I like to start off any camp experience with a safety angle and for young children it is important to start early. I also think that the exploration of one's neighborhood can unearth so much treasure and knowledge.
(Also- thanks so much for wanting to hang out with us and do this mini camp- just try and make it yr own...change things...adjust..whatever- just think of this as inspiration platform!!!!)
We are going to go on an observation walk and "take in" the neighborhood. We are going to try and look through new eyes and pretend it is our first time ever walking around there. We are going to talk about what we like and what we think about all that we see.
Our lesson today will be practicing our address and phone number and gently talking about emergencies and 911.
You can make a simple worksheet for the home like the above.(tragic sorry)
We will end the day with a simple lesson on red/yellow/green lights and playing "driving in the yard" with a kids car or a box you decorate. I like to set up a little "Safety Street"(colored masking tape and cones and bowls) and talk to the kids about traffic lights and pedestrians(throw as many big words as you can at yr kids this summer!!!!)and rules of the road.
Allow yr child to go around the "street" set-up and then go back around with them and expand the "look both ways" info to include stop lights, signage, and pedestrians. My K/1/2 class last year played safety town for two hours!
*Art for the day could be sign making from cardboard and letter recognition.
Visit yr local Police and/or Fire Station. All communities will arrange a tour for children if you call and schedule. This field trip can be very educational and exciting for little ones. It is a good day to go over the emergency 911 concept again and talk about how these emergency folks help us.
*Art for the day could be make a fire fighter hat out of newspaper- Here are some firefighter ideas.
*Have some Stop/Drop/Roll exercise together on the lawn
Make a neighborhood of cardboard or clay. Here is a cool link.
Talk about city neighborhoods and rural neighborhoods.
Here are some books about city life.
Here are some books about Farm life.
*Write a story about how yr life would be different if you lived in the city or on a farm!
Arrange in advance to visit a senior center or home in your neighborhood. I always took my classes to one each year as a "random act of kindness" project. Even if yr kids are very young it is a good thing to do for yr own soul. Bring some tea or a veggie tray and some handmade love notes to share. Pack a backpack of books and volunteer to read to the adults. I know that this type of activity gives so much to the elderly who might not have many visitors each week, month, or year and I believe that human connection like this can foster such good for all involved. Children have loved this activity and I am planning our first family visit now. Finn is going to make paper flowers and we are taking some Nancy Drew books down to our local senior center to read. If you are unable to go in person, contacting the activities coordinator of these facilities is good because you can find out about donations might be needed, or where to send a care package of love letters. Here is some great info on a visit like this!
Take another observation walk and talk about what you have learned this week.
Contact a local business (for me it was nearby Starbucks and a hardware store) and inquire if you can take a tour. Children love seeing the "ins and outs" of what makes a business run. Starbucks will allow us to make a drink and be a cashier!!!
*A great art activity for the close of this week is making a map of yr neighborhood. Add landmarks and street, neighbors, stores, safe spots, nature, and anything else that makes yr neighborhood special.
Courtney over at Two Straight Lines had a great camp last year. She has some community ideas here.
Villagemama has a great game for signs and letter recognition on flickr.
I hope you have a great time in yr neighborhood!