Tag: activities

Lego Quest – The Ultimate Lego Club!

legosHave you heard of lego quest? If not I highly suggest you check out this blog: http://legoquestkids.blogspot.com/

Do you have access to legos in your after school program? If so, that’s all you need to host the ultimate lego club! I love the way it challenges children to be creative and really think outside the box when making their creations! I have to admit, I did hear a few moans and groans to start off (They preferred coming up with their own projects at first!) … But once they got into the challenges, it was a hit!!

I do like to offer incentives for attendance, and kept track of points for all people who attended and attempted to create the project of the week!

FREE PRINTABLE: Lego Club Points Tracker

 

Organizing your After School Environment

organizationEvery center is going to have a different set up, and some may be large others much smaller, but one thing ever center needs is organization. Here are my top 5 tips that should be helpful no matter the size of your group!

  1. Have a master binder for staff with page protectors, and print out a daily/weekly/monthly calendar outlining all activities including but not limited to (daily schedules, weekly activity/lesson plans, snack calendars, and clubs.) I will have FREE printables for each of these available soon. Having a master plan book that everyone can access will ensure everyone is on the same page.
  2. Evaluate your space and organize according to noise level. For instance, a book corner, art area, and Homework zone can be in close proximity while a playhouse, board game, dramatic play, toys, or game zone should be grouped further away. Also, color coding activities with stickers or bins can help children to put items away more easily.
  3. Provide a pleasant parent corner, preferably near more quiet activities for parents to grab newsletters, paperwork, and sign their child in and out.
  4. Designate a space for personal belongings and artwork. These items can easily clutter up your space or become a tripping hazard. Defining zones for them will be helpful in creating order in your environment.
  5. Have clearly defined centers with matching bulletin boards. You can keep it simple – perhaps an art board, Activities board, and rules/expectations.

Have fun creating your space! If you ever wish to, send me a photo! I’d love to see your spaces!

 

Marie

Fun Food Crafts that are healthy too!

Children love to manipulate and handle food. This is wonderful as it provides great sensory play and even helps build math skills. And of course they love to eat it too! Here are some fun ideas for food crafts that are healthy. Bonus: Easy clean up and prep make it easy to do these in the after school setting!

Turkey snacks

Angry Birds Bites

Butterfly Snacks

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.

child-and-book

 

 

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?

Summer Learning Loss and Ideas to prevent it

I have been reading several articles lately on the subject of Learning Loss in summer. According to several studies significant learning loss can take place in children during summer or out-of-school months. In a study conducted by Cooper et al [1] it has been found that summer learning loss can be the equivalent of a at least one month of instruction. That number is staggering! So what can us as educators and parents do to help with this statistic? There are many ideas out there that can help combat this problem. Continue reading “Summer Learning Loss and Ideas to prevent it”

Magic Club

Children love learning magic tricks. I can always tell when a new magic trick is being passed around at school because a handful of excited children will all show me the trick on the same day! Why not capture that magic and excitement by offering up a Magic Club?

Here are some ideas:

1) The Bubble Game, from Creative Kids at Home

What child would not want to be encased in a giant bubble? (ok even as an adult I would want to do this.) Really adorable idea!!! And very doable in the after school setting.

Supplies needed: bubble solution, hula hoop, small stool, & hula hoop

 

2) Learn Magic tricks– Here is a link to activity village with some great magic trick videos.

 

3) Magic Messages craft

  • Use the wax crayon to write secret messages on white paper.
  • Use watercolor paint to reveal the secret message ~ like magic!

Supplies needed: clear wax crayons from Easter Egg Kits, white paper, watercolors, paintbrushes.

 

4) Special Event- Have a special visitor “magician” put on a Magic Show or demonstration for the students.

Hope you have a bippity boppity magically teriffic time with your magic club!

 

 

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