It’s squishy and white, has a pleasant, clean smell – ah the wonders of shaving cream, I just love it! If ever there was a fun and versatile medium to use for manipulative play its shaving cream. It’s one of those activities that make you want to jump right in with the kids and squish away! As an added bonus, clean-up is a breeze! And you know what? Once you use shaving cream in an activity with the kids they will be asking for you to do it again and again.
So the kids at school have been asking for quite some time now about planning a Club Penguin Club. I’m thinking to myself this is great!! The kids are taking pride and ownership in their after school program. But on the other hand I had no idea what Club Penguin was. It was time to start doing a little investigating to find out what Club Penguin was all about.
I decided the best way to find out what Club Penguin was total immersion so I visited their website at http://www.clubpenguin.com/ and created an account. Club Penguin is a MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) geared towards children aged 6-14. Club Penguin is a fully interactive online community where children can play games and earn coins to buy items for their penguin avatars.
That’s what happened to me on Easter 2007. I was at a Family Easter Party and witnessed a family tradition that intrigued me. We had just finished eating some appetizers when everyone started grabbing some colored Easter eggs (the hard-boiled kind not the plastic variety.) The next thing I knew people were pairing themselves up and challenging their partner to an “Egg War.”
Have you ever read a cooking article in a magazine or book where it tells you to have “everyday pantry items available?” These pantry items can include things such as: salt, pepper, butter, etc. Having a good supply of basics on hand provides the foundation for many delicious recipes. You can apply the same idea to planning after school activities. Having a properly stocked craft cabinet will provide the foundation needed for an abundance of creative & engaging craft activities after school and save you the headache of starting from scratch each time you want to lead a project.
Items to include in your Everyday Craft supply regimen include:
Markers, crayons, colored pencils, oil pastels, pencils, rulers, white glue, glue sticks, craft sticks (regular and jumbo), white 8 x 11 paper, construction paper – assorted colors, google eyes, washable tempera paint, sequins, glitter, paintbrushes, pipe cleaners, pom poms, cotton balls, balloons, feathers, hole punch, paper plates, paper lunch bags, pony beads, thread, yarn, plastic bowls, and a glue gun.
Some other recommended items I find come in handy and are always kept in my bag of tricks include:
Glue dots – Readily available at Oriental Trading Company or Amazon. For those tricky craft projects where glue and glues sticks just won’t quite cut it. Tip: Purchase glue dots that come in sheets rather than rolls as they are easier for children to use and they will waste less of them.
Vinyl table cloths – easy clean up after messy projects
Shaving cream – great for hands on manipulatives and craft projects
Fuse beads – can be used for a variety of craft projects and tied into a number of themed units. They can be purchased through S&S Worldwide or Michaels Craft Stores.
Happy Crafting everyone!
Chances are if you have ever attended, worked in, or had your child attend an after-school program you will find daily activities such as Arts & Crafts, Homework time, inside and outside games, and snack time. These daily activities are designed to provide a safe, stable, and structured environment for children. There are times, however when this daily schedule may become somewhat of a grind leaving center staff and children wanting more. After school clubs are a way to add new life and enthusiasm into the program.
What are after-school clubs?
Clubs are a combination of all the best aspects of an after-school program. They can include games, arts & crafts, learning & special events. Typically they last 4-6 weeks and are planned by After School center staff. They are also designed to fit a certain theme. Your center staff can choose a topic/hobby that they specialize in such as dance or music or you can tap into popular children’s themes.
Example Club Theme & Activities:
Taste of Asia Club
Week 1: Dragon Wands
Week 2: Make Candy Sushi
Week 3: Kung Fu Panda Frames
Week 4: Taste Asian food- Sushi, egg rolls, & Orange Chicken and watch the movie Mulan.