As one child put it, today was the "Best Day Ever!" I think we can safely say Reading Tent Town was a resounding success. Now we've got to decide how soon to do it again.
The activity began in the mess hall. Each of the kids was given a plastic plate, a plastic knife, and some veggies. They cut up vegetables while my friend Cindy read Stone Soup. Anytime she got to a point in the story when a new ingredient mentioned, she would ask a child to come and add it to her big soup pot. The version she read was by Ann Mcgovern.
The kids loved to chop up and add their veggies. They were working away so hard. But the other moms told me they think Tertius was the only one interested in cutting up the onions. When everything was added to the pot, including of course the stone, it went in the house and on the stove to cook while the kids moved on to the next phase of the activity.
Tip: Scrub the stone really good and then boil it by itself beforehand to make sure it is nice and clean.
Tip: Those cards were so perfect! I'm so glad I decided to do them. Even one of the youngest kids (who is younger than Tertius) would look at his card, pick a picture, and then walk around to find the tent that matches the picture he had decided on. It was so cute!
Tip: Either have tarps under the tents or towels/blankets for the adults to sit on.
The princess story tent was run by two 15 year old girls. They got to use an awesome castle-shaped tent and they came dressed as Snow White and Rapunzel. It was so awesome! The kids loved having these celebrities attend.
One of the pictures on their cards was a bowl of soup to prompt them to go in the house and stir the soup. It smelled so good! Everyone was done listening to stories after about an hour. A few minutes later, the soup was done cooking and it was lunch time! Since the kids had worked so hard on making it themselves, most of them were very willing to taste it.
Tip: Our princesses brought princess coloring pages with them. I don't know what prompted them to do that, but I'm glad they did! It gave the kids something to do in the mess tent while we waited for the soup to finish and cool.
As the kids left, they each got an Airhead candy with the label, "Don't be an Airhead. Read a Book."
Things I would do different next time:
*Have a bigger mess tent. It was pretty crowded in there!
*Have hand sanitizer so the kids didn't have to crowd into the kitchen and bathrooms to wash before starting to make the soup.
*Clean my kitchen and bathrooms. That was pretty embarrassing.
*Make sure everyone is aware of how crazy hot my entire stove gets when one burner is on. One kid got hurt. It wasn't a bad burn, thankfully, but it hurt.
*Have juice boxes. Once we started eating, I realized that I was super thirsty. So spur of the moment I grabbed a couple bottles of juice from my pantry and started pouring cups for the kids. They were obviously thirsty, too. Juice boxes would have just been more convenient.