A leader’s guide to hosting an after-school club from home

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Has your after-school children care center been out of commission due to school closures? Do you still want to provide activities for your students but don’t know where to start? Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

There are a few great options out there such as ZOOM and google hangouts if you want to try and schedule live class sessions with your students. Make sure if you do this that the supply list is minimal as your students likely won’t have access to as many supplies as they are used to having at your center.

  1. Set a meeting time at least 3-4 days in advance to allow your students to create time in their schedules and gather necessary supplies. Make sure the meeting time is finite – 20-30 min. at the most. and schedule in the lat afternoon after school hours as you normally would for your after school club. Some ideas of content that would work during a meeting like this: drawing lessons, dance lessons, origami, paper airplane making, knitting/crocheting, and basic cooking lesson (preferably with no heat source required)

OPTION 2: Send an email with pre-recorded content and supply list from you.

This is great option for parents that provides flexibility for them to use your lesson plans on their own time. Make sure the videos are short and able to be completed in the students home. Once again, keep the supply lists short.

Have fun, and just know that whatever service you provided will be welcomed by your families. They will be delighted to see your smiling faces and to know how much you care about them by provided much needed activities and social familiarity opportunities for their little ones.

Do you provide an online service to youth in your community? Comment below if you’d like to be featured on our After School Club Ideas blog?

Spring Break at home ideas for virtual vacations with kids

Photo by Drahomír Posteby-Mach on Unsplash

Do you have a break from homeschooling coming up soon? Did you have vacation plans that were sidelined? Why not plan a virtual vacation for your family. So many amazing companies and organizations have uploaded wonderful content to help keep families busy and entertained while staying home. Check out all of these wonderful resources and enjoy your virtual vacation!

ZOOS

San Diego Zoo
Smithsonian’s National Zoo Webcams

FARMS

Canadian Egg Farm
Canadian Apple Orchard
Undeniably Dairy- Visit a Dairy Farm

NATIONAL PARKS
Yellowstone National Park – visit several locations in the park.
Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Yosemite National Park, California

Homemade Meal with kids at home: Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

Let’s face it. As we face days and days on end of quarantining at home, parents will constantly be looking for new ideas to entertain their children. Cooking club has always been a popular one with my former students, so now is a great time to start your own version of cooking club at home!
Here’s an easy dinner idea you can get your children involved with!

Instant pot Chicken tacos with homemade tortillas!

Chicken filling ingredients

-2lbs chicken tenders

-2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet) * great opportunity to have you kids help you measure out the spices for this.

-1 jar of your favorite mild salsa

-1 cup water

Instructions: 1) add chicken to your 8 quart instant pot 2) Add spices and mix with chicken 3) Add water and salsa and stir just gently so that liquid is covering all the chicken. 4) Choose the poultry button and cook for 8 min. 5) Allow to naturally release for 10 minutes. Your chicken will be tender and easy to shred!!

Homemade tortillas ingredients

-2 cups flour

-1 teaspoon Salt

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-3/4 cup warm water

-3 tablespoons olive oil.

Instructions: 1) Add flour, salt, and baking powder to a large bowl. 2) Add oil and water and stir. 3) Once formed into a dough knead with your hands until it forms a ball. 4) Let sit for 30 minutes, covered in a towel (great time to go outside and play with the kids.) 5) Heat a large cast iron skillet on a back-burner away from your little ones on medium heat for 10 minutes. 6.) Fun with dough time. Divide your dough ball into to 8-12 small balls. Create a floured surface for your children and instruct them to flatten them into circles. If you feel confident allow them to use a rolling pin to make each tortilla about 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch thick. For younger children, have them create their flat circles then have an adult finish with the rolling pin. 7) Have an adult place each tortilla onto the cooking surface for 20-30 seconds per side until it bubbles (a little longer if you like it dark!) Voila! Tortillas.

I love having a discussion with children about homemade vs. store bought foods and how they are similar and different. I often find children are surprised at how easy and fun it can be to make foods at home!

Serve your tacos with lettuce, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, and sour cream for some extra flavor.

What homemade meals do you enjoy making with your little ones at home? Please share… my girls would love to try new things!

Fun with Australian Animals at home

Fun with Australian Animals at home

Looking for fun activities to do with your little ones at home? Have little animal lovers? Check out live stream and educational videos from “Australian Reptile Park” and “Animal Tales with Tim Faulkner” daily on instagram.

My girls are excited to check out Koala feeding time, which will be around 8pm for us – a pre-bedtime adventure.

One of my favorite things to do with my own children and former students is to create a themed week (or weeks) of activities to help aid in my planning. Here are some resources to extend learning and activity time about animals from this region of the world!

Australian Animal Crafts and Activities for Kids from DLTK

Top 25 Books about Australian Animals to Share with Children from Tracys Travels in Time

Australian animals worksheets from Teachers Pay Teachers

Cheers!

Books to read with your children during Social Distancing

Books to read with your children during Social Distancing

Whether you are a working parent, stay at home parent, or some mix of the two, chances are lately you’ve also been given another role — full time teacher! (Raises hand over here!) These are challenging times! Between managing the schoolwork load given by your child’s teachers, planning other fun activities to keep your kiddos from going bonkers, dealing with your own emotions over what’s happening in the world, and your own daily responsibilities it’s difficult to find ways to keep yours and your children’s sanity intact. Sometimes the best solution is the most simple one. Curling up together with a great book can be relaxing and a great bonding opportunity for you and your children. Here are a few recommendations!

  1. Harry Potter series – Escape to the wizarding world with your family and you are feeling especially creative engage in some of the activities after from our Harry Potter Club. Tweens can all open their own copy and read quietly together, younger students can be read to. Even the kindergarteners in the bunch can enjoy as there are picture book versions of these wonderful books.

2. Stars by Mary Lyn Ray – This beautiful picture book has such a lovely lyrical quality. It’s an incredibly soothing read aloud. You may just want to pull out a blanket and go stargazing in your backyard when you’re finished!

3. Time to come in, Bear – this one isn’t exactly a book. It is a video written by Kim St. Lawrence, a fledgling author who tackles the unprecedented topic of “social distancing” in a gentle, kid friendly way.

4. Press Here by Herve Toullet – one of my all time favorite interactive picture book read alouds. I also love using dot dot markers to create our own dot art masterpieces (or even our own versions of the story!)

What books do you and your children enjoy reading together the most?

After School Clubs at Home

After School Clubs at Home

With COVID-19 impacting families all around the world, many parents have suddenly found themselves in the role of becoming reluctant homeschoolers. Myself included! I suddenly have to teach my kindergartener daily while also providing enrichment activities for my toddler. Since my children are so young, I have found that the best format is to break up the day in chunks allowing for periods of core-learning time (math, science, language arts, reading, and social studies) broken up with free-time, outside play, and extra-curricular fun activities. Those extra activities are perfect times to introduce after school clubs in a home setting. It’s the perfect opportunity to sit with your children and brainstorm where their interests lie and find a club that appeals to them. My five year old has expressed interest in Hawaiian club after watching Moana – which thankfully was featured on our site a few years ago! You can bet I’ll be pulling ideas from that theme!

Please have fun exploring all our ready to implement club ideas on this site here. Watch out for more content coming soon. If there’s any specific clubs you would like to see featured, please comment below! At the request of readers I will be adding an anime club and more unisex literature based clubs.

Ceramics Club

ceramicsFor creative youngsters Ceramics Club is sure to be a hit! I have found that girls and boys alike tend to enjoy the hands-on aspect of this club!

Club Planning Pro-Tip: With a club like Ceramics Club, things can get pretty pricey. This is where getting creative comes in handy! If you are hosting a 4-6 week club, plan to have one to two big projects and fill in other hands-on projects that offer a similar type of sensory experiences!

Club main project:

WEEK 1: Purchase Clay. Crayola model magic is perfect for use in the elementary school or home setting as it does not need to be baked. Foster creativity encouraging children to sculpt their favorite animal figurines, bowls, cups, etc. Allow to dry.

Here’s a great video that provides a great visual guide to the pinch method of creating with clay.

WEEK 2: Have each child paint their clay creation. Show children images of historical pieces of clay from different cultures for ideas and have them create a piece unique to them.

WEEK 3: Host an art gallery for each child to display their work and invite family members and other club participants to check it out!

Filler week activity ideas:

Play with modeling clay, floam, or playdoh.

Make homemade play dough or salt dough.

Teach fun history facts about ancient pottery.



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