Saturday, July 26, 2008

Return of the S'mores !!

As if we needed an excuse to serve smores again, the sticky gooey treat fit right in to our 'Let's Go Camping' theme from this week. Everyone Loves S'mores. This time around (we enjoyed s'mores last week, for the Ooey Gooey theme), the children had special requests for their own s'more: some did not want to include the chocolate, some wanted to eat theirs 'raw' (not microwaved), and some preferred the classic recipe.

We talked about camping throughout the week, including what animals one might see, and supplies to take along. The children built a tent in the block area, complete with a pulley system (teachers helped) to raise and lower the tent entrance. The children also enjoyed building pretend campfires next to the tent site, using building blocks for the firewood, and colored tissue paper for the flame effect. Of course, we talked about fire safety, and camping safety in general, and why you shouldn't build your fire INSIDE your tent, as the children attempted to do.

The campers used many natural materials to make artwork throughout the week, including cork sculptures, wooden stick collages, and natural clay sculptures (with wooden pieces). We read books about forest animals, and a few about insects, which you are sure to encounter on camping trips. Many of these stories were read as we sat around our pretend campfire.

While we spent time talking about the camping experience, the campers were expressing much interest in another subject: the human body. They wanted to read books about germs and boo boos. We read about why germs aren't for sharing, hygiene, different types of injuries (scrapes, sprains, rashes, burns etc), as well as a book entirely about scabs. The campers were asking many great questions, and several of the campers have parents in the health care industry, and seemed to have acquired much of the knowledge their parents possess, and were helpful in answering some of the questions.

The flexibility of our camp's approach to curricula and weekly themes allowed for us to address these natural interests of the children, while still sticking to our 'main theme.' Listening, responding, and feeding into their expressed interests is a wonderful experience. and you can really sense the campers' enthusiasm with such an approach.

Next week is our Splish Splash theme, where we will talk about water, water, everywhere, including water exploration, science experiments, and of course, cold drinks for the thirsty children (we hydrate many times throughout the day). Enjoy these photos below from our week!!