When Kaitlyn Rowe was thinking about what she wanted to do with her kids this summer, she recalled a genius idea she'd seen on social media last year that both she and her children were excited about.
Rowe, a mom of four in Utah, shared the idea on her "Our Mama Guide" Instagram page and it quickly went viral. In her post, Rowe posted photos of lists she had made outlining activities under the headline of "How To Be A Person Camp" that would help her teach her 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son key life skills.
"I've always thought it was such a good idea. So, I started making a list on my phone of ideas for my kids or what they could work on," Rowe told "Good Morning America." "This summer, I didn't sign them up for camps, I didn't do anything like that and they're not in school, obviously, so I thought it would be a good time to try it out."
Rowe borrowed the idea from a fellow mom Emily Ley, who told "GMA" she has been running her version of "How To Be A Person Camp" for the last three years.
"We started doing this when COVID was happening and we were all quarantined and just trying to find things to do here at home," Ley, author and founder of the planner company Simplified, told "GMA." "I was really overwhelmed with all I was doing as a mom and working and homeschooling kids all of a sudden, and so, I knew if I could help them with some age-appropriate independence, it would also help me as well -- and they just love the idea of being more grown up and knowing how to do things that I used to do just for them, and so they jumped right in."
Both Rowe and Ley said their kids have found the various activities fun and love doing them.
"This is something that they have really enjoyed and I think it's just the idea of, 'I'm doing adult things. I'm being independent.' And so they've just loved doing it," Rowe said.
For Ley, a mom of three in Florida, her kids -- 8-year-old twins and a 12-year-old -- have even taken the initiative to tackle each new life skill.
"Whenever it was a rainy day or we had some downtime, they were the ones that spearheaded," Ley explained. "They were like, 'Mom, let's do the list. Let's go find something that we can do.' My oldest, for example, he loved learning how to scramble eggs and now ... he loves to get up and do that."
Ley's list, which she said she spun up within minutes, includes plenty of essential skills, from "How to brush and floss your teeth well" to "How to write a thank you note" -- but it does also include an unexpected activity: "How to do the Electric Slide."
"My most favorite … was how to do with the Electric Slide," Ley said. "I was an adult when I learned how to do the Electric Slide, and I can't tell you how many weddings I went to and was like, 'I don't know how to do this, I'm gonna stand over here.' And so, it was like first in my mind when I started making this list. Before you're a grown up, you've got to know how to do the electric slide. So, that was fun to do. Now I feel like they're prepared for adulthood."
Rowe took a more collaborative approach for her "How To Be A Person Camp" lists, which she adapted for her two older kids. It's a method she recommends for other parents looking to try out the camp idea with their children.
"I think making it child-led, as long as they're interested and open to learning and making it fun. Because then if it turns into like this big homework checklist, I don't think that would be fun for them," she said.
Ley also suggested meeting kids where they are and building a foundation from there.
"I would say just look around at all the things you're doing for them that they might be able to take on age appropriately," she said. "And it may be different for different kids. I mean, my oldest has done a lot of these things. My youngest two have not done all of them. But I think that's a really good place to start, just looking around at the things that you're doing that they might be able to help with."