The week of camp is over. While there were times when I wondered if I was keeping everyone busy enough, the end today was filled with joy and at least one little girl telling me how much she will miss me. I will miss all 15 of the little munchkins.
On Thursday we used up some old but still shiny CDs--thank you tech team--by gluing felt on one side of them to use for mini-felt boards. Then the kids made little felt scenery, people, and animals to stick on the boards. There were some very creative stories from that project. We discovered that you can also stick a sticker to felt and have a ready-made character for the felt board. Now I will be thinking of other ways to use my felt board.
This quick project was followed by the reading of two simple but vastly enjoyable books--Not a Stick and Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. These were a huge hit when I did this camp last year and they garnered praise and excitement again this summer. The premise of each book is that while adults may see a stick or a box, kids can see much more. After reading the books, boxes of all sizes and shapes were distributed to the campers who spent the rest of the morning using scraps and things from the summer stockpile to make something that was definitely NOT a box. In fact, the word b-o-x was officially banned from the camp. We ended up with a wide range of things including many fairy houses and bat caves as well as canoe with a paddle, a book, a race car, and a telephone booth. I can never again look at a box without seeing a wee bit of its potential to be so much more.
Today we set in to finish all of the unfinished projects that accumulated throughout the week plus used up left over boxes and other items to take use wherever the creative urge took us. Our day was broken up with a reptile exhibit by the Reptilemania camp. I even got to hold (or was he holding me?) Shaggy, the carpet python, who is quite charming. There were several other geckos, snakes, and other critters to touch and appreciate along with informational talks from the campers. Later we saw four short puppet shows that were created by the campers in Playwriting in Puppetry. Paper bag puppets, all wildly decorated, told the story of The Five Fiends. The Very Hungry Caterpillar came to life through shadow puppets. The campers created a script and amazing cloth puppets for Where the Wild Things Are and paper plates were used to make stunning fish to tell the story of The Rainbow Fish. The stories fit perfectly with the theme of our tale twisting camp.
We ended the day with just enough time to read Pete's a Pizza by William Steig and No Such Thing by Jackie French Koller. A rainy day that needs some cheering up is what inspires Pete's dad to turn him into a pizza. I wish I had a young Pete to knead, roll, toss, and cover with oil, flour, cheese and tomatoes before tossing him into the sofa oven. Young monsters, or so our second book says, are just as afraid of being eaten by boys as young boys are of being eaten by monsters. I think that there may be a monster under my bed but I have never had the nerve to look. I am a mother; I know that there is no such thing.
I will take next week off from camp and then go back for my favorite camp of the summer. Jump Start is just for those students who will be beginning kindergarten at Emerson this September. It is a special privilege to get to meet and spend time with those young ones before even their teachers meet them.