Tag: schools clubs

The Psychological benefits of After School Clubs

Providing a safe place for children to go after school is so important and parents want to know that their kids are not only safe and well cared for physically but emotionally as well. Providing an After School Club Program can be beneficial in many ways. Continue reading “The Psychological benefits of After School Clubs”

Cooking Club In After School Setting

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Cooking Club is a very popular after school club choice. Let’s be frank, if eating food is involved children will suddenly become more interested! But Cooking Club is a choice, not without its complications such as:

1) Many child care centers have limited kitchen access or only have access to a microwave/refrigerator which makes it difficult to “cook” any food.

2) Safety can become a concern with hot surfaces & knives. Using plastic utensils and active supervision is crucial

3) Cooking Club can easily become junk food club. Try to balance by offering a good mix of treats and healthy options! Continue reading “Cooking Club In After School Setting”

Club Penguin Club

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.

Continue reading “Club Penguin Club”

Our Incredible Earth Club

The 40th Anniversary of Earth Day is fast approaching on April 22, 2010. What better time is there to lead an Eco-Friendly Club? You have quite an opportunity here to build children’s awareness of the importance of taking care of our friend the Earth which we all call home and how vital it is that we take care of it!

Week 1: Start a Recycling Project and have a Clean up the Campus Day

Take time to explain what recycling is (re-using materials rather than throwing them away in a landfill) and what materials can and cannot be recycled (aluminum, glass, plastic, etc.) Prior to starting your project find a local recycling center that will reimburse you for any recycled materials you bring in and what items they take. Give the children gloves & bags to help clean up the campus. Sort recyclables into the recycling bins you have provided. Another special bonus is that once you have completed your recycling project your group will have earned a little extra spending $money$. You can have the children create a goal for something they would like to obtain for your center such as an outdoor toy or game or have them help choose a charity to donate the funds to. TIP: Large sturdy Rubbermaid containers or trash cans can be used/labeled as your recycling bins.

Week 2: Craft Activity ~ Grocery Bags for Earth Day

Something I have done with the children for the past several years is to have the children participate in making Grocery Bags for Earth Day. The purpose is two-fold. 1) To promote Earth Day Awareness to the local community. 2) To have to children create a usable craft with a message that makes them feel like they are contributing to taking care of the Earth. A few days before Earth Day you can ask a manager at a local grocery store to “borrow” grocery bags. After the children have completed their designs you can return them and ask that they be distributed on Earth Day. TIP: Make sure children do not include any personal information/names on their bags since they will be distributed at a local grocery store.

You can visit http://www.earthdaybags.org/ for more information about to get an Earth Day grocery bags program started at your school/program.

Week 3: Plant a Vegetable Garden

Even if you don’t have a lot of space planting a vegetable garden is still possible and can be a very rewarding experience for children. It also teaches them to appreciate nature from all stages: seed to vegetable.

Some veggies you can include in small planter boxes include: green onions, radishes, tomatoes (such as small fry or patio), and green beans.

1)  Help the children create colorful labels for your veggies.

2) Use a nutrient rich soil such as Miracle Grow to plant your seeds. Make sure to provide adequate soil and space for the seeds.

3) Assign a watering schedule. It is very easy for kids to over water or under water the plants, assigning a schedule and letting the kids know the importance of sticking to it (to keep plants healthy and growing) is essential.

4) Make sure to place your planters in an area with at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Week 4: Solar Pizza Ovens and Our Incredible Earth Awards:

1) This week is all about celebrating the journey the children have made in Incredible Earth Club. You can challenge them to start thinking of ways they can conserve and take care of the Earth in their daily lives. For instance when using paper to draw, using both sides of the paper and not wasting it or placing objects in a recycling bin instead of the trash. Help them to know that even the little things they do can make a difference.

2) You can continue your celebration by warming up a yummy treat in your own homemade solar pizza oven. Cooking foods in it is not recommended but heating up pre-made cookies using the suns rays can feel like eating a freshly baked cookie from the oven!

3) As far as a giveaway or prize for the participants of Our Incredible Earth Club I am inclined to stay away from paper rewards as it doesn’t really keep in theme of the club nor do justice to it. But I have used a fun giveaway made from recycled newspapers that the children just love called ~ SMENCILS! They are scented pencils, and the children really enjoy them.

Taking care of our Earth and environment around us is so vital. If we can help explain that to our youth in a fun and exciting way I think it could do wonders! Do you have any ideas about teaching Eco-friendly ideas to our youth today? Please share, I am eager to hear your ideas.

Fun with Fancy Nancy Club

A colleague of mine recently introduced me to the Fancy Nancy series, by Jane O’Connor. The books are very well written and beautifully illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. The details on each of the pages are brilliant! They really capture the essence of what Fancy Nancy is all about. I also truly appreciate how Jane has incorporated learning and enhancing children’s vocabulary into something that is fun and exciting. Fun with Fancy Nancy Club is a club that can be fun, fulfilling, and educational all at the same time.

Week 1-Make your own Fancy Fabric Hair ribbons

Introduce the group to Fancy Nancy by reading  her  first book entitled, Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor

Fancy Fabric Hair ribbons

Materials needed:

  • Fun, yet sturdy fabrics
  • sparkly pony beads
  • hair ties
  • fabric cutter
  • yard stick

Directions:

1) First have an adult use the fabric cutter and yard stick to cut equal sized strips (~ 1/2 in wide. and 6 in. long)

2) Next, have the children choose fabric strips and tie simple knots to create their hair ties. Every third or fourth tie they can add a bead to make it look more fancy if they so desire. The more strips they choose, the thicker and fuller their hair tie will become.

Week 2- Fancy Decoupage Trinket Boxes

Decoupage is a fancy way of saying the art of decorating with colored paper cut-outs, paint, & glitter. I think children will truly enjoy creating their own decoupage boxes

Expected Project Time: 45 minutes-1 hour

Materials Needed:

  • Small boxes (1 per child)- small takeout boxes or margarine tubs would work well if you are on a $$, or you can purchases small cardboard boxes at a local craft store.
  • White (or Clear) school  glue & water
  • Plastic bowls
  • Paintbrushes
  • Magazines, Color Catalogs, & Newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Glitter Glue
  • Rhinestones
Side of Box
Side of Box

Directions:

1)  Spread out magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. Encourage children to cut out shapes and objects that interest them.

2)  Mix 1 part glue to 1 1/2  parts water in each plastic bowl to prepare a glue wash. Have children “paint-on” their cutouts in their desired pattern. TIP: Use only interior pages from the magazines, not covers as they will be too thick and won’t stick/lay flat against to boxes. The thinner the pages, the better ~ the more polished outcome there will be!

Top of Box
Top of Box

3) Allow the boxes to dry for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime you can check out FancyNancyBooks.com for some adorable printables the children can use while they are waiting. Use rhinestones & glitter glue to give their boxes an extra special fancy touch – Voila! Fancy Decoupage trinket boxes to hold all of their fancy objects! TIP: If boxes are still too wet after 10-15 minutes, skip this step and save it for the following day/week when the group next meets.

Week 3: Fancy Nancy Vocabulary Challenge

You can start this session by reading Fancy Nancy’s Favorite Fancy Words, by Jane O’Connor. Then ,depending on the ages of children in the group you can have 2 different types of challenges or use a combination of both. Have small prizes on hand for everyone who participates in the challenge. Prize Ideas: Boa Pens, Rhinestone Rings, Glittery playdoh.

Ages 9-12: Fancy Word Spelling Bee

Gather a list of fancy words (ex. accesories, boas, parasol, etc.) and challenge children to take turns spelling the words.

Ages 5-9: Fancy Nancy Vocabulary Challenge

Using the list of fancy words you have compiled have the children guess what the definitions of each word are.

Week 4: Special Event: Fancy Nancy Tea Party & Dress Up Day

This week encourage the children to dress up for the tea party and wear pearls, fancy dresses, costume jewelry, tiaras, gloves, boas, etc. One of most festive parts of a tea party is serving dainty and delicate foods, most of them being “mini” versions of their normal selves. You can serve scones and tea sandwiches (sandwiches with filling such as egg salad, chicken salad or cucumber/cream cheese, crusts cut off, cut into 4 triangular shaped pieces), small fruits & veggies and tea of course.

You can also encourage the children to discuss their club experience ~ what did they learn? What was their favorite part of the club?

For more about information about Fancy Nancy, visit FancyNancybooks.com

Looking for more club ideas? Check the club themes page for some more exciting themed-units!

Camping Club

Kids of all ages really enjoy hands on experiences and adventures. What could be more adventurous than camping? Starting an After School Camping Club with your kids can be fun, easy and educational too!

Ages recommended: 5-12

Week 1: Design First Aid Kits-

Materials needed:

Cotton balls, band aids, 1 pair of non-latex gloves per child, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, q-tips, gauze, permament markers, & washed out plastic margarine tubs.

Directions:

Explain to the children the importance of carrying a first aid kit while Camping. Have each child decorate their own first aid kit and stuff them with all the first aid supplies.

Week 2: Make Trail Mix

Teach the children about what trail mix is and why it is a popular snack for camping. Trail Mix is a combination of dried fruit, grains, nuts, and sometimes 1 or two sweet items. It is often used as a healthy well-balanced snack for camping and hiking because it’s lightweight, nonperishable, & nutritious. It gives a quick energy boost of carbohydrates such as dried fruit or granola, and sustained (takes longer to burn off) energy from nuts. **Be careful with nuts here, many children have severe allergies to tree nuts or peanuts, be sure to make sure your children do not have nut allergies or that your school is a nut free zone.

Let the children have fun mixing & matching the various components of their trail mix. Have a vote, and choose the most popular from each category:

Dried fruits: pineapples, cranberries, raisins, apricots, apples, strawberries or blueberries, or bananas

Grain: Wheat, Corn or Rice Chex, Multi-grain cheerios, or Granola

Nuts: Peanuts, Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Cashews

Sweet: chocolate chips, yogurt chips, chocolate covered raisins, M&M’s

Week 3: Make a Camping Scene Craft and Campfire Story Writing

Craft time!!! Try making this  fun camping scene craft from Oriental Trading Company. Announce the “Campout!” for next week and allow kids to write campfire stories if they wish!

Week 4: Campout!

Make a pretend campfire rolled up brown construction paper logs & tissue paper flames. Ask in advance to see if any staff or parent if they have a tent they would be willing to let you borrow. If this is not possible, you can use sheets to cover tables to make a “tent.” Ideally try to find a grassy patch to host your campout, otherwise indoors is ok as well. Have the children bring flashlights, sleeping bags, and first aid kits and munch on the trail mix that they made. Invite the children to share the campfire stories they have written with the group. Play a few fun camping games such as “I Spy” or “Going on a Camping Trip” or sing a song the Bear Hunt Song.

Looking for more club ideas? Check the club themes page for some more exciting themed-units!

Harry Potter Club

The Harry Potter series has become very popular with my older students aged 9-12. It is great to see them get excited about reading. Here is a fun way to get kids involved in an after school club inspired by Harry Potter

Week 1- Make your own wizard wand

Materials needed:

  • 9 x 12 white, brown, tan, and grey construction paper
  • Glue gun (adult use only)
  • Brown and black tempera paint
  • Gold and silver felt pens
  • Scotch Tape

Directions:

1)  Have the children choose their wand color. Next have the children roll wands hot dog style, so that one end is wider than the other, and use scotch tape to hold it together.

2) Next a staff person will glue their edges shut, and children can choose to paint their wands with brown or black paint.

3) Allow wands to dry a few minutes and add hot glue “veins.” Once these are dry the children can use gold or silver felt pens to color their “veins.” Once completed encourage the children to name their wands and write a short story about the details of their wand.

Week 2- Hogwarts House Ties

Materials Needed: hole punch, yarn, markers, scissors, and template from Activity Village.

Directions:

Hogwarts has four houses: Gryffindor (red and gold), Hufflepuff (yellow and black), Ravenclaw (blue and bronze), and Slytherin (green and silver). Have the children choose the house they most identify with and create their own House ties.

Week 3: Bertie Bott’s Jellybean Taste Off

Jelly Belly used to carry the Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans, as you saw in the Harry Potter movies. These have been discontinued. You can however still get a similar product called “Beanboozled” with flavors such as canned dog food, rotten eggs, pencil shavings, and skunk spray. Have a challenge to see which jelly beans kids will eat and give awards for everyone who tried the “Every Flavored Beans”

Week 4: Have a Harry Potter Read-a-thon and Pajama Day

Encourage everyone to bring their favorite Harry Potter book; if possible have a few available for kids who don’t own the books. Serve popcorn and have kids brings their pj’s, blankets, & pillows and have a read-a-thon!



Looking for more club ideas? Check the club themes page for some more exciting themed-units!

 

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