Thanks to Angie and Sara for the inspiration for this program!
The first station of the training camp was an obstacle course. Our ninjas were supposed to avoid the lava (red squares) and fire-breathing dragons, walk across the bridge (masking tape), then pass through the tunnel to complete the course. As you can see, my goofy dragons kept falling over, but it was still fun.
For the next station, Banish the Bad Guys, I did some quick research on Ninjago bad guys, printed them out and taped them to plastic cups. Originally, I was going to make ninja stars to throw at the targets, but I must sheepishly admit that my origami skills are not that strong. In the end, I decided that beanbags would work just fine. I think the kids agreed, because this was a pretty popular station.
The Dexterity Check station consisted of my beloved Lakeshore Learning trays, some linking cubes, and “chopsticks” (easy grip tweezers). The object was to move the cubes from one tray to the other using the tweezers as quickly as possible. I saw some pretty heated contests on this activity.
Your Ninja Identity–For this station, I printed out a ninja name worksheet and printed a Ninjago head on yellow cardstock. The ninjas were to use the code on the sheet to translate their name into a cool new ninja name. Then, they decorated a mask, cut it out, and affixed it to construction paper strips for the headband.
Finally, we had to have a Lego gadget building station. No surprise, this was the most popular station. There’s just something about building with Legos that never gets old.
Opening Song: Hands are clapping
Opening Game: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (3 times, faster each time)
Book: My Nose, Your Nose, by Melanie Walsh (available through PINES)
Book: I Love You, Nose! I Love You, Toes! by Linda Davick. (E HUMAN BODY DAVI)
Rhyme: Open them, shut them
Rhyme: Eye Winker, Tom Tinker
Song: Hokey Pokey
Book: From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle (E CARLE).
Closing Game: Animal Action cube
Closing rhyme: My Hands Say Thank You
Activity: body tracing–parents/caregivers traced their child on a large sheet of paper, then the kids colored them in. This was a great activity! It was fun to see the kids and their adults talking about what they needed to add to their drawings.
Almost every summer we take the week before the 4th of July and do a puppet show at all of our branches. I love puppet shows, but sometimes they can be sort of stressful–managing multiple puppets and props, making the puppets I have fit the story, and sometimes even adapting the story to a puppet show script myself. This year I was a lucky duck because we happened upon the script for “Little Blue Riding Hood” by Nancy Whetstone. Y’all, it is SO GOOD. Really funny stuff and so simple to stage. We adapted it a bit so that we could use two guy puppets (we made them brothers named Ben and Jerry). The kids enjoyed the show so much. I highly recommend trying it out!
We also did the classic paper bag puppet craft. When space permitted, we left the stage up so that the kids could try out their new puppets onstage. It was a hit! It always amazes me how creative kids can be with just simple materials and activities. The kids had a great time creating their puppets, and I loved hearing the stories they told.
Whew! I can’t believe we are already several weeks into summer reading! Things are going really great–lots of trackers being turned in (great job, keep it up!!!!) This week at Leesburg and Smithville we had a taste of Rio in honor of this year’s host of the Olympic games.
We decorated masks with feathers, stick on jewels, and fruit stickers, and we also decorated wooden maracas.
I hooked up our Block Party speaker/light show and played some Brazilian music for the kids to dance to.
Finally, we offered Brigadeiros, a traditional Brazilian dessert made with sweetened condensed milk, butter, cocoa powder, and vanilla. I followed this recipe and rolled the mixture into balls ahead of time. Then we put sprinkles in a plate and the kids finished by rolling the ball into the sprinkles. These were a huge hit!
I LOVE post-it art! I thought that this year’s summer reading theme (Get in the Game–READ) was a perfect opportunity to try my hand at another project.