I promised in the last blog post that I’d put together a list of activities that you might consider using in conjunction with our Kindermusik summer camp programs. Just remember—these are simply ideas to get the juices flowing, not a list to look at on the fridge as a reminder that you’re not a good enough mom if you’re not doing any of it. And, if you’re not coming to camp, (we’ll miss you!) there are lots of great ideas for Summer family fun anyway. Enjoy!
• Go swimming (of course)
• Run through the sprinklers (Remember how much fun you used to have, even before the invention of the Wham-O Slip ‘N Slide Triple Racer? It can be the good, old-fashioned Rainbird sprinkler, it doesn’t really matter to your kids)
• Go to one of the city’s fountains—check out The Gateway Mall; City Creek (water shows run at least every hour on the hour, perhaps more often); and the new Mountain View Park (at 1651 E. Fort Union Blvd.)
• Enjoy a popsicle
• Watch “Finding Nemo” as a family
Up in the Sky:
• Visit the birds at Tracy Aviary
• Attend Sandy City’s Hot Air Balloon Festival (BONUS: it is held August 9-11, which nicely corresponds with the August summer camp)
• Create a rainbow—use paints, crayons or clay—you could even do some fun mixing experiments with colored water
• Learn about rain cloud with this cool (and simple!) cloud demonstration
• Watch “Up.”
Busy Days: The obvious answer here is to go to each of the places we visit during class (the store, the park, to a family gathering). However, you might add a Becky Bailey I Love You Ritual to each of them (as well as include the songs you sing in class while you’re there—YES! I mean sing a song as you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. The person who most deserves your connection is your child—don’t let any embarrassment in front of strangers-who-you’ll-never-see-again dictate if you make a connection with your child or not).
A ritual to consider: Story Hand
Tell the child, “It is story time.” The child will probably think you are going to read a book, but instead, take her hand. Starting with the pinky finger, give this finger a nice massage and say, “This little finger wanted to learn how to ride a two-wheel bicycle.” (The story you will use will be telling will be based on your child’s life. I am using the success story of learning to ride a two-wheeler as an example.) [Or, use something from camp—pick out bananas to buy/play with cousins/feed the ducks] Go to the next finger and give it a nice massage, saying “This finger was a little scared she [or he] may fall off.” Continue to the next finger, saying “But this finger said, ‘I can do it. I just know I can.’” At the index finger, continue with the story by saying, “So I decided to try and try again.” Finally, come to the thumb and with excitement have the thumb say, “Did she [or he] do it? Did she [or he] do it?” Then tuck the thumb into the palm of the child’s hand and say, “No problem. All the fingers knew she [or he] would do it all the time.” –pg. 165, I Love You Rituals, Becky Bailey, Ph.D.
Peek-A-Boo: Ready for more I Love You rituals? That’s the whole theme of this camp! Things you could do to amplify this camp would be to (as mentioned earlier), employ the rituals you learn in class to as many of your daily activities as possible (play peek-a-boo when helping your child get dressed, for instance). Here are some additional thoughts about the importance of these rituals from Becky Bailey:
“Remember your purpose. The goal of the activities is to join with our children. These rituals allow us to rejoice in togetherness, experience each other’s beauty, and delight in the expression of love that we all are. They are not about having your children learn their body parts or which way is up or down. Learning these things are valuable subgoals, but the ultimate goal is to connect. Relax, have fun, giggle, sing, just be yourself—begin to trust that all is well.
“Be fully present with your children.. . .
“Be in the moment. Simply stated, your mind must be clear of clutter. . .
“See yourself and the child as complete, good enough, and totally deserving of this precious interaction.” (p. 39)
• Share the classic Bugs Bunny cartoon “The Rabbit of Seville” with your kids (what did we ever do before Youtube?). (By the way, the clip I’ve linked to is incomplete and child-friendly. However, a user whose user name includes some not-for-kids profanity posted the only entire episode I could find—so it’s there, but search at your own discretion).
• Read Magic Treehouse #41: Moonlight on the Magic Flute together
• Invite the kids to put on a puppet show, re-writing lyrics to favorite songs in order to create a story (maybe re-working your favorite classic children’s tale, such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”)
• Find as many sing-a-story picture books as you can at the library—consider: I Know an Old Lady, The Lady with the Alligator Purse, or How Much is That Doggie in the Window
• Choose a night for Latin American food. Maybe enchiladas from Mexico, an asado from Argentina/Uruguay (just throwing some meat on the grill will do!), or a simple Chilean salad.
• Make a Quetzal Bird or a Day of the Dead mask
• Color some flags of Latin American countries
• Learn some Spanish
• Play “Identify which instruments do you hear” when you’re listening to songs in the car.
Prince and Princess:
• Build a castle out of your favorite building toy (or find some supplies around the house—toilet paper rolls for turrets, ribbons for flags—maybe even with marshmallows and toothpicks!);
• Create a shield or sword or magic wand with poster boar
• So many books to choose from
• Get the neighbor kids together and create an obstacle course, with all the boys and girls getting “knighted” upon successful completion
• Watch The Princess and the Frog (because apart from being the one with the best music, Tiana rocks).
Sound fun? Anything you’d like to add? Tell us in the comments. Maybe you could even get together with the other families in your Kindermusik camp and plan a playdate outside of the Kindermusik studio!