Last May in the blog, I wrote a couple of blog posts (check them out here and here) about some easy ways to expand our Kindermusik summer camps into some extended opportunities for learning and fun. I can’t believe it’s May again, but since I’m planning our summer, I thought I’d pass along some of the ideas we’ve come up with in our family this year.
One of the best weeks of my entire parenthood life (and it only gets better with each passing year, the more sepia-toned my memory becomes) was when I did a Zoo Train camp at the studio and combined it with trips to the Hogle Zoo and Tracey Aviary. I think the fact that I was able to make all sorts of connections with my kids between what we were singing and what we were seeing at the zoo appealed to the educator in me. I loved seeing the look on my kids’ faces as they listened to the song of the kookaburra, after just singing about it the day before. Somehow, even before fully understanding the value of being mindful, I was able to capture the gift of being with my kids, just for that moment, as they were right then.
Of course, I don’t want the doing of anything I share here to get in the way of being mindful and present with your kids. That’s part of why I’m passing this along—completing some of the planning for you so that you can keep things as simple as possible. Nor am I suggesting you complete every activity I suggest here—take what you like and make it yours.
Listen to Nighttime Jazz on kuer (90.1 on the FM dial, or there are links here to find online listening options). Steve Williams hosts, every evening from 8 pm to midnight. A drive home from any activity for us includes jazz.
Check out Nicky’s Jazz for Kids—it’s a great CD and/or book and is available at the Salt Lake County library.
Check out the pbskids.org website about Jazz—this kid-centered website talks about the history of jazz, and some fun activities for writing lyrics, checking out common jazz instruments, and exploring patterns and rhythms essential for jazz composition.
Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary is currently on Netflix. Your kids might not want to sit through all ten episodes, but checking out some of the episodes centered on your favorite genres might make for a nice 20 minutes together.
Here’s a cool short movie called the “Silhouettes of Jazz,”—it “outlines the history of traditional jazz music in a virtual walkthrough of a shadow art museum,” and is worth your time!
Of course, you can make some “noodles from scratch.” Here’s the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for homemade noodles or you can get some from the store to use in this delicious, kid-friendly spaghetti recipe from Jamie Oliver.
Prince and Princess Camp:
Check out one of the princess-themed books from the list A Mighty Girl has compiled—a great way for your kids to see that princess don’t always have to dress in pink or have wicked stepmothers.
Do I even need to suggest another viewing of Frozen? Maybe you could go old school with a showing of Pete’s Dragon.
Have a pretend tea party. Or, make some simple sandwiches (pb&j) and cut them into stars or circles for a fun lunch. Homemade ice cream sounds delish, too!
*Introduce your kids to Peter Paul and Mary’s Puff the Magic Dragon, if they don’t know it already. (and try to explain what Mary is wearing and why!)
Play Slap Jack with a deck of cards.
Follow in Lady Diana’s footsteps and do some volunteer service work with your kids. Crossroads Urban Center is always looking for donations. Here are some other ideas.
Finally, watch *footage from the Queen’s 1953 coronation.
If your summer camp wasn’t listed, don’t fret. More coming next week!
*It may be best for you to visit YouTube with your kids, to keep them safe on the Internet.