KIDS ARE THE TEACHERS–Teaching Time-- I like to assign each child a time when they can teach us something–anything. This started when one of my grandsons in the third grade had just learned about Jackson Pollock. He asked if we could do a Jackson Pollock painting at camp, like they did at school. I decided if he loved doing it and knew what project he wanted us to do, then he ought to be in charge of it. It worked out great. He told me what supplies we would need: poster paints, big pieces of paper, brushes, and old shirts to wear backwards. During Grandma’s Camp, he got out all of the supplies and took us outside for the demonstration of throwing and splashing paint onto the paper. The kids loved it and so did I.
They bring the materials needed for their class, and they do the instructing. These Teaching Times have worked out great. It also gives them a chance to be front and center, and help with their communication and teaching skills. These moments always turn into fun memories. Lessons from that age will never be repeated; the next year the child is older. I cherish each paint splattering, star-gazing, scorpion hunt moment.
THINGS MY GRANDCHILDREN HAVE DONE
- Star gazing at night with a telescope, and pointing out some constellations.
Rocks turned into Fish. Each child gathered a few rocks about the size of a walnut–any shape. Then they painted the rocks and put stripes or half blue, half yellow. Next they put eyes on them (small google eyes) and feathers for fins and tails, and they had the most stunning collection of fish ever to be found in a reef.
Picasso. Draw a picture of a face or person, and then cut it up and paste it back together placing parts of the picture in different places.
What bugs are good for your garden? (My little bug-lover taught this one. About 20 mintues later two of the kids came to get me and cried “help.” He had a bug encyclopedia and was showing them all the bugs that are good. In his eyes every bug is good even grasshoppers and especially scorpions, so he was droning on and on until the kids were very bored. This is one of my favorite memories, because it is so like him. He has always wanted to be a bug doctor–not an entomologist; he wants to help the bugs.)
- Scorpion Hunt. We live on the desert, so one of the activities for Dr. Bug Guy was to go on a scorpion hunt. The girls absolutely refused. So he just took the boys, giving them details of each part of the scorpion and how cool they are. This little guy knows all about scorpions and how to be careful around them. (Scorpions in our area are very small and are not dangerous. They will sting you, but the sting is not dangerous.) By the way, they did find a scorpion but no one was allowed to kill it, as the Bug Doctor made sure it was put back where it was found!
- Make Snitch out of Ferrero and Rocher chocolates. Add feathers and you have a Golden Snitch!
- These are Foam Visors that can be purchased at any craft store. The kids had foam shapes and other supplies to glue onto the visor and make it their very own.
Playing a simple tune using musical desk bells. These bells were purchased from Lakeshore Learning There are some miniature desk bells on Magic Cabin. I’m not sure how true the sound is, but it is a great website for kid activity items.
Pollock Art. We went outside. Each child had a large poster board, acrylic paints and brushes, and they wore an old shirt backwards. Then the young artist whose teaching time this was, demonstrated how to paint like Pollock. The kids had a ball with this.
The first Harry Potter Camp, one of my grandsons brought a card game of Quidditch to the kids. The second time, my oldest grandson, age 20, set up a game with the three balls and hoops, and the kids picked branches for brooms.