Friday, June 10, 2016

Under the Sea - Teacher Lisa & Teacher Candice

Our second week of camp took place under the sea. When children walked into the classroom, one of the first things they saw was the texture table filled with blue-green rice, sea-life confetti, small ocean animals, shovels, buckets and windmills.

One water tub held water and large sea animals while another had sand and sand toys. The latter was tucked under the loft, behind a fish shower curtain - sort of like being in an aquarium!

There was slime out on the light table with acrylic sea animals which were fun to squish into the blue-green background, rendering some quite camouflaged! 

One of our other favorite things to do with slime is blow bubbles!

There was a fishing game out on one table and the children could also fish out of the rocking boat on the carpet.

The loft was decorated with jellyfish (thanks to a very generous mom who made them for a birthday party and then gave them to us). Some of the children immediately decorated it further by hanging the grass skirts and leis that were out for dress-up.

There were several sea captains expertly steering their ships through rough waters. We took a trip to Seattle and another one to Africa! The children enjoyed being in the loft all week long.

There were a variety of ocean puzzles for children to choose from, including a rather challenging jigsaw puzzle. Once we helped with the border, the children completed the inside. They put it together every single day!

The play dough table held supplies for mermaids (or whatever the children wanted to use them for).

Our "Help Yourself" area had some "oceany" collage materials available, and the children know that they can always go to the shelves for anything they want to use in their creations.

There were paintbrushes and stamps at the easels that the children could use if they wished.

We did a 2-step art project Tuesday and Wednesday. Children water colored a piece of paper using blue, and/or green watercolor and then sprinkled salt over it before setting it aside to dry. The next day they stamped fish shadows.

We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the texture of sand on Thursday with our seascape project. The combination of ingredients we used made a thick paste that was gritty. Our mixture included flour, sand, water, salt and baking powder. We painted a piece of cardboard with this sand combination and laid it on thick! Then our parent helper stuck it into the microwave for 1-1.5 minutes and when it came out the sand had puffed up. There were a few different observations of what everyone thought it looked like, one said they looked like BIG sand dunes and another thought they looked like mountains. Then using shells “like you find at the beach,” we glued them in to our sandscapes! Some of us used patterns and were strategic about where we placed our shells and others just went for a specific amount or texture! We were very observant about the different shapes and styles of shells too, one of us even found a “unicorn’s horn.”

On Friday everyone made an "ocean in a bottle". They mixed water and blue watercolor together, added shells and glitter, and then topped it off with baby oil. Once their lid was taped tightly to the top, they decorated their bottles with stickers.

During our story times, we practiced learning each others' names and sang "Slippery Fish." Ask your child to tell you about the animals that gobbled each other up in this song! We read Rainbow Fish and then a rainbow fish puppet swam around and landed on all of our heads (another name game). We also danced to a silly song about fish who shampooed their hair and went for bike rides! Ask your child to tell you if they had a favorite story this week.

Our snacks this week included string cheese cut to look like octopuses (the children thought they also looked like jellyfish or squid) with goldfish, shark's teeth (white cheddar cheese cut in triangles), dried seaweed, graham cracker aquariums (crackers with blue frosting) with a fish, an eel, and bubbles (cheerios) and finally on Friday we ate fishing poles (pretzels) with worms or fish dangling from them.

The children enjoyed our car wash so much last week that we decided to have an ocean for them to ride through this week. It was a popular activity!

We took some beach balls outside as well.

Along with all of the "Under the Sea" themed toys and activities there were also favorite toys like Legos, blocks and other builders available all week. It was great to see children from different classrooms playing and laughing together!

And while she's not a sea creature, sweet Louise got lots of love and attention all week long.

We hope your children enjoyed camp! Have a WONDERFUL summer!

Teachers Lisa, Candice and Jennifer