Tag: after school

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

Featured Club: Thinking Skills Club

rubiksHello everyone! I’m always scouring the internet looking for innovative, new club ideas! Well this time, Mitch, from Thinking Skills Club found me.

 

 

On Thinking Skills Club:

“A teacher-led club where students play online games, develop cognitive skills and have fun.”

Participants will play games that help develop their cognitive skills. They can track their progress and earn incentives along the way including a graduation certificate and t-shirt. Incentives encourage participation and allow children to feel ownership in the program.

If you join or start a club in the summer, membership is free. They also have specials for the fall under their members area.

I tested out a problem solving game called “That Gravity Game.” It was both kid-appealing and educational. What child wouldn’t love navigating a mutant marshmallow man around a a maze? The added challenge is – how does gravity come into play. What changes must you make to navigate your marshmallow man to the end of the maze.

This was just a snippet of what Thinking Skills Club has to offer. If your looking for something new and challenging for the children in your program, I recommend checking this club out.

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

 

 

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!

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