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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Backyard Summer Camp: In Our Neighborhood Week

We hope you have been enjoying the Backyard Summer Camp series so far. In case you've missed them, be sure to check out Wacky Sports Week, Under the Sea Week, and Outer Space Week.

This particular theme makes me want to sing the Sesame Street song "Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood?" (they're the people that you meet each day!)

In our suburban neighborhood, we tend to drive everywhere so my kids miss out on walking through town. This theme week gives us an opportunity to explore our community in some new ways, and I think the kids will be excited about them all.

In Our Neighborhood

Active Play
  • ·      Make a neighborhood out of various sized cardboard boxes or even empty, clean milk cartons; kids can paint/decorate them or just use their imaginations. Set up a school, some houses, a post office, a store, etc.
  • ·      Play cops & robbers (tag)
  • ·      Draw a neighborhood on the driveway with sidewalk chalk; have kids ride their bikes, trikes, or scooters around the neighborhood. Be sure to include stop signs!

Here are some people in our neighborhood

Quiet Play
  • ·      Make a map of the route from home to school (or to day care or to Grandma’s house, etc.)
  • ·      Make a collage about your neighborhood (safety scissors, paper, glue sticks, local magazines and newspapers, crayons)
  • ·      Make a LEGO city or town
  • ·      Make buildings using Play-Doh
  • ·      Read stories about neighborhoods/cities/your town
  • ·      Write a story together about your favorite things to do in your neighborhood. Let kids illustrate.

Our LEGO City

Field Trips
  • ·      Take a neighborhood walk. Ask kids to observe using their five senses. Record in a journal for them, or let the kids write and draw about what they see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. For the “taste” part, a stop at an ice cream shop just may be necessary.
  • ·      Make a Park Passport listing the neighborhood parks. Stamp their passport every time you visit one of the parks during In Our Neighborhood Week - or during this summer.
  • ·      Go to the library for books about neighborhoods: “Where Do I Live” by Neil Chesanow, “Me On the Map” by Joan Sweeney, “Be My Neighbor” by Maya Ajmera, “Grandpa’s Corner Store” by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan, “As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Map” by Gail Hartman, “The Listening Walk” by Paul Showers, “City Beats: A Hip Hoppy Pigeon Poem” by S. Kelly Rammell,  “Next Stop: Grand Central” by Maira Kalman, or just about any Berenstain Bears book (there are tons about different aspects of and people in the community).
  • ·      Go to a town event (parade, music night, movie night, etc.)

Enjoy your In Our Neighborhood Week! As always, thanks for reading.

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