Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Week Done and Another on the Way!

Getting to know one another - learning about each other - and learning about a few dinosaurs.  The first week of camp has come and gone; and looking forward to the next one starting tomorrow!  Music has been great for the group as a whole and the adults are enjoying it just as much.  The young campers are learning the rhythm of music while interacting with the older campers.  The older campers are learning to interact with the little ones while helping them enjoy the music and dancing together. 

The older campers designed their own t-shirts and have moved dinosaur eggs from one place to another.  The younger campers are learning to expand their vocabulary, play with their parents, and just have overall fun with language.

And we have all learned to talk to each other - isn't that what it's all about Summer Fun with Listening and Language!

This coming week looks even better with all of us becoming scientist and looking at the bones of long ago!  I can't wait to go excavating for bones, I can't wait to untie all the knots of dinosaurs standing together and I can't wait to go listen and talk some more!! Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Fun! You bet!!

Suffice it to say - camp rocks! Or should I say camp roars and quacks!!  I am soooo tired and having a grand time.  I know our campers are having the same great time - right now - let's just share a few pictures.

This is just a small taste of listening and language with dinos and ducks! Right now I need sleep and so much more this week!  Come back and see how much fun we can have.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ideas for some Fun

Tomorrow is the big day! Can you tell I'm excited?  I don't do countdowns, but this one I will, because I will be just like a little kid and not be able to sleep tonight!

Let's talk about a couple of activities that will be happening at Summer Fun Camp: Listening and Language.  There will be a group of little campers, ages 2-4 years old.  They will have fun with Quack, Splash, and Pop!  You can do this easily at home.  The focus will be with little yellow ducks; you can use a variety of stuffed animals, taking care there is a distinct animal sound for each.  We plan on going out in the playground area, made up of dirt, tires, and various small mounds or hills.  The adult will hide ducklings while the little ones are busy in a play area.  Then while they are playing, an adult will point to their ear and say....'Listen, I hear that! Do you hear something?'  Another adult will make the 'Quack, quack! sound'  'Let's go find them!' and the hunt begins. Great hide and seek for those little ones just beginning to seek out items they can just barely see.  If you have a variety of animals; not to big and not to small, you can do the same in your backyard.  After finding each one, have the little one imitate the animal sound and respond with, 'Yes, that's right and duck says 'quack, quack!' 'oh, listen, I hear another one!' and so it goes.......

Our junior and master travelers will be seeking out the long, lost dinosaurs - you know the ones we are always curious about and even more for our children.  One of the activities you can share with younger and older children are names and features of dinosaurs in their hiding activity.  Use modifiers of nouns to talk about different groups of dinosaurs, some dinos, most dinos, another dino, either dino...., or use adjectives to have them find specific dinosaurs.  'I saw one in the yard that has a spiky tail with jagged plates on its back.'  'Did you see the one with the bumpy skin and sharp teeth?' You can also work on past tense in questioning; 'Should we push the wheel barrel to pick up the huge T-rex?' One child may answer, 'I pushed it yesterday to find the food for the dinosaurs!' yeah! 

You can do all this and more while having some summer fun in your backyard!  Wow, look what Listening and Language can do!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here We Go!! Life is Here to Enjoy!!

Life is Here to Enjoy         ~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
What a concept! Such a simple quotation and such a simple mantra and we don't do it very often; but in the next two weeks, my coworkers and I are going to have a great deal to enjoy!  
Six days and Summer Day Camp-Listening and Language is happening!  So exciting!  
Here's just a little taste of the activities:
The 'Little Travelers' will be singing, listening to rhythms and durations, moving with the sounds, and playing an instrument; cooking – sharing the fun with the older campers in putting together their snacks; Ducks and playing in the water (buckets of water); Splash with other animals and playing in the water (buckets of water); Pop with bubbles and balloons.  The 'Little Travelers' will be doing this with the guidance of a parent.  Woo hoo! That's only the first week!

The 'Junior and Master Travelers' will also be singing, dancing, and cooking.  They will be Dinosaur excavating; discussing Dinosaurs and their Fun, Dinosaur Games! Generally become Dinosaur Experts!  
The older campers, or 'travelers', will have partners; and some of the partners are siblings.  They will be enjoying activities that help them understand each others actions and feelings.  Discussion within a game among the siblings and friends will target behaviors and emotions, so that they learn to listen to each other and understand what is being said along with understanding the emotion that goes with the behavior.  In other words - walking in another man's shoes.  
Overall, summertime and camp 'Here we go!'  
Youth comes but once in a lifetime.         ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
and I get youth for my whole lifetime!  What fun!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let's Talk about the Beach!

It's heating up in the desert! Let's talk about the beach! 
Even if you can't go to the beach, you can have some fun with play and talk.  And in order to play you need some toys.  Any 'dollar store' at this time of year has beach items; bucket with shovel, floaties, squirt guns, and beach balls.  You're all set up to have some fun and create some language!
Bucket and shovel - Dig, dig, and dig some more!  While you're playing with your child; you're talking about digging in the sand.  'Let's dig a hole.  Let's dig a big hole.  Let's dig deep.' 'What's in the sand?' 'What's in the bucket?' You can take some small plastic toys; talk about them/name them/if they make a sound/play with them - then hide them in the dirt or grass(depending on where you are =) ).  Ask your child to find one of the items you hid.  Don't make it too difficult for them to find.  Or take one of those items and hide it under the bucket.  Ask your child what's under the bucket.  If it's an item that makes a sound - make that sound and ask your child 'what do you hear?' and let them name it and see it! Take turns - have them hide one on you!  Have some fun!
Squirt guns - 'Let's go get daddy!' 'Let's go get mommy!' 'Let's go get sister/brother!' Make sure the rest of the family members are on board with this; have them hiding somewhere calling the child's name!  You tell the child 'Listen!  Where are they?' and go find the one you are going to shower with water!
Beach balls - This is inspired by an article I read in Scholastic and loved it so much I wanted to share.
If you have a little one that can bounce on a larger beach ball, with you as the support and guide, talk about 'bounce, bounce, bounce on the ball' or 'roll the ball' and talk about all the colors on the ball.  A little bit older child, you can buy those beach balls that have graphics like bugs, or ocean animals, or dinosaurs.  As you toss the beach ball, say 'find the ladybug', 'show me the starfish', 'where's the purple dinosaur?' and have them take their turn tossing it back to you. 
Mom and Dad - you can have so much fun playing at the beach - go in the backyard - get wet and dirty and have some fun with words and language!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Fun: imitation and the magic of words

Summer time! Summer time! Fun time and Hot time!  If you live in the desert you know exactly what I'm talking about.  As I see in the news - all areas of the states are experiencing a heat wave!
You try to keep up with things to do this summer and not have your young ones out in the heat all day, here are some games to play or sessions to keep them going while cooling off in the house!

The Importance of Imitation and the Magic of Words -
Our children are great mimics and they learn to talk by imitating the sounds they hear, especially from you. They also need to figure out what all those sounds mean, in order for them to do that, they need lots of social interaction, especially from you.  For instance, your child loves to listen to music; whether it be children's singing tapes or the music you share in the car or at home.  Make dancing with them part of the music activity.  They will be looking to you to sing with them and teach them the words.  So their nursery songs like 'Itsy Bitsy Spider', or 'The Wheels on the Bus', or 'BINGO' are all fun with their acting out counterparts - do that with them!  But even more fun is when you are listening to the country, pop, or rock song.  Dance with them!  Show them those low-down beats or bass drums can make you 'see how low you can go' Swoop down and touch the floor!  And when you're not singing, listen to those higher notes and lift your hands high up in the air, 'turn around like you just don't care'.  Or lift up your child to show how high notes can go in the song. 
While we're talking about sounds - include in your listening, imitating time to listen to the sounds around the house and pretend play.  Let's pretend to build that blanket tent in the living room with the nail, hammer, and saw.  Where did onomatopoeias come from? People imitating that sound in words; so, pretend with that bang! bang! bang! while you're putting the blanket over the chairs.  Sst, Sst, Sst, with the saw as you saw the blanket to make it fit around the floor with your saw, and swish, swish, swish with the paint brush to make your tent lovely - like a castle for girls - or manly - like the barricade for boys.

Whatever the case, make it up!  'Pretend' for children helps them to practice real-life skills with imaginative fun and sounds turning to words, so let the abstract sounds turn into concrete meanings. Go ahead! Go have some fun!