Camp Arrowhead (aka one week of summer camp here at the day care) got off to a great start with happy and curious faces as each child walked in to a day care transformation. I am lucky that they notice even slight changes to the décor in here so they REALLY noticed this! Day one was full of surprises, from Miss Laurie blowing a whistle to signify a camp activity to lunch on the floor and a campfire during naptime.
Our activities began with each child picking out feathers to go on their Camp Arrowhead head bands and also gluing on a "happy camper" badge. The head band will be used during the week to add badges to as they earn them. Some badges are easily earned and others they have to work at.
Next, our day took us to the great outdoors for bird watching and to earn the bird watching badge! I stapled toilet paper rolls together and added some yarn to each one. I have talked about birds to these kids since they walked through my door... it's just one of my "things". So each child can identify a few and some, more than a few species. They walked around the day care yard using their binoculars to spy birds and call them out to me... which makes me proud.
My oldest said "I spotted a cowbird... Hey a robin!"
Another said "I see one with white on his belly!"
One of my four years olds was walking around making bird caws trying to call 'em in.
My girl said "I see a black bird!"
Then the oldest said "Bird watching is kinda hard... but it's kinda easy too."
The reference guide to what they were spotting.
Their bird watching badges.
After bird watching badges were on I whipped out their brown bag lunches from the fridge. We pretended there was a storm outside by listening to thunder and rain on my sound machine and all huddled onto a tablecloth with ferns on it spread out on the floor. Sack lunches are not the norm around here. They had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, grapes, a small dessert and a juice box... which is definitely not the norm here.
After the "storm" we cleaned up and drug out the nap mats/sleeping bags. I then blocked out as much light in the playroom as I possibly could with blankets, turned the sound machine on "night sounds" that sound like crickets and brought out the tea light filled campfire to a unison of awes. The nap mats were circled around the fire and when everyone one was settled in staring at the stars taped to the ceiling, and instead of normally watching a television show while I clean lunch dishes, I sat down amongst them a read a scary story which luckily wasn't scary at all besides the voices I added to it.
Our snack after nap time was a bit different than normal too. I tried a different take on S'mores by using Golden Graham cereal, milk chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. I liked it although it was incredibly sweet and the kids liked it only some liked some of the ingredients more than others and just ate which ones they wanted to. It was worth a try.
After snack and once everyone was dressed in swimming clothes and the whistle blew indicating an event, we were all outside and Miss Laurie brought out the water balloons for a old fashioned balloon toss. I only filled enough balloons to fit in a large pot that I have but they quickly burst away onto soaked little heads. So after the toss we played in the sprinkler for a little bit.
Everyone was dried off and changed back to normal when moms and dads arrived at the end of our first day of camp. We made a lot of stories to be told on the way home I am sure. The kids were pretty excited about all of the activities I had planned for them. On to Day 2!