Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer School-Age Activity #2: Daytime Pajama Party

I have to admit, as much as I love my babies and toddlers, there is a very special place in my heart for school-age kids, and for the many possible programs for their age group! This week's activity was a Daytime Pajama Party. I expected more walk-in kids, but between the crazy weather over the weekend and July 4th travel plans, I wound up with only two walk-ins, and the difference was made up by 21 kids from a neighborhood camp program.

The first activity was to decorate our own slipper socks. I shopped at Dollar Tree and bought up a huge supply of their kid-sized socks. I also bought 3-D paint at Michael's. The idea was for the kids to lightly decorate the bottoms of their socks with the paint, to make them resistant to slipping and sliding. Here is a step by step list of how I set things up.

First, I pulled out some tables and set them up in an L shape. I put the little paint bottles at the corners of the tables and then laid out pieces of card stock at equal intervals down the table, so that it would be clear where each child's "station" was supposed to be. At each station, I placed a pair of socks and a crayon, and I told the kids to first write their names on their cards using the crayons. I also told them to do everything on their card - not on their clothes, not on the table, not anywhere but on their socks and their card.

They were given free reign to paint their socks, but I did try to emphasize that  this was not a major painting project, and that small dots, dashes, and squiggles were the name of the game. I told the kids they didn't want "soggy socks" and the camp counselors helped out a lot by reminding the kids of that phrase throughout the activity. I really wanted the painting to take a very short time, but things kind of got away from me, and the smaller kids took a lot longer to finish than I expected.

The second half of the program was meant to be a short Pixar film and some popcorn, but the counselors told me they needed to leave earlier than expected, so I wound up showing Night and Day (the short featured on the Toy Story 3 DVD) as they finished painting and cleaning up their stations. We decided to have the kids leave their socks here at the library to dry, and they will pick  them up when they come back in two weeks (except for the two kids who came with their nanny - they took theirs home, card stock and all.)

I was impressed by how little mess the kids made, and the socks came out really cute! I would have liked to have a little more control over the way things transitioned overall, but even without the smooth transitions, the kids had a lot of fun, and the counselors thanked me several times for having them.

Next week's school-age program is playing Wii games, so I won't post about that, but check back for future posts about Star Wars origami and Angry Birds in late July/early August.

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