Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Reading Kick Off Party

The summer reading party we held at the end of May featured three crafts, two games, sidewalk chalk, a local dance troupe, lots of snacks (including uneaten apple slices) and a trash-talking game of hopscotch. We attracted about 30 summer reading sign-ups and nothing, and I mean NOTHING, went according to my plan.

But that's okay. The kids seemed to have a really good time and I'm the only one who knew that things didn't turn out quite right.

Here are some of the ideas that I really liked; ideas that I'll revisit when I have more time to give actual instruction to the kids instead of running off every other minute to make sure that no one was taking more than their fair share of snacks, or stealing the digital camera.

 What's Your Dream?
This was a last minute station, thrown together before story time on Thursday morning, and it proved to be one of the more popular ones. On separate sheets of poster board I drew three dream jobs; a basketball player, a rock star and a doctor. With cut-outs where the head should be, we could see the kids be transformed into their future selves just like that!

I also had three blank pieces of poster board with a hole cut out from the center so the kids could draw their own dream job if the prepared ones didn't interest them. No one made their own drawing, but I think it could be a pretty successful stand alone program.

Picture Frames

The picture frames were supposed to go with the What's Your Dream station. Ideally, we would have taken pictures of the kids with the picture props and they could have decorated picture frames to put them in. I made the picture frames out of foam, with a simple cutout to put the pictures behind. I put out glitter glue and foam stickers for decoration and kind of let them go wild. 

We are now out of glitter glue.

Lisa Frank Scratch Boards

None of my kids know who Lisa Frank is. Which makes me sad, but it was also a great opportunity to introduce my favorite Lisa Frank product, the Scratch Board! Now in DIY form. Since I knew I wouldn't be around to explain the process to every kid who showed up, I made this handy 4 step guide to making your own scratch board.

Did the kids bother to read it? Nooooooooo. They just used the paint on the butcher paper that I had lying out as a drop cloth.

So they got that when they could have gotten this...

We'll try again later.

Seriously though, if you think you might be interested in making your own scratch board (which I think turned out really well) it really is that easy. The only points of interest not included on these instructions are to use a manilla folder or the shiny side of poster board as your paper so that the Popsicle stick won't rub off the paper when you scratch later, and to add a few drops of dish detergent to the paint so it will adhere to the waxy crayons better. The original tutorial where I got the idea is here, but I found it worked better when I used tempera paint instead of acrylic and didn't measure the exact proportions of soap to paint.

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