Author: Marie

We Give Books: Resource for Free Children’s Books Online

I have recently stumbled upon a wonderful resource for children’s books online called “We Give Books,” a relatively new digital initiative that allows anyone with internet access the ability to read a large, quality selection of children’s book titles. Check out the video below to find out more.

 

If you have access to a computer and the internet at your program this an amazing source of reading material for students. They have many featured titles for summer right now. My favorite read so far — Froggy Goes to Hawaii by Jonathan London! Hurry on over and help prevent summer learning loss.

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All things Disney Club

Summer time, summer time, M-O-U-S-E. Ok, so I just made that up. But what could be a better time to host a Disney Club than in the summer time. The possibilities are endless, and with the vast number of characters children are bound to have a disney character (or two or twenty!) that they love. Here’s some ideas to get started with your very own Disney Club!

Fuse Beads inspired by ‘A Bug’s Life’

Materials: Fuse Beads, Fuse Bead Boards, Ironing Paper, masking tape, Iron

Let the kids think of their favorite bugs and design them with fuse beads. Kids can make caterpillars, butterflies, bees, ladybugs, dragonflies, and more.

Fuse Bead Tips and Tricks (because I have been through my share of mishaps in the past!):

1) Use masking tape to make of a small square on the floor around the iron. Instruct the children to stay out of the taped area as it is “very hot”

2) Use one brand of fuse bead boards and beads ~ if you try to mix and match they may not iron properly or fit into the boards.

3) Allow plenty of time for this project ~ kids can get very involved in fuse bead craft for 45 minutes or more. Be sure to give plenty of advanced warning for the end of project time.

4) Have kids raise their hands when they have finished their project and have an adult bring it to the ironing area. This will help prevent kids from accidentally dropping their projects.

5) Be careful not to turn the iron on too high as this will melt their projects or too low or the project may fall apart. I find a medium-high setting works the best.

6) Make sure to place ironing paper on top of fuse beads before ironing and make sure to iron both sides.

BONUS ACTIVITY – If you would like to continue the Bug’s Life theme you can make ‘buggy edible dirt cups’ with gummy bugs/worms, pudding, and crushed oreos. Gross looking, yumminess.

Mickey or Minnie Mouse Headband Kits

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This is a fabulous etsy find. You can purchase ready made craft kits or perhaps you may be inspired to create your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other ideas

Disney dress up day and parade

Disney coloring sheets 

Disney trivia games- You can look up you own fun facts online or find various disney trivia board/dvd games.

Hidden Mickey Scavenger Hunt – cut up tiny mickey ears and hide them for a Disney inspired game of hide and seek. (Fun fact: Did you know there are mickey ears hidden inside Disneyland? Find out more about them here.)

Baking Club

Baking Club in and after-school setting? Crazy right? Well if you have access to a microwave and a small toaster oven it can be done! And don’t think baking club = edible baked goods. It can be so much more. It also will add that extra special something to keep children excited. And remember — this club will require adult supervision at all times.

1) Pop Art Boards

These fun boards can be found at S&S Worldwide. The boards start out flat.  Then children color them with markers and hand them to an adult. The adult then places it in the toaster oven for a short time and poof! The board now looks raised up — like popcorn.

2) Shrink Art

Also known as shrinky-dinks! Shrink art can be colored with permanent markers without much work. If you’d like to be extra fancy you can sand them down a bit, trace black and white clip art images with black sharpies, and color them with colored pencils. This helps makes the craft appealing to younger and older grades and you can vary the difficulty level. Once the children complete their project the adult will place them in the toaster oven and watch them shrink.

3) Muffin in a Mug

Now this one is super fun. And yes it is edible. Let the children know in advance to bring in a coffee mug from home. You can even allow a little sharing time for the children to share special words about their mug. Then make sure to have some coloring sheets or other alternative activity handy so you can call up the children one a time to mix their ingredients. Then the adult will place their mixture in the microwave and two minutes later they will have a muffin!

Lego Club

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Ahh… Legos. Children love legos! Hosting a Lego Club can be a win-win situation for children, staff, and parents alike. They bust boredom, keep children engaged, encourage imagination, and reinforce tactile and building skills. The activity possibilities are endless. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

1) Lego Quest – This was an awesome Pinterest find. Check out the resource blog page here.

What is Lego Quest?

Lego Quest is a non-competitive, creative building challenge resource for LEGO loving kids.

When can you use Lego Quest?

It works great outdoors or indoors and doesn’t require too much space. Just lots of legos. Be sure to sort them into several bins so small groups can work with them.

2) Candy Lego Building – Children will enjoy building with candy blocks and then when they’re all done you can pack them up in a zippie bag for them to take home and play with (or eat!) later.

3) Design a Lego Person

Now this activity is just precious. All you have to do is provide a blank lego person template such as this one, and glue, markers, construction paper, and scissors, and let the children go to town. They can design their very own lego person. You’ll be delightfully surprised at their creativity. I’ve seen ‘Mini-Me’ Lego People, Darth Vader Lego People, and even Rapunzel. The sky’s the limit.

Enjoy!

Tape Inspired Activities

Yes I said tape! For some reason I’ve found kids love tape. Perhaps it’s the tactile feel of it? Or maybe the fact that it differs from paper? Whatever it is kids love it. Tape activities are perfect for summer time when the sun may be so scorching outside that kids just feel like spending a little time indoors.

 

 

 

Duct Tape Flowersducttapeflowers

Check out this amazing tutorial on from ucreatewithkids.com

For Ages 6 and Up

 

And the fun doesn’t stop there. You can make all kinds of projects with colorful duct tape, including Hair clips, belts, wallets, bookmarks, water bottle covers, and more.

Masking Tape Maze!

For Ages 7 and Up

Supplies needed: A carpet, masking tape, paper & pen, and at least 4 participants (can be done with two, but as with most board games, it’s more fun with four.)

1) Have the kids prepare a square grid on the ground with the masking tape. It can be 4 squares by 4 squares or higher, 8 squares by 8 squares. The more squares, the harder the game.

2) Designate one person to be the “Maze Master”. You will give this person the pen & paper and they will chart out a path through the maze. Sometimes it’s helpful to have this person be an adult or older child at first.

3) Line everyone up at the starting line. Then, instruct everyone that this is a quiet game. Nobody may speak. They must try to get through the mazes by stepping in the correct series of boxes according to what the “Maze Master” has planned. If someone steps in the wrong box, they are out. (It’s kind fun if you have some kind of buzzer to ‘buzz’ people out handy. If not clapping works well too.)

4) This is a memory game of sorts. Each participant must try to remember from turn to turn what the correct path is out of the maze. Eventually they will figure out and make it through. Then you can appoint a new Maze Master.

Enjoy!

Marie

Reading Club

Book Clipart ImagesIt’s Book Fair week at our school.  I always love seeing children get excited about reading books.  Adding a reading club to your after school program can help keep children motivated to read.  There are many ways a Reading Club can be added to an After School Program. Here are a few ideas you can try.

1) Plan a Club Theme that is inspired by children’s literature.

A few ideas have been outlined on this site, like Harry Potter Club or Fancy Nancy Club.  Children can enjoy reading and listening to the stories, while also making crafts or playing games that complement them.

2) Plan an Ongoing Reading Club

Set aside time in your daily schedule specifically dedicated to reading.  Younger children can be read to, while older children can read on their own if they wish.  Instruct the children that they will participate in the the club each day for at least 15-20 minutes.  Each time they complete a session they will earn a star on the incentive chart.  After earning a certain number they will earn an incentive.  This is a great way for children and parents to track their progress.

What ideas for leading a reading club do you have? What other ways do you integrate academics into the after-school setting?

I’ve joined Pinterest!

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Decoupage Trinket Box Craft on Pinterest

I may be a little behind on this, but I’ve finally done it.  I’ve joined Pinterest.  It was kind of an exciting process.  First, you have to sign up to be on a waiting list.  Then, you have to be ‘invited’ to join.  I felt it added a mysterious flair to the whole process.

What a great resource this will be for planning after school clubs and activities for children! It’s the ultimate idea-sharing site.  As I browse around, I am eager to share what I find with you.

Inspiration.  It’s a beautiful thing! (And so are all the photos on pinterest.)  And if you’d like to follow my page, click on this link.

 

 

Fun Spring Time Craft Ideas:

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