Camping, cooking, and chess were the first three hobbies that came to mind when I thought about the letter ‘C’. Then I was reminded that my two oldest sons are also participating in coin collecting. Other C hobbies could include calligraphy, collecting, crochet, carpentry, cross-stitching and more. We are excited about an upcoming camping trip and my sons are really enjoying coin collecting together so I decided to share more about those hobbies today.
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Aside from a few nights in my backyard I never spent much time camping as a child. However, my husband spent many nights camping with his family and his scout troop. I was a little nervous when we decided to try family camping for the first time, but I was hooked. I love the quiet of the outdoors, the smells of the campfire, the sense of peace that fills my soul when I get away from the rush of ‘regular life’ and enjoy a quiet day of camping. In addition to the enjoyment we get from camping, we have found that it allows us to stretch our travel budget much farther and therefore, we get travel more frequently.
Today I wanted to share a few tips that have made family camping easier for our family. First, we typically camp in state or national parks. These campgrounds are inexpensive (normally $20-$25 a night) and normally have fire pits, bath houses, and showers available. When it comes to food there are several things to consider. Cooking over an open fire can be lots of fun but requires time to get the fire ready, cook, and clean up. So, we normally plan that for an evening or morning when there is nothing else on the agenda. If we are going to be busy, we pack things that can be precooked such as muffins, boiled eggs, or granola bars. Another time saver is bringing your instant pot. This may seem silly since you are camping but if the site has electric hook-up (check when you make reservations) or you have an inverter for your car this can be a great way to help get a meal ready in a hurry. We can put oatmeal in the instant pot while we tear down camp in the morning or soup in the evening when we get back to camp too late for a fire meal. This saves us time and money (not eating at a restaurant) and keeps things fairly simple for me.
During the day my children can often entertain themselves fairly well at the campgrounds. We hike the trails, play with sticks and leaves, and just enjoy the great outdoors. In the evening as we sit around our campfire, we enjoy telling jokes, playing Would You Rather Games or using conversation starter prompts to guide our conversations.
For basic equipment you will need a tent, sleeping bags, camping chairs, insect repellent, and meal supplies. As you begin camping more you may want to add sleeping mats or an air mattress, field guides for your hikes, cast iron cookware for fire cooking, and a dining canopy for those rainy days. If you are new to camping, you may want to try a campground with rustic cabins or a camping event where some of the supplies are provided to ‘get your feet wet’ and work out any problems. I highly encourage you to give camping a try!
Coin collecting is not a hobby that I was ever really interested in but my thirteen-year-old really enjoys it and has shared that love with my five-year-old son as well. One of the great things about coin collecting is that it is fairly inexpensive to get started and while you can spend lots of money on rare coins, you can also find a good variety just by going through your change from various transactions. My son got started with a version of this book and as he started collecting more coins he switched over to using Whitman Coin Folders and passed the other book on to my five-year-old. The Whitman Coin Folders are about $4-$5 each and have slots for specific sets of coins. For example, Jefferson nickels from 1962-1995. They are a great way to organize your collection and set goals for what coins to find.
When we first started, we just sorted through the coins that were in our house and the coins we got back as change from the store. However, as my son has gotten more into collecting, he has also begun to save his money and buy a few specific coins from auctions. In order to make sure that he is getting a good deal he has a coin value book and I check online as coin values can change quickly. We use eBay to search for similar coins that have sold recently. This gives us a good current value.
If you want more information about cooking be sure to check out Homeschool in the Kitchen and Adding Fun Into Your Homeschool: Cooking. Also stay tuned for a review coming the week of October 14th on a great new chess game! I would love for you to share your favorite ‘C’ hobby resources in the comments! Don’t forget to check out all of the other ‘C’ posts over at the link party!
Self-inflating Sleeping Mat ( I actually prefer these to air mattresses)
Hammocks (not a requirement but we love ours)
Tent (what you need will vary based on your family size but ours is similar to this and we love the screened in porch if the bugs get bad)
Tarp (to put under the tent to protect the bottom)
Field Guides (for hiking)
Sleeping bags (Tip: My husband got us two identical sleeping bags and zipped them together so that we have a giant sleeping bag big enough for both of us.)
Coin Collecting Resources
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Deals and Freebies
Sally Clarkson is launching her newest book, a devotional for moms! You can purchase it at Amazon now and join in the launch party next week!
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We have been listening to Alice in Wonderland on audiobook to prepare to watch a live version of the play this week. I had forgotten just how ‘crazy’ the book feels. If you are interested in listening to it, it is only .66 on audio right now.
These are the last few days of the big Last Chance sale for SchoolhouseTeachers.com at only $29.95 for three months it is a great deal. You can check out how we use this program in our posts on the blog!
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!