University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Gender and Women's Studies Collection

Page View

Woman's home companion
Vol. LXIV, No. 6 (1937)

McKinnie, Adele
Vacation time,   pp. 28-[30] PDF (1.8 MB)


Page 28

28
ADELE MchINNIE-
(NS C H MI D r
K    ~L4
The conditions that make camp
life delightful can be obtained
at home
VACATION time is here again. What a joyous
feeling of freedom the last day of school brings,
when books go bang on the top shelf and all outdoors
is ours. Wise parents will capitalize this enthusiasm
at the start, before it palls as it so frequently does, be-
fore son says, "Oh gee, what is there for me to do
around here?" or daughter complains, "All my friends
have gone away and I have no one to play with."
If it is possible to send your children to a camp, this
is highly desirable. It is usually beneficial for a child
to get off on his own, away from his parents for a time,
and a good camp is geared to the needs of children.
If a camp is not possible or advisable for your family,
there is no reason why some of the conditions that
make camp life delightful and valuable cannot be
obtained at home.
The first goal is to make vacation a health-building
period. Sunshine, activity, rest: these are vital needs
for growing bodies.
All outdoors is the healthiest playroom of the year.
If a beach or lake or river is out of the question in
your locality, father could, at little expense, make a
concrete pool in the back yard or make or buy a canvas
one. Boxes and barrels from your grocery and boards
from the lumber yard, a swing and crossbar in the tree,
yield endless opportunity for the strength and pull and
development of torso, leg and arm muscles. Little
children should also be given a place in which to dig,
even though it means sacrificing a part of your flower
garden; or a sandbox can be made or bought.
A second goal for vacation should be provision for
constructive adventure and experimentation. When
little boys break milk bottles against the curb, or
little girls mess up the kitchen mixing flour and water
for dollie's supper, it is time to think of more con-
structive outlets for their restless energies. Fix a game
of quoits, archery or basketball in some convenient
spot for the boys, and plan a batch of fudge for the
girls. These strivings of their energies are
natural and deserve a satisfying expression.
The third thing a summer vacation
should produce is definite achievement in
the things that interest your children. All
children learn eagerly in doing things that
have a special appeal to them.
Simplification of life is one of the luxuries
of summer. Both health and expediency dictate a
minimum of summer clothes for children, provided by
sun suits, bathing suits and shorts. Summer menus
can be simplified. Use lots of fruit and fresh vege-
tables. Informal meals eaten on the porch or in the
yard are never-ending sources of joy to children and
go far in supplying adventure.
Let them plan and carry out a picnic. They will
love to decide on the food and help make the sand-
wiches and lemonade. They can invite the guests and
select the picnic spot. If a fire is built they will have
adventure foraging for wood. With their mother to
guide rather than to govern, they will have the fun
of planning and carrying out their activities.
_ NO TWO days of summer will be alike, but it
would be well to outline the few essentials the daily
routine should contain, as they do at camp. If children
are old enough they will enjoy writing out the day's
schedule and tacking it up in their rooms or on the
back porch, as every camp does. Getting the children's
cox)peration in this gives an opportunity to talk it over
with them, discussing the values of health, outdoor
play, a quiet time for relaxation, the desirability of
accomplishing something during the summer.
Rest is especially important on hot summer days.
If the child will not take a nap after the noonday meal.
plan quiet things for him to do. Make a list and let
him choose the one he wants to do each day. He will
then pursue it with keener relish. Reading, writing,
drawing, cutting and pasting scrapbooks, doing puzzles
are all enjoyed.
Collections are especially fascinating to children.
Rocks, shellsor seaweed; leaves, wild f lowers, bugs; birds,
animals and fish, ferns, feathers or bark are only a few of
the many possibilities. A camera extends the range of
these. Save all the boxes, cardboard and transparent
paper that come into the house for mounting the collec-
tion. Shelves or racks in garage, barn, attic or
cellar provide easy ways of storing, and stim-
ulate neatness and order early in childhood.
For the younger child, scrapbooks made
tIp of pictures from magazines on any of a
myriad subjects interesting to his age, give
excellent practice in selection, discriminat ion
and manipulative 'kilk
-I . .
Responsibility is an important phase of a child's
life but one for which it is necessary to take the age,
circumstances and individuality of each child into
account. We are increasingly sure, however, that
children thrive under the proper amount, planned for
individual need.
At camp a child is given some responsibility for
the care of his cabin, the camp grounds, his clothes,
camp equipment and camp animals. Children equally
benefit from taking real responsibility for the home.
Animals provide one of the most rewarding of re-
sponsibilities and give.a child a sense of belonging and
possessing something all his own. A neighborhood
project like the one a group of boys in a midwestern
city carried through, has its own particular merit.
These boys induced parents and friends and neigh-
bors each to buy a baby chicken in the spring, which
was given a name and put into a common chicken
run. The boys took turns keeping the brood in their
own back yards for a week. "Shirley Temple" and
"Jackie Cooper" peeped and scratched with "Clark
Gable" and "Minnie Mouse.- In exchange for rais-
ing and feeding the chickens the boys assumed a half
interest. Then a budget for food had to be made out
and various resources drawn upon. At the end of the
summer the chickens were sold as broilers and the prof-
its divided between original purchasers and boys. Here
was a coxperative project, involving arithmetic, respon-
sibility and fun. Try it out in your neighborhood.
> SINCE variety is the spice of life, you will want to
plan opportunities away from home occasionally.
There can be trips to see a railroad, a big boat, a
bridge, a lake, a waterfall or dam. If town is a novelty,
or even if it isn't, there is the station, the Post office,
the fire house, the roundhouse, the zoo or the markets.
If you can dig up pictures or books about them, the
subject can be enhanced, the experience prove really
educational.
If the trip is for overnight or only for a day, some
child in the family will be interested in mapping it out.
A boy of thirteen took an automobile trip with his
grandmother last summer. Before leaving they blue-
penciled the route, added tIp the mileage, ligured the
oil and gasoline consumption, the meals and overnight
stops. A check was made out for the whole amount,
the boy was taken to the bank and shown how
travelers' checks are issued. On the trip he took entire
Charge of current expenses and came home full of vivid
experiences. He felt the trip was of his own making.
These are only some hints of what a summer vaca-
tion might mean to voti and your family. But it
should stand for these important things: better health,
adventure and some achievement the child can meas-
tire in the end. Perhaps not a lazy indolent summer for
parents, but oh such a worth-while one, all will agree.


Go up to Top of Page