yourself. 

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

This week, we challenge you to build yourself and others up! Find different ways to build your friends up. While building others up, you will feel better about yourself. Keep a list of ways for future reference so that when you need a way to help or encourage a friend, you will be able to look back at it for ideas.

Resources

Be You!

In Helping Others, You Help Yourself

Filling Buckets

BE YOU: Appreciate, Don’t Compare

BE YOU Week 4: Appreciate, Don’t Compare

Comparison is the thief of joy.
– Theodore Roosevelt

We are so excited to have Chelster join Sunshine this week for our #GACbeyou podcast. This week, we are talking about focusing on the qualities we really like in ourselves and trying to refrain from comparing ourselves to others. It’s our human tendency to see others and immediately compare ourselves to them. We tend to want to be like them and often lose sight of all the wonderful things we bring to the table. Instead of comparing ourselves to others, we can be happy that they are the way they are and appreciate them for that!

Life is like a team. We all play different parts and bring different skills to the team. It’s important to remember that the team will be at its best when everyone focuses on the skills that they are there to perform.

Instead of comparing, we should appreciate each other. We should be grateful for who they are and who we are. We can combine our strengths and talents with others’ to do bigger and better things. We are also more effective when we are appreciating and lifting others for who they are, instead of bringing them or ourselves down.

This week’s #GACbeyou challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

We all have so much to offer and so much to be grateful for. What are some things that you appreciate about others? Maybe you appreciate others’ kindness and their ability to keep secrets. Being able to recognize the things you appreciate about others, will help you appreciate things in yourself more easily.

Practicing daily gratitude is an easy way to appreciate who you are. Be grateful for being exactly who you are. If there is something you appreciate about yourself that you learned from someone else, maybe write them a letter telling them how they impacted your life. In the words of Anthem Lights, “‘Cause anybody can be a copy, and there will always be people talking. So face your fears and chase your dreams, and dance like no one’s watching.”

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

This week, we challenge you to learn more about yourself! Make a list of things you really like about yourself, including what makes you unique. Make another list of things others love about you! Ask your family members, friends, or even coaches. When you need a reminder of what makes you AWESOME, you will have these lists to look back on!

Resources

Be You!

Comparison is the Thief of (Parenting) Joy

30 Things to Appreciate About You

How to Appreciate What You Have

 

BE YOU: What Stresses you Out? What Calms you Down?

BE YOU Week 3: What Stresses you Out? What Calms you Down?

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

What are things that really stress you out or make you feel not so great? It is good to identify these things so that we can try to avoid them or work on strategies to manage them.

This week, we want to focus on identifying those stresses and identifying ways to calm our bodies and cope in those moments. Emotional regulation is an important life skill that should be talked about and practiced like any other skill. As we mature and gain life experience, we find new ways to calm our stresses and new ways to cope with our emotions. It’s important to learn how to process our emotions in a positive way.

Our very own Audrey “Sunshine” Monke has created a helpful list of ten ways to teach kids to calm down. Although not all of these will work for each individual, we hope you will be able to gain some valuable tools from this list.

  1. Go to a “chill spot.”
    • Designate a spot that is strictly for calming down. Maybe even have some calming activities stored in that area (coloring supplies, books, etc).
  2. Go outside for a walk or run.
    • This can be a group activity or solo, but try to include some quiet reflective time.
  3. Take some deep breaths.
    • Focus on deeper, slower breaths rather than shallower, faster breaths.
  4. Count to 10 (or 100).
    • Count in your head while focusing on your breathing before responding to a situation.
  5. Listen to some soothing music.
    • Make a playlist of happy songs, not angry or aggressive songs.
  6. Think of something you’re grateful for.
    • Jot down something your grateful for when you are feeling down. Use pen and paper or even type it in your phone so that you can revert back to it at a later time.
  7. Look at a funny meme or video.
    • A good belly laugh is good for the soul. Look up your favorite memes or even videos on your phone.
  8. Hug.
    • Hug a loved one. While you are hugging, focus on your breathing. It will calm both parties.
  9. Loosen up.
    • Focus on breathing and counting while stretching or doing your favorite yoga poses.
  10. Sit quietly and have a drink of water, cup of tea, or piece of fruit.
    • You could even include this in the “chill spot”.

Practice some of these techniques the next time you need to calm down and figure out which ones work best for you!

This Week’s #GACbeyou Challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

When have you felt your worst over the past few weeks, or even months? Maybe you felt frustrated, angry, or sad in certain situations. It’s important to identify these things within ourselves, just like we identify all the things or times that get us excited or happy!

What works best for you to help yourself feel better when you are stressed out? There are many different ways to calm down and feel better in a stressful situation. Camp is a great place to destress and calm our bodies. Being in the outdoors and exercising (camp allows us to move our bodies in so many different ways) are among the many ways to help ourselves unwind from our stresses.

Do more of what makes you feel great! Think back to last week’s post and what puts you into “flow.” The times you are in “flow” are usually times when you are doing something that is calming for you and that allows you to put a lot of energy into something you enjoy. The focus that you put into your “flow” activities are sure to be calming and put you in a happy mood!

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

Make a chart of things that commonly stress you out or put you in a bad mood. Beside each one, write a calming strategy that might work to calm you down during one of those situations. When you are having a bad day or moment, go to your list and see which strategy you could try out! If it works, put a star next to it so you know that you can do that one again. If it doesn’t really work for you, that’s okay! Try another one until you find a few that you know you can count on!

Resources

Be You!

10 Ways to Teach Kids to Calm Down

Learning to Breathe

7 Reasons to Get Outside

Be You: Find Your “Flow”

BE YOU Week 2: Find Your “Flow”

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
– Roald Dahl

This week for our BE YOU theme, we’re focusing on finding activities that get you into a state of “flow.”

Flow is a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi (pronounced “cheeks sent me high”) that refers to a state of optimal experience and involvement in an activity during which we are performing at our best.

Watch Dr. Csikszentmihalyi talk about flow in his TED Talk, “Flow, the Secret to Happiness.”

 

When we’re in “flow,” we are doing something we really, really enjoy. We can’t wait to do the activity again, and we feel a lot of positive emotions while participating in the activity. We can stick with it for hours without even noticing the time going by. In fact, when we’re in flow, it’s hard to stop whatever we’re doing. Flow is different from pleasure – simply doing things that are enjoyable like watching TV, scrolling on social media, or shopping. Instead, flow activities usually are demanding and take our full attention and concentration.

People achieve flow in all different ways, including while playing a musical instrument, playing a sport, writing, painting, attending a concert, bird watching, riding a horse, or running, to name just a few. Often we cannot relate to the passion others have for their personal “flow” activity, since their enthusiasm and passion seem inordinately high. For the lucky ones among us, we find flow in our daily work.

The younger you are, the more likely it is that you’ve been in flow today. Young children excel at getting into a state of flow, usually during unstructured play time. As they create their pretend worlds, “cook” in the sand box, build a fort, or swing high on a swing, they are joyful and time flies by for them. Young children are experts at happily living in the moment. As we get older, however, we need to be more aware of getting ourselves into that engaged, amazing state that we enjoyed when we were younger.

Here’s an official definition of flow:
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.

And here are some ideas of possible flow activities from Deann Ware, Ph.d:
Physical activities such as sports, yoga, dance, and martial arts
Outdoor challenges such as hiking
Music–writing, playing, mixing
Art–painting, sculpture, mixed media, pottery
Photography
Woodworking
Do-It-Yourself projects, such as home improvement
Working with animals
Gardening
Cooking and baking
Software development/coding
Scrapbooking
Writing
Needlework–sewing, knitting, cross stitch
Horseback riding
What you do for work (hopefully!)

This week’s #GACbeyou challenge

What activities get you into flow? When have you been doing something that you are so engaged that you’ve completely lost track of time? That’s a fun thing to explore as we continue to delve into our “BE YOU” theme. Flow states are a great clue as we figure out who we are and what makes us our best self!

What are new activities you want to try this summer?

What makes your heart “sing?”

Sometimes, we need to explore different activities before we figure out which activities get us into that awesome state of flow. Don’t worry if you haven’t found that awesome, engaged state yet. Sometimes, it takes awhile to explore, and many adults haven’t even figured it out yet! So start now, while you have some free time, exploring different activities – creative, athletic, academic, etc. – and find your flow!

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

Make a list of different possible flow activities that you want to explore. Consider different hobbies, sports, and music you have some interest in learning more about.

Try one new activity from the list you made.

More Flow activity ideas:
positivepsychology.com
dailyshoring.com

From Designing Your Life:
Energy Engagement Worksheet

Good Time Journal Activity Log

Resources

Be You!

Read more about flow in this post on Sunshine Parenting.

Helping Kids Find Flow

Ways to Teach Kids Flow

Learn more about FLOW.

Be You: You’re One of a Kind!

BE YOU Week 1: You’re One of a Kind!

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever thought about how amazing it is that there is no one else who is exactly like you? You are unique, original, and one of a kind!

This week for our BE YOU theme, we’re focusing on what you like best about yourself. It may sound strange to think and talk about what you like about yourself. It may sound like bragging or being overconfident. But it’s really important that instead of always telling ourselves and thinking about our faults and what we don’t like about ourselves that we take time to think about what we do like.

Watch the challenge online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8tPrYhEoHQ

This week’s #GACbeyou challenge

Journal or share with someone else (can be a parent, sibling, or friend) your answer to this question:

Focus on your the inner qualities — personality traits and talents — that you like best about yourself.  

Here are some examples of personality or character traits that you might especially like about yourself:

Kindness – You think about others and do acts of kindness.

Enthusiasm – You get super excited about things – and get other people excited, too.

Grit – You stick with things even when it’s hard.

Sense of Humor – You make people laugh.

Gratitude – You thank others and think about things you’re grateful for.

Honesty – You tell the truth, even when it’s hard or you get in trouble for telling the truth.

Brave – You courageously speak what you believe, even when your opinion is unpopular.

Compassionate – You think about others, feel pain when others are hurt, and take action to help.

Leader – You influence others to act in a positive way.

Loyal – You stick by the side of your family and friends and stay loyal even when people are going through hard times.

These are just a few examples of character traits you might really like about yourself. There are many more!

Here are a few talents you might really like about yourself. How would you finish this phrase: “Something I like about myself is that I’m great at ……”

Music (playing an instrument, singing)

Sports (playing soccer, running, ping pong)

English, science, history, or another subject

Painting, photography, drawing, sewing, making friendship bracelets.

Writing

Reading

Doing magic tricks, riding a unicycle, playing chess, etc.

There are so many different talents and skills each person has. What is something you are good at that you really like about yourself?

GACspiration

Want to be inspired? Print out this week’s GACspiration and post it on your bathroom door or mirror (just like at GAC)!

Activity Ideas

• Get together (in person or online) with your family or a group of friends. Give everyone a chance to share one thing they like about themselves.

• Create a longer list of 10 (or more) things you like about yourself. You could make a list of as many things you like about yourself as how old you are. So, if you’re 14, write 14 things you like about yourself.

• Share with one of your parents, siblings, or a friend something you like about them and ask them to share something they like about you. You’ll both feel happier after the conversation!

Resources

Be You!

#GACkindness: 30 Days of Kindness

Will Kellogg on Growing Grit and the First Attempt In Learning

Celebrating Strengths

Sunshine Parenting Podcast Ep. 28: Focusing on Our Kids’ Strengths

My School In Motion!

My School In Motion, founded by camp parent Apryl Krakovsky, is a program designed to get school communities moving and learning every day. Their videos are fun exercise routines for kids and adults that incorporate positive messaging about health, wellness, and nutrition.

“My School In Motion, Inc.’s mission is to provide all students, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, with an early positive physical activity experience, while at the same time educating them in the areas of nutrition, fitness and wellness, and empowering them to make smart choices today and in the future. We want to ensure that students have the best start to every school day and set them on a path for a lifetime of health, productivity and happiness.”

We are lucky enough to be able to share some of My School In Motion’s exercise routines to you in your home! Do these routines with your family and enjoy the fun you have with them!

 

Movement Routines:  Good Life, Boom Boom Pow, I Like to Move It, PB & Jelly Time

 

Movement Routines: PB & Jelly Time, Who Let the Dogs Out, Cupid Shuffle

 

Movement Routines: Popcorn, U Can’t Touch This, Jack Attack, Good Life

 

Movement Routines: Set A Goal – One Step at a Time Warm-Up, Waka Waka, I Like to Move It, Cupid Shuffle, Yoga/Focused Breathing Cool Down

 

Movement Routines: Sunburst, Just Say Yes, 5678, Who Let the Dogs Out, Agadoo

 

Movement Routines: Dynamite, 5678, Addams Family, Macarena, Agadoo, Focused Breathing/Balloon

 

Movement Routines: Cardio Routine 1, PB&Jelly Time, Waka Waka, Just Say Yes, Good Morning Sky

 

12 Stay at Home Tips

Want some stay-at-home tips for your family?

We’re all spending a lot of time at home these days during COVID-19, and it’s good for our mental and emotional health to mix things up once in a while.

Here’s a recap of the ideas Sunshine’s been sharing at our virtual Afternoon Assemblies!

#1 Participate in 30 Days of Kindness

Focus on others by doing small (and large) acts of kindness, and it will make you feel better, too!

#2 Mail a hand-written letter or note

Everyone LOVES getting a real letter in the mail. Collect the random cards and stationery from around your house (or in your camp supplies). Next, write a postcard, note, or letter and mail it to a friend, relative, or even a stranger (see ideas in 30 Days of Kindness)! You might even get one back, which is super fun!

Many kids do not know how to address a letter. Take time to learn, and you’ll be all set for writing letters from camp!

#3 Learn to cook something new

What’s a favorite recipe you want to learn how to cook? Take this time at home to learn how to cook something (or several things)! Cook the recipe three times, each time doing the cooking more independently.
Step 1 Cook the recipe with your parent.
Step 2 Cook the recipe with your parent supervising, but you doing all the cooking.
Step 3 Cook the recipe on your own. Let your parent relax while you cook!

Here are a few moments of video of Sunshine supervising (Step 2 above) her 16-year-old making this POMEGRANATE HABANERO SHREDDED BEEF RECIPE:

Bonus: Send us your favorite recipe and/or create a video tutorial of how to make the recipe (see Joss’ below):

#4 Clean out your game/puzzle cabinet(s)

What’s even in there? Go through your games and puzzles. Find a favorite or two to get out to play as a family. For ones you no longer use because they are for younger kids , create a stack to donate to another family or neighbor. For ones with missing pieces, recycle, use for creating a craft, or put in the trash.

#5 Make a list of 10 things you’ve been wanting to do

With school now online and extracurricular activities, sports, and in-person social time with friends limited, we’ve got some extra time on our hands. This is – for many of us – a new situation. And it can feel uncomfortable having so much down time. Try writing a list of 10 things ranging from random “to dos” to things you’d like to learn. This can include books you’ve wanted to read, hobbies or crafts you’ve been interested in trying, a musical instrument you’d like to learn to play or practice playing more, learning sign language, or anything else that comes to mind for you! You can try to include things that include:
• Something physical (train for a 5K run, do a daily plank, try an online yoga class)
• Something creative (friendship bracelet, crochet, painting)
• Something social (call or write a letter to a friend)
• Things you haven’t had time for (a book you’ve wanted to read or movie you’ve wanted to watch)

Then, take the first step. Start reading the book or research how to do the hobby.

#6 Sort your books by color

Do you love books and reading? Take some time to organize your books. Create a beautiful shelf by organizing your books by color!

#7 Move some furniture (or create a little quiet space just for yourself)

To make your home feel a little different, move some furniture around a bit so that it feels “new.” Or, create a little space for yourself on a cozy chair or on some pillows in your bedroom or a closet or room that doesn’t get much use. Put some of your favorite “quiet” activities in a basket or box there – things like mazes, coloring supplies, books to read, or crafts to do.

#8 Call or FaceTime a friend

Now that you’re an expert on Zoom and other online meeting platforms, organize a get-together with a friend or group of friends. To make it even more fun, have a theme like “crazy hair.” For a fun activity, get a game like Yahtzee that you can play together by each having your own set of dice! Or, play “Name that Tune” or “Pictionary.”

#9 Make family dinner like a campfire

Pretend you’re at camp around the campfire and you’re the counselor. Lead a discussion like counselors at camp do! Have every family member share their high, low, and hero of the day or ask a question that everyone answers.

#10 Brainstorm (as a family) things you’re interested in doing together for fun

Create a list with your family of things you’re each interested in (rotate whose idea you do together as a family)

#11 Make a list of things to organize or spruce up in your room or house

Take a walk around your house and make your list of things you’ve wanted to do around your bedroom/house (Ideas: hang a picture, make a collage for your wall, clean out drawers of things to hand down to a sibling, friend, or to donate). Take before and after pictures and send them to us!

#12 Find things to laugh at

Laughter makes us all feel better. Find funny memes and videos to share with each other. Even better, tell a joke or create a funny song or skit and share it with your friends at GAC so we can use it at our upcoming assemblies and campfires!

What are your tips for stay at home activities? Share them with us!